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Delays in 737 MAX certification flight may
push off Boeing’s goal to win approval
by midsummer

Original Article

Posted By: Ron_lfp, 2/22/2020 10:57:15 AM

The critical flights on the updated Boeing 737 MAX that must be flown by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilots before the plane can be certified again are now unlikely to happen before late April, according to two people familiar with the details. The delay of more than a month from recent plans means that Boeing’s publicly announced goal of winning FAA approval to fly the plane again by “midsummer,” previously considered a very conservative schedule, now looks tight and could slip further.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: MFM 2/22/2020 11:00:21 AM (No. 326321)
The corporate move to Chicago and the Lockheed "merger" destroyed Boeing..
2 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: DVC 2/22/2020 11:40:44 AM (No. 326366)
Somebody inside the FAA has it in for Boeing, is screwing with them intentionally.
3 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: DVC 2/22/2020 11:58:23 AM (No. 326392)
The only merger between Boeing and Lockheed was in their spacecraft launch operations, #1, has nothing to do with aircraft manufacturing. Probably has nothing to do with this. Boeing is probably suffering from the same thing that the large military weapons contractor that I retired from is suffering from, and my old company is in a horrible way, dramatic drop in quality and schedule performance in the six years since I retired. The young engineers and managers, now in charge as all us Boomers retired have not been even close to up to the task. And our management, brought in from the corporate side, and not raised up in our old 70 year old culture of "highest quality, and NEVER miss a schedule" with less of an eye saving every penny than on "getting it right" (critical for complex military weapons systems). Top managers from outside more raised in a culture of making mass quantities of consumer goods to a low price. Mix incompetent management with unskilled Millennial engineers and then toss in lots of affirmative action middle level management, NOT the best people, but 50% women and minorities, regardless of skills.......it has been a rapid slide to disaster. I wouldn't be surprised if Boeing has much the same thing. Break the old Boomer "quality culture" with too many "less that talented" managers selected for their sex or race, too many "never worked on a car, never fixed ANYTHING" non-hands-on engineers, and too many "bottom line only" senior folks, and you have a PC perfect disaster replacing a well oiled production machine. At my old company 60% of the engineers have worked there for less than 5 years, and 80% less than ten years. Just about nobody left who "has a clue", and the disastrous results show it. Every time I get together with other retirees, the latest info is sad and grim about our quality and shipping performance. It looks like the company will lose the contract and someone else will be making things in a year or two. Maybe someone who can do the job properly.
8 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Safari Man 2/22/2020 12:12:28 PM (No. 326414)
Boeing either need to grease some FAA palms better or Elaine Chao needs to got off the pot. Chao would probably be long gone were it not for Trump's need to keep Mitch happy.
2 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: jimincalif 2/22/2020 12:13:30 PM (No. 326416)
Not at all surprising when you consider the incentives that FAA personnel (or any bureaucrats for that matter) face, any individual bureaucrat has absolutely zero personal incentive to sign off on this plane. If and when it flies again, any crash will focus scrutiny right back on FAA and who signed off on it. Who wants that? I know from my own workings with other 3-letter federal agencies, if they don’t want to act, there is little you can do. They just sit on it. The 737 is high profile enough that it will eventually happen, but the longer it goes the more the FAA protects itself by saying they did everything they could.
1 person likes this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: TXknitter 2/22/2020 1:08:19 PM (No. 326481)
I lived on Mercer Island and had many retired Boeing neighbors. The company is a deeply Democrat party culture. Political correctness, coverups of errors, retribution for those who stand up to object to crummy Chinese-made airplane parts all helped bring Boeing to where they are today.
3 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: DVC 2/22/2020 1:40:04 PM (No. 326530)
Thanks, #6. I wondered how much outsourcing airframe parts to China was affecting their quality.
1 person likes this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: PlayItAgain 2/22/2020 2:32:44 PM (No. 326608)
If Boeing wants to return to their former excellence they just need to step it up and return to the priorities that made them successful. I’m confident they can do it, but I think they have a swamp that needs draining. I’ve worked for two companies where Boeing was our customer. On the commercial aviation side, integrity was abandoned about 15 years ago. My employer used outsourced employees solely for the purpose of depressing wages. And they succeeded in keeping wages down. Boeing didn’t mind. We got away with serious lapses in both process and integrity largely because we depended on outsourced software development and verification efforts. Boeing could have demanded more, they should have demanded more. They never asked questions, even when they knew they should have. I firmly believe this has now caught up with Boeing. Had we stood our ground and had Boeing stood their ground on technical excellence, 737 would be flying today without any of these problems. From my perspective, this problem with the alarm light is just plain stupid!! (Tell me, if your back-up camera on your car ever caused you to back into something, wouldn’t you just turn it off? The pilot should be allowed to fly the plane.) This problem would have been easily identified and fixed had we just used domestic talent. On the military side, things aren’t going well for Boeing either. I suspect it’s because their commercial side has suffered such blows to public confidence that they’ve just decided to start bullying people. I’m very disappointed. A few years back I held Boeing in high regard. When there were disputes I sided with them often if only out of respect for the fact that they were our customer. That’s no longer the case. I see now, in a later post, that Boeing has admitted that there is trash in the fuel tanks – like rags and tools!!
2 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: fishbone 2/22/2020 2:39:09 PM (No. 326614)
I suspect #1 is actually referencing the Boeing and McDonnel-Douglas merger. It was truly a tragedy. The outstanding Boeing culture was pretty much replaced by the MDD culture.
1 person likes this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: bad-hair 2/22/2020 2:49:49 PM (No. 326622)
Sorry. Every airplane manufacturer has screwed up at some point. MD DC-8, Lockheed L1011, Boeing 737MAX. Crush them, melt them down try again. A fix to a fundamental problem is not a fix. This was a badly designed airplane and it needs to stay grounded.
0 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: DVC 2/22/2020 4:33:07 PM (No. 326701)
#10, "a badly designed airplane"??? Are you aware that the 737 has been in continuous production since about 1964? This is MAX version just a bit bigger and has a bit bigger engines, slightly lower drag wingtip designs, a tweak here, a improvement there. There is nothing at all wrong with the basic design. That is counterfactual. This was at most a software problem, in that the software didn't recognize a failed sensor. And the crashes were entirely caused by incompetent 3rd world "maintenance" which didn't replace a failed sensor, and incompetent 3rd world pilots who couldn't deal with what was basically a garden variety runaway pitch trim situation, caused by a failed sensor. And the added helpful software automatic trim system was specifically installed to be a bit of a convenience for the pilots, was not required by basic flying qualities testing. There is no "faulty design" of the basic aircraft. The trash in the fuel tanks is a serious quality escape, somebody in the factory is incompetent, not doing their job of inspecting the tank and cleaning it out prior to final close out.
2 people like this.

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