Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 13, 2019

Boeing Will Have To Stop Its 737 MAX Production Line. What will Trump Do To Avoid It?

The grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX will be further extended. Major airlines have already moved the date for the return of the MAX into passenger service to April 2020. They will have to move it again.

After the first 737 MAX crashed in October 2018 the Federal Aviation Administration calculated that it was likely that about 15 more fatal crashes would happen during the 45-year life of the 737 MAX fleet worldwide. Despite knowing that another crash was likely the FAA did not order the planes to be grounded. Only after a second MAX came down in March of this year did the FAA react properly. It was the last regulator to do so.

Global trust to the FAA and Boeing was lost and other international safety regulators are now taking their own detailed look at the planes problems. That process is far from over.

Since the 737 MAX plane type was grounded Boeing has announced again and again that the re-certification of the planes and their return-to-service was just two months away. The always unrealistic announced return date helped to hold up Boeing's stock price and put the FAA under pressure to agree to Boeing's changes. The new FAA administrator Stephen Dickson has finally had enough of it and personally told Boeing's CEO Dennis Muilenburg to shut up:

“The Administrator is concerned that Boeing continues to pursue a return-to-service schedule that is not realistic due to delays that have accumulated for a variety of reasons,” the email states. “More concerning, the Administrator wants to directly address the perception that some of Boeing’s public statements have been designed to force FAA into taking quicker action.”

“The Administrator wants to make clear that both FAA and Boeing must take the time to get this process right. Safety is our top priority and the Administrator believes public statements must reflect this priority,” the email states. “The purpose of the meeting is to ensure Boeing is clear on FAA’s expectations.”

There are still several open issues which Boeing has to fix before the plane can go back into service.

The old Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system which caused the crashes used only one Angle of Attack sensor. The logic of its activation was running on only one of the two Flight Control Computers (FCC). Boeing had classified an MCAS failure as a 'MAJOR' incident. MCAS would therefore not require redundancy. But the two accidents have proven that an MCAS failure is a 'CATASTROPHIC' event and that the system requires a much higher degree of safety and redundancy.

The new MCAS version will use at least two AoA sensors and additional logic to compare their values. It will run on both Flight Control Computers which will compare their results and only act if those are equal. Previously a Boeing 737 could in principal fly without a functioning Flight Control Computer. It was not safety critical to have both of them. But now both are required for safety reasons. That again requires that the software running on them can not be allowed to crash the computer. It must be error free.

In November the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) demanded that Boeing provide documentation of a full formal audit of the software. Boeing played down the issue and the media quoted a person who said who said it would take 'weeks' to do that. As I have done audits of industrial software systems I had a good laugh at that. Even a large team will need several months to do a full formal audit of an FCC.

Another major new issue came up only recently after regular line pilots got confused during simulated MCAS incidents:

Pilots managed to cope with the various emergency flight scenarios they were confronted with, including, for example, a bird strike wiping out an angle of attack sensor at an altitude of 4,000 feet. However, regulators observing the tests were concerned that some of the pilots didn’t follow the expected procedures.

“They were using the wrong checklists,” said one person with knowledge of the tests, adding that the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in particular may now require changes to the procedures and checklists.

A failure of one of the AoA sensor that drive MCAS leads to number of cockpit alarms. There will be speed warnings, stick shaker stall warnings, altitude warnings and some sirens that might go off. Each alarm requires the pilot to respond in certain ways. But with multiple alarms going off it is difficult for a pilot to analyze the root cause of the problem. During the simulator sessions more than half of the airline pilots reacted with the wrong procedure. It seems evident that the pilots need extensive additional training to fly a revamped 737 MAX. To save costs the airlines and Boeing had tried to avoid that.

There may still be additional issues with the MAX that must be fixed. While the FAA and EASA have taken the lead in the re-certification process of MAX, the biggest customer country for the plane is China. Yesterday the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) let it be publicly know that it has additional questions:

China has raised “important concerns” with Boeing Co (BA.N) regarding design changes proposed to end the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX airliner, Beijing’s aviation regulator said on Thursday, declining to say when it might fly in China again.

The remarks broke months of public silence from China, the first country to ground the 737 MAX in March following the second deadly crash involving the model in less than five months.

Neither the FAA, nor EASA, nor the CAAC are happy with the several layers of band aid Boeing put onto the 737 MAX. Boeing should take some radical steps to change the root cause that required an MCAS system in the first place. It could change the aerodynamics of the plane to defeat the nose up attitude of the aircraft. That would cost additional money and possibly more time. But it is probably the only solution that everyone can accept.

With no end in sight to the grounding of the MAX Boeing will soon have to stop producing more of the planes:

The issue is finding parking for and managing the inventory of more than 400 airplanes that will have been produced by the end of December. January will add another 42 MAXes at the current production rate, and so on.
All this means Boeing executives have to decide very soon—perhaps as early as this month, more likely in January—whether to reduce production or suspend it entirely.
Boeing’s 2019 financial results will be announced Jan. 29. A suspension of stock dividends is already expected, a major move by Boeing that the Board has resisted since the grounding. (Stock buybacks were suspended right away.)

If a decision is made to cut or suspend production, an announcement may come before the earnings call on the 29th.

There are thousands of companies, big and small, involved in building an airplane. If Boeing has to shut down the production line many of the hundred thousand people involved will have to move on to do something else. The people and their know-how will try to find someone else to work for. Some of the companies involved may go bankrupt. That will make the later restart of the production line difficult and costly.

But Boeing's current stock of 400 planes will already take more than a year to clear. Boeing simply can not afford to make hundreds of new planes that are not allowed to fly.

Boeing's lobbyists emphasize that Boeing is one of the largest U.S. exporters and that several hundred thousand people are involved in building its planes. If Boeing has to shut down its 737 production line many of them will lose their jobs.

That will not look good for the sitting president during a re-election year. But what could Donald Trump do to avoid it?

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on Boeing 737 MAX issues:

Posted by b on December 13, 2019 at 19:26 UTC | Permalink


During the simulator sessions more than half of the airline pilots reacted with the wrong procedure. It seems evident that the pilots need extensive additional training to fly a revamped 737 MAX. To save costs the airlines and Boeing had tried to avoid that.

That's not a capitalistically viable option, since that would mean only a selected, highly spcialized elite of pilots would be able to pilot the 737 MAX. These elite pilots' wages would spike up, driving profits down. Aditionally, training costs would also go up, furthering the fall of profits.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 19:57 utc | 1

That stock of 400 bad airplanes as well as those in the field will need to be modified along with all the new training.

If Boeing were smart and not still trying to cover its financialization ass it would put its people to work fixing all the planes it has in stock and in the field. That is what a smart CEO would do but I don't expect Boeing management to go that route.

And so there will have to be more kabuki to hide the demise of Boeing behind smoke and mirrors.

And now that the China/US trade deal is done then letting the US market crash, which it has been doing since September, is the next cat out of the bag....and it will somewhat hide the decline of Boeing.

Thanks for continuing to cover this story b

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2019 20:00 utc | 2

'Bout time. FAA chief should have told Boeing CEO to shut up from the beginning. I'm certain there's a felony in CEO Boeing's conduct to be found under the title self-dealing, fraud, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.
Experienced Class A Aviation Mishap Investigator

Posted by: Shane | Dec 13 2019 20:06 utc | 3

But what could Donald Trump do to avoid it?
Nothing, because anything else would be socialism. In an unregulated capitalist state such as the United States, Boeing should sink or swim on its own.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 13 2019 20:23 utc | 4

I'm not an aeronautical engineer, but it seems to me...

There is no "aerodynamic" solution to a thrust vector that is well below vertical CG that does not also harm fuel efficiency through increased drag at cruise, thus negating the whole incentive to use the giant diameter, high-pass, super fuel efficient, engines that caused the whole problem in the first place.

The only efficiency-preserving solution is to move the root of the wing (where it attaches to the fuselage) upward, thus raising the vertical center line of engine thrust upward and closer to fuselage CG. This would stop the "pitch up under thrust" condition but would also require a whole new airframe and admission of management's total failure.

Other than that, excellent post as always, b.

Posted by: Bret | Dec 13 2019 20:37 utc | 5

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2019 20:00 utc | 2

Those planes are not fixable. They'll have to design another plane.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 20:44 utc | 6

It will look worse for Trump if he sides with Boeing to save jobs. He will need to position himself on the right side of a public safety issue. Trump will have the vast majority of people on his side on this issue if he lets the cards fall as they may.

Posted by: Puma | Dec 13 2019 21:01 utc | 7

Elon Musk will buy it when it all goes grim and the stock price shakes down. Elon is the deep states manufactured 'clever rocket man' etc etc. Just Like Jeffrey Epstein was the deep state 'clever finance man' or phone man or whatever.

These manufactured agents of the deep state, the oh so clever phoneys and hucksters that agree to perform their act at the whim of global finance fraudsters cabal; they will club together and find a rescue package... enter Google flight or Muskair, iFly or SkyWin.

That wont change their game, though it might concentrate their wealth.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 13 2019 21:08 utc | 8

Trump does not care about anyone other than himself.

Posted by: Joe | Dec 13 2019 21:44 utc | 9

Congress just approved the Space Force. That should provide plenty of business for Boeing.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 13 2019 21:44 utc | 10

Boeing is really a Too Big to Fail company. There's a snowball chance in hell it will not be bailed out in some form by the USG. I know the term TBTF has become some kind of joke in the USA, but, in Boeing's specific case, the term is very precise to define it: without it, the Americans would lose a lot of aviation technology it can simply not afford to lose. Yes, it will even resort to restricted socialism if necessary to save it, but it will not fail.

That leaves the question about how the USG will bail it out.

My opinion is that they will compensate the loss of the 400 planes plus the cost of redesign in the form of some shady, overpriced Pentagon contract. Boeing will then silently try to sell the new model (equivalent to the A320) as some kind of upgraded version of the 737 MAX for propaganda purposes only (it will silently be certified by the FAA as a completely different plane).

The USG will also have to tarriff the hell out of Airbus in order to buy Boeing time to produce the new plane and sell it, so as to protect its market share.

The only x factor that can really fuck up this master plan is China: it certainly will use Boeing as leverage against Trump and, if it feels confident about Huawei's capacity to overcome the bannings and tarriffs, it may ask for much more than what we think of. Remember: they have their domestic plane as a backup, so they could simply ban Boeing at any given time and go national (or simply buy the Airbus, which is a superior plane either way). Can US manufacturing resist such blow?

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 22:13 utc | 11

China is a major market for Airbus aircraft, large enough to justify 10 years of major investments in manufacturing and final assembly of the A320. Boeing has also more recently gone into partnership with the Chinese to a lessor extent with 737 final assembly/commissioning, bare aircraft are flown there for fitting out.

Airbus must be salivating at the opportunity that Boeing have handed them on a plate. With the indigenous COMAC 919 competitor coming fast down the development track Boeing's future in China must be at risk.

Overlay onto that the current China/US trade spat and it is hard to see the CAAC rushing forward on this obvious opportunity to stick it to the US outside those discussions. Cold revenge.

Posted by: JohninMK | Dec 13 2019 22:54 utc | 12

Me thinks Jim McNerney, during his time as Boeing's CEO, had a lot to do with the current situation. Any journalist exploring this angle? I read somewhere that he is cashing in a retirement check of $325k EACH MONTH for the stellar job of ruining a once great American technology company.

Posted by: Nathen Mulcahy | Dec 13 2019 23:09 utc | 13

When I was a military air traffic controller – 'way back when the only traffic we had to deal with was pteradactyls – and when we had to memorize both the Air Force's air traffic regulations and the CAA (Civil Aeronautics Administration as it was then known) regulations, word for word, we were required to memorize and accept the responsibility, above everything else, to “assure the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic.”

Note that safety was the first responsibility for controllers. I would have to believe that is still the case today. If operators are required to know and to carry out that responsibility above all others, wouldn't one think that the head of the (now) FAA would also have to carry out that responsibility, above all others?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 13 2019 23:17 utc | 14

There is one question that few have addressed. How will airline companies convince the public to fly on the MAX? What if the MAX is certified to fly and the public, for the most part, avoids it? I personally would never fly on the MAX for safety and Boeing credibility reasons. Frankly, are you prepared to bet your life on the MAX; I am not.

Posted by: Dick | Dec 13 2019 23:22 utc | 15

Boeing is classified as to big to fail. They'll be bailed out in one way or another. Space Farce is one angle but they do have other competitors such as LockMart to deal with. I'm expecting a merger of some sort to save some manufacturing jobs. The smart move is to retain all the specialized jobs; ones that are difficult to replace or in short supply. But, we live in Bizarro world so management will get saved instead.

Posted by: Ian2 | Dec 13 2019 23:22 utc | 16

In answer to what could Trump do, he could begin to do what should have been done from beginning:
- Define the source and scope of the problem
- Develope corrective action:
Organizational, procedural and punative.
- Implement corrective action.

Posted by: jared | Dec 14 2019 0:18 utc | 17

It is analogous to the collapse of the finance industry in 2009. In theory structural improvements were called for but in fact they only papered it over and keep fingers crossed.

Posted by: jared | Dec 14 2019 0:23 utc | 18

Our government no longer has the capacity to handle even the most fundamental of problems. They sit in ivory tower and wring their hands.

Posted by: jared | Dec 14 2019 0:26 utc | 19

Boeing operates as a legally chartered corporation

The 737MAX debacle has the apparent signs of deliberate incompetence putting public at great risk of deaths from mis-management and, globally, causing great stress on air-transport systems.

Remedy? Simple! Use the Boeing case to set an example of government regulation.

On threat of withdrawing their corporation charter, bring in new management on probation with transparent oversight by regulators for a sufficient period to ensure correction. Simultaneously, to share responsibility for management failure, penalize stock and bondholders by seizing part of their dividend and yield gains.

The new management is at highest corporate operating executive levels related to commercial aircraft and Board of Directors for their ineffectiveness.

Let justice blossom!... with green shoots, at least.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 14 2019 1:10 utc | 20

One wonders if Boeing has forgotten that the path to its successful entry into the business of mass-producing civilian jet airliners was paved by the De Havilland Comet. It was due in large part to the time and money invested by De Havilland in solving the problem afflicting the Comet that Boeing was able to get the jump on De Havilland and thereby dominate the jet airliner market - until Airbus came along.
Is Boeing now paying the price for its Darwinian approach to management, safety and evolution?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 14 2019 1:44 utc | 21

I can still recall the amazement and disbelief inspired by magazine ads with photos of the double-decker Boeing Stratocruiser with its sumptuous lounge and sleeper berths, when I was a kid.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 14 2019 2:11 utc | 22

What can Trump do?

Well, the simple solution is for his Administration to buy all 400 planes for the USAF and call them the C-737 TroopLifter.

Problem solved.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 14 2019 2:38 utc | 23

Yeah, Right @23: buy all 400 planes

Trump will even brag about what a great deal he got for USAF.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2019 3:11 utc | 24

@ Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 14 2019 2:38 utc | 23 who wrote

Well, the simple solution is for his Administration to buy all 400 planes for the USAF and call them the C-737 TroopLifter.
I read somewhere that the USAF has versions of the plane but with different/better control stuff so that may not be as far fetched a thought as it sounds....don't give out such ideas!.....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 14 2019 3:55 utc | 25

Yeah, Right @ 23, Psychohistorian @ 25:

Boeing C-40 Clipper is what you're both after, I believe.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 14 2019 4:21 utc | 26

China should buy BOEING dismantle the factory and ship it to China, and incorporate its 6G and 5G technology, and make a safe and superior plane, and continue to buy from American suppliers. That is what Apple, Inc did, and most American manufacturers. All the Chinese workers would have engineering degrees, and since the cost of housing and healthcare is free in China, labor costs are lower.

Posted by: El Cid | Dec 14 2019 4:29 utc | 27

... was just two month away. The always unrealistic announced return date ... stock market ...

I wonder what passes for basic education in schools of business. Properly educated traders should be familiar with basic time units, and in this case, the time needed to fix 737 MAX was 0.333 Friedman. Friedman unit measures the time to achieve success that never happens. Slightly counter-intuitively, dividing it by three or multiplying by 10 has no effect whatsoever.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 14 2019 4:48 utc | 28

Piotr Berman | Dec 14 2019 4:48 utc | 28

Thanks for that; I'd never heard of it before.
A wonderful term...

friedman unit
A period of time equal to six-months, named in honor of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman for his repeated pronouncements that conditions in Iraq will improve "in six months."
"This time I really mean it - - we're just a friedman unit away from victory over the terrorists." ;-)

Posted by: V | Dec 14 2019 5:36 utc | 29

From my understanding of the issue, Boeing made a very large mistake by outsourcing the MCAS/software development to India. As we have known from multiple previous use cases in the software industry, outsourcing does not provide the perceived benefits that are touted on in the corporate world. Boeing would have had much better results if they focused on the STEM workers that are graduating from US based institutes.

So far I don't think Boeing is willing to take that extra step to stop outsourcing.

Posted by: JC | Dec 14 2019 7:06 utc | 30

The whole sorry Boeing story is a perfect encapsulation of what happens when a society falls victim to predatory (psychotic, even) capitalism that puts the perverse desires of its elites and short term profit before EVERYTHING...even lives...

Posted by: Richard | Dec 14 2019 8:23 utc | 31

@JC From my understanding of the issue, Boeing made a very large mistake by outsourcing the MCAS/software development to India

The software did exactly what the Boeing engineers wanted it to do.

It wasn't the programmers who screwed up. The people who defined the MCAS system did that.

Posted by: b | Dec 14 2019 9:32 utc | 32

Maybe China could just ban this crapola plane from entering its airspace. Beyond just not buying any and unloading what they have. That might have an impact. Maybe Russia will get on board with this. Could possibly hurt demands some, I reckon.

Posted by: Robert McMaster | Dec 14 2019 11:17 utc | 33

This plane is never flying again. The people with money at stake still do not get it. This plane will never ever fly again.

Posted by: Seema Sapra | Dec 14 2019 15:37 utc | 34

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Dec 14 2019 15:37 utc | 34

Agreed, there is no fix for that plane and the longer Boeing deny the facts the harder the fall will be. It feels like they are applying an MCAS-like approach to the whole situation, trying to lift the nose up during a stall.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 14 2019 17:30 utc | 35

Back in March, with the second accident still very fresh, I made a statement that was proven wrong:

Too Big To Fail Banks, imposed misery and death on tax payers globally, but they benefited from an apparently vague link between the cause and its effect. TBTF Boeing does not share that benefit, their failure directly translates in death/injury, before everyone's scrutiny. It will be interesting to follow the developments of this story. The comparatively low quality of the manipulation and mystification to be achieved. Gladly there are signs it will be inadmissible any kind at various levels of influence in the global scale.

As it happens, Boeing PR was very effective misdirecting its responsibility on the accidents, first there were the pilots, then the bad training, then the third world operator, then the bad maintenance... But after the second accident it became impossible to hide MCAS, the flawed system that is today not in dispute as the main culprit of the accidents, it was their design that had to be disallowed from public view. If MCAS became public all hell would brake loose, Boeing PR new exactly what to do if they reached that point: framing any discussion on a subjective basis, although one which would be painted all over with aerodynamic concepts and for that reason scientifically dense.

How to keep it subjective while scientific at the same time? By denying access to quantitative data which so far Boeing have been the only producers of, assuring the discussion to be kept on a qualitative basis at best. The resulting tension morphed into a simple question: Is the MAX a (longitudinaly) stable airplane?

What does that quantitative data consist of? Regulation imposed requirement of Boeing's MAX flight tests, those with and those without MCAS, the latter the condition that imposed the introduction of this augmentation system. It is the purpose of augmentation systems to correct for aerodynamic insufficiencies. As any honest participant of this discussion, mostly inclined on either response, will tell you: We don't know and we currently can't know the answer for that question.

But if we can't know either way, what should be our position. As it happens we are required into a very specific fallback position. Rationale for which I share, as posted in another forum - Leeham News. Slightly edited, the post is divided into three parts, including a FORMAL and a TECHNICAL part, the following is my best attempt at objectifying the current state of affairs:

Sources mentioned CFR part 25, Lion Air Accident Report, JATR report.

Well, this seams appropriate. Friends, and all those who appreciate logic…

A) We can find four stances regarding the MAX’s stability:
a) “thinking that MAX is” unstable
b) having moderate/strong suspicions that MAX is unstable
c) having moderate/strong suspicions that MAX is stable
d) having “settled” that it is stable

Note that only A.a) and A.d) express certainty, but are also mutually exclusive as are A.b) and A.c). Speaking for myself and as I began to approach this from a more informed point of view, I fit in position strong b). There may be those that are neutral but we can skip that stance.

B) Before going further in this logic exercise, lets keep the simple intuition that stability is the ability for an aircraft to return to its trimmed regime (AoA and airspeed) after being affected by any disturbance (it balances itself out). But lets suspend the technical discussion regarding the concept and agree that static stability is defined authoritatively in CFR part 25:

STABILITY §25.171 General. The airplane must be longitudinally, directionally, and laterally stable in accordance with the provisions of §§25.173 through 25.177. In addition, suitable stability and control feel (static stability) is required in any condition normally encountered in service, if flight tests show it is necessary for safe operation.

§25.21 Proof of compliance.
(e) If compliance with the flight characteristics requirements is dependent upon a stability augmentation system or upon any other automatic or power-operated system, compliance must be shown with §§25.671 and 25.672.

C) It simply follows that for one to assert objectively about the stability of an aircraft, one needs only to observe dispositions in §§25.173 through 25.177 and to know the results of the tests from the section §25.175 Demonstration of static longitudinal stability, and in addition prove compliance with §§25.671 and 25.672.

D) Lets also agree that those tests are a requirement, having failed the tests an aircraft can’t be said to comply with defined static stability. One cannot state any aircraft or rock is longitudinally stable until those tests are made and turn positive. IMPORTANT – it establishes the onus being on the claim of stability, not on otherwise. ie. by convention an aircraft is as stable as a ballistic rock until proven otherwise!

E) FORMAL facts granted:

1) Only flight tests provide certainty either way.
2) Only Boeing had access to the results of the full batch of certifying tests (with and without MCAS).
3) FAA/EASA/Regulators only had access to partial results of tests (with MCAS only).
4) Only FAA/EASA/Regulators can technically validate the tests and formally emit the certification, in this order.
5) Technical Experts/Flight enthusiasts/Public had no access to any test results at all.

I invite anyone to dispute any of the above.


Conclusion 1: Only Boeing can claim technically that MAX without MCAS is longitudinally stable because of E.2). No one else can.

Conclusion 2: The Regulators can’t claim neither technically, neither formally that MAX without MCAS is longitudinally stable because of E.3). Not even Boeing because of E.4).

Conclusion 3: Everyone else in E.5) is required to consider MAX as stable as a ballistic rock, because of Conclusion 2. This includes members of any opinion group A.a), A.b), A.c) and A.d): Technically because of E.2) – only Boeing has seen the full batch of tests. And Formally because of D) – demonstration onus on stability claim lies on Boeing.



Do notice we don’t even need to bring MCAS and its complexity to the table to claim with certainty that Boeing 737 MAX IS NOT Longitudinally Stable, in fact that position is required formally by one submitting to CFR Part 25. If this was not materially true, MAX would be enjoying its certification and happily flying.


If we do touch MCAS, attempting a view on the technical side…

F) TECHNICAL qualitative/quantitative facts in public domain:

1) Stability must be considered both at an Aerodynamic and Pilot Control level, it is highly influenced by Pitch/AoA and Airspeed – suitable stability and control feel (static stability) (from CFR 25 – §25.171)
1.a) The speed must return to within 10 to 7.5 per cent of trim speed after stick “disturbs” pitch and is slowly relaxed depending on flight regime test conducted. (§25.173)
1.b) A set ratio between stick force versus speed exists amounting to 1 pound for each 6 knots. (§25.173)

(from §§25.671 and 25.672)
2) Stability Augmentation systems:
2.a) Affect Pilot handling Control FEEL (pounds / knots per second) (ie. EFS – Elevator Feel Shift – Elevator)
2.b) Affect Aircraft direct Control SURFACES (deceleration knots per second) (ie. STS – Speed Trim System – Stabiliser)
2.c) Are ultimately invoked at any speed under several flight regimes in corners of the flight envelope before a STALL becomes imminent (identification/prevention systems)
2.d) Must show “by analysis, tests, or both”
2.e) Must consider Gusts and Turbulence Loads
2.f) Upon failure/malfunction of flight control system and surfaces (including trim, lift, drag, and feel systems) allow safe control at any speed and altitude at least within a practical operational flight envelope
2.g) “The trim, stability, and stall characteristics are not impaired below a level needed to permit continued safe flight and landing” (cited in full)
2.h) Provide warning, permit counteraction

3) Manoeuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) as an Augmentation system:
3.a) Constitutes a novelty, certified for the first time with MAX (only used elsewhere in one also recent military craft)
3.b) Only weaker authority version was certified compared with the final delivered (0.6deg instead of final full 2.5deg)
3.c) Acts directly on the Stabiliser with higher rate of movement at 0.27deg/sec (compared with STS or Manual Electric Trim at 0.2/sec)
3.d) Is introduced in addition to, not in place of existing system STS (with which it is hardly integrated with, moderated or bounded by)
3.e) FCOM Pilot flight manual contains no mentioned or explanation system function (aside of its acronym)
3.f) Acts when autopilot is OFF, flaps up, depending on STALL limit AoA angles (lacking AoA indicator installed by default)
3.g) Acts on both AoA and Mach data (AoA being retrieved from a single sensor (schedule of which is unknown to pilots)
3.h) Removed two of the fail-safes available to the pilot associated with similar STS (Column Switch CUTOFF, STAB CUTOUT Manual/Auto separation)

I invite anyone to dispute any of the above, keeping in mind that 1) and 2) are mostly paraphrases of CFR Part 25, and 3) are commonly undisputed facts mostly revealed within official reports, Lion Air Accident and JATR.


Observation 1: Attempts at characterizing MCAS as a mere control FEEL system unrelated with eventual/imminent STALL for the effect of diminishing its importance on Static Longitudinal Stability are immediately defeated by 1), 2.a) 2.f). FEEL systems are augmentation systems intimately related with Pitch/AoA and Airspeed and subsequently with STALL antecipation/prevention. Sorry Boeing PR.

Observation 2: MCAS is provided with the highest order authority inherent to the Stabiliser versus Elevator Control Surfaces, invalidating the notion that this choice is made to maintain Pilot’s attributed Elevator authority (to somehow preserve Boeing control philosophy). Elevator which could only be disauthorized by the Stabiliser when working in inverted directions, see 1.b) – Weak Pilot Elevator ANU effect with high forces vs Stronger Stab MCAS AND effect with added speed. Sorry Rob.

Conclusion 4: B737 MAX-8’s MCAS is essential for its static stability. This is undisputable, at least formally, but also technically, given the relative importance of its control authority versus equivalent systems on the model it replaces (B737-800), which should at least be indicative of the magnitude of the issue it is addressing, again: static longitudinal stability. If not, notice the incremental authority with respect to points 1.b), 2.h), 3.b), 3.c), 3.d), 3.e), 3.f), 3.g) and finaly 3.h).

Question 1: If one is not disputing the aplication of CFR part 25, given these Observations and Conclusions, how can anyone aside of Boeing officials, be confident that B737 MAX-8 without MCAS will not lead to other fatal accidents, eventuality now explained not by the malfunction of the cure (MCAS) but by the treated disease (insufficient static stability)?


Notice also that I haven’t yet touched the ugly stuff:

– Blaming Pilot training, a proper one which Boeing itself denied access
– Nov 2018 AD, calling for runaway trim stabiliser NNC, when Boeing must have known it would hardly provide assurances to prevent a repeat of the tragedy
– Certification process with numerous flaws, concidently overlaping areas with respect to critical information revealing the impact of MCAS
– Misrepresentation in Boeing’s engineering simulator of MCAS effect of Control Feel forces

Question 2: How can anyone trust a single word out of Boeing’s PR?

Requirement 1: The Regulator must act on behalf of the flying public as is its institutional mandate in order to assert the compliance of Boeing’s 737 MAX series as a safe aircraft models.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Dec 14 2019 17:52 utc | 36

Boeing refuses to compete for Pentagon’s multibillion-dollar ICBM program

Playing hard-to-get or an apology?

Posted by: vk | Dec 14 2019 18:09 utc | 37

737MAX is toast, it will never be a successful plane again, even if the criminal Boeing manage to buy out every single FAA agent again, people will always relate this plane to bribery, Corporate America crime and what it is worst in unfair treatment of criminal Executives from National Security companies....Americans should know there two classes of people, the consumers sheep and the untouchables.

Posted by: Canthama | Dec 14 2019 18:57 utc | 38

There are many similar articles, but here is a good one on how the Financial Sector destroyed a large fraction of America's industrial base. The welfare of the nation never enters the minds of the bankers.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Dec 14 2019 19:53 utc | 39

The solution to Boing is shutting down and let Embraer take over the design.

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Dec 14 2019 20:37 utc | 40

MofA’s 737 Max updates are great.

Hidden by corporate media, the drive for profits and privatization by the Elite is now directly impacting Professionals who are needed to make society function. It is clear that pilots must be trained to react properly. The computer human interface must be redesigned to eliminate confusion. This will cost stockholders real wealth and a production halt for months. Boris Johnson’s victory shows that the working class is not going to take it anymore. If people are forced to fly on the Max without adequate training and an approved redesign that satisfies the concerns of pilots and regulators, a replay of 1789 and 1917 is not too far away.

Donald Trump plays to his audiences and believes his own nationalistic propaganda. He will skate impeachment but the decisions early next year will risk his second term. To avoid a revolution, can the President force his fellow Autocrats and a Wall Street Fortune 500 corporation to spend real money and time that risks an economic collapse to fix the Max? Or will he let it fly immediately forcing the pilots and passengers to play Russian roulette?

Posted by: VietnamVet | Dec 14 2019 22:45 utc | 41

The obvious solution is to nationalise the corporation. There should be no compensation-Boeing is bankrupt.In the sense that it is a dead man walking.
In any other era this would have been done but in the neo-liberal era ideology is supreme and the only sensible and economical means of preserving a large and important industry is automatically ruled out.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 14 2019 22:52 utc | 42

This plane is never flying again. The people with money at stake still do not get it. This plane will never ever fly again.

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Dec 14 2019 15:37 utc | 34

When all is said and done; I think you are correct.
Far too much damage already done; both psychological and physical.
Cut the losses and move forward; Boeing is indeed, too big to fail, IMO.
The government can't afford to lose Boeing...

Posted by: V | Dec 15 2019 2:51 utc | 43

Dick @ 15
"There is one question that few have addressed. How will airline companies convince the public to fly on the MAX? "

Yes, my immediate thought from the get-go.
My brother and sister=in-law fly a lot because they have airline perks.
I always ask them whether they are flying this model and they say no.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 15 2019 3:45 utc | 44

b | Dec 14 2019 9:32 utc | 32

Indeed, Boeing provided the specifications that the software must satisfy. The software was supplied to Boeing who apparently were it satisfied it met their specs. BUT...

Less than 1 year before the 1st crash, Boeing "technical pilots" testing Boeing's simulator routines with MCAS were suddenly notified that MCAS was also to operate at low altitudes including the landing phases.

Up to that point the technical pilots did not know that and had noted what seemed "runaway" MCAS activity during a landing routine wherein MCAS was supposed to be disabled.

[That from the tech pilots email exchange that was published. They declined to testify on the matter, IIRC.]

For emphasis, AFAIK, 737Max was already in commercial service.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 15 2019 4:00 utc | 45

re Stratocruiser with whiskey lounge...

1952 [or '52] I was passenger [w berth!] round trip NY Idewyld to London/Heathrow. Gas-station stops at Gander/NF going over and Reykjavik/Iceland returning. Let me in lounge if I kept quiet.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 15 2019 4:14 utc | 46

Today the Seattle Times and the Financial Times are catching up with MoA:

Shutdown likely at Boeing Renton as 737 MAX crisis extends

Posted by: b | Dec 16 2019 9:35 utc | 47

@ Posted by: b | Dec 16 2019 9:35 utc | 47 with the Seattle Times link

Below are a couple of quotes from that article that I have comments about below the quotes

More than 800 MAX aircraft are now grounded worldwide. About 500 of those built since the grounding are parked around the Seattle area and at Moses Lake in Eastern Washington, undeliverable for now.
In the currently booming U.S. job market, a small supplier that has to lay off workers for as long as 60 days is likely to lose those employees as they find work elsewhere. That means hiring and training new people in order to bring production back up.

In my comment #2 above I wrote
If Boeing were smart and not still trying to cover its financialization ass it would put its people to work fixing all the planes it has in stock and in the field. That is what a smart CEO would do but I don't expect Boeing management to go that route.
800+ airplane upgrades mean a lot of work for folks but there first of all has to be the admittance that there is a problem and then remediation plans developed and implemented including people (including sub contractors) trained to perform them. I still don't see this mindset at the top level of financialized Boeing so I see this becoming a economic "black hole" that could have significant impact.....Boeing stock is part of the DOW, for example, and this gives its potential demise much visibility.

Someone above wrote about nationalizing the company but I think this is the wrong approach because while transportation may be a national strategic interest, the current financialized structure of Boeing makes it not fit the definition very well. If we are going to nationalize anything it should be the banking/finance system that establishes the incentives for financialization over good corporate direction and motivation.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 16 2019 13:39 utc | 48

At what point in time will it become financially necessary for Boeing to trash the MAX, and build its successor? Maybe that point in time has come and gone.

Posted by: Joetv | Dec 16 2019 19:53 utc | 49

Production stops as we predicted:

Boeing will halt Renton assembly lines, but no layoffs for employees

Nine months after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the 737 MAX, Boeing finally pulled the plug on the jet’s production Monday, with the board temporarily halting the assembly lines in Renton, with no timeline defined for a restart, according to a Boeing insider briefed on the decision.

However, there is good news for the 12,000-strong Renton workforce: Boeing will preserve their jobs by redeploying all of them to other facilities in the region.

“We decided that at this time, there’ll be no layoffs,” the insider said. “It’s a temporary suspension.”

Even if Boeing does not lay off workers suppliers like Spirit Airways which makes the 737 fuselage likely will. Many smaller ones will have to unless they get paid for doing nothing.

Posted by: b | Dec 16 2019 22:04 utc | 50

Someone commented earlier...

'There is no "aerodynamic" solution to a thrust vector that is well below vertical CG that does not also harm fuel efficiency through increased drag at cruise...The only efficiency-preserving solution is to move the root of the wing (where it attaches to the fuselage) upward...'

There is actually an aerodynamic fix...although it would add a tiny amount of drag due to extra wetted area...

That is the addition of ventral strakes underneath the tailcone...they can be clearly seen here on this Learjet...

Those large-fan engines are actually raised higher than before so they are actually closer to the vertical CG...[but vertical CG doesn't come into play here...]

The problem is that those big barrel-like engines start making lift at a certain angle of attack [alpha]...any kind of surface will make lift at a sufficient angle of attack...

The result of that lift is that it counters the wing's natural tendency to pitch nose down, the higher the lift and angle of attack gets...this results in the control stick force slackening, which is a bad thing, since a rare situation like that where high alpha is required is usually an emergency maneuver and the pilot is operating on muscle memory...

That's the ONLY reason MCAS was put correct the stick force gradient, so it remains linear as the pilot expects it to...when you want to pull nose up, the force required on the stick needs to be progressively greater...

The engines' location farther out front means that the lift created there is even stronger because of the greater distance between the engine and the aircraft's longitudinal CG location...which creates a longer moment arm and multiplies the lift forces acting on the CG...

Putting on strakes means that as the plane noses up, there is increasing nose-down moment from those their angle of attack increases along with the the fact that they are far aft, means a long moment arm to the CG...this could balance that undesirable engine lift...

When the airplane is flying normally the strakes would not create any down or up force...but simply their wetted area would increase drag by a very tiny amount...certainly not enough to offset the engine efficiency gains...

The problem with MCAS 2.0 is kind of a catch 22...they are supposedly fixing the sensor redundancy issue...BUT they are also limiting the MCAS authority...and if it is overriden by the pilot, then it cannot re-engage again, for some set 'pause' period whose duration I am not sure about off the top of my head...

The problem with that is it brings us right back to the improper stick force and what the pilot feels in what could be a very dangerous once-in-a-lifetime emergency maneuver...

MCAS shutting off may come at just the wrong time and cause the pilot to over-control the airplane...we don't know...nobody can predict what scenarios could happen...because they are addressing the known problems now...and at the same time creating a possibility for unknown scenarios...

That's the technical side of it...but the reality of it is that Boeing is a company with huge's almost unthinkable that they won't force the MAX's just a matter of timing, really...

Already I have noticed with some colleagues in professional aviation circles that are either drinking the Boeing Koolaid, or are even compromised in some way...

The only way that the MAX is killed for good is if another MCAS-related crash happens...I know that's not what people want to hear, but I'm afraid that's how it's going to play out...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 4:43 utc | 51

"But what could Donald Trump do to avoid it?"

Trump believes if you are selling a product you have to deliver.
"Steve Dickson was sworn in as the FAA administrator by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on August 12, after being confirmed for a five-year term by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2019. Dickson recently retired from service as the senior vice president of Flight Operations for Delta Air Lines.

In this role, he was responsible for the safety and operational performance of Delta's global flight operations, as well as pilot training, crew resources, crew scheduling, and regulatory compliance. He also flew in line operations as an A320 captain, and previously flew the B727, B737, B757, and B767 during his career. Captain Dickson is a strong advocate for commercial aviation safety and improvements to our National Airspace System, having served as chairman of several industry stakeholder groups and Federal advisory committees."
"The message to Boeing Co. from the Federal Aviation Administration was clear: The grounded 737 Max won't get approval to fly again anytime soon. So the company had little choice but to idle the giant factory where the plane is made."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 17 2019 6:58 utc | 52

Flankerbandit #51

Nice to see you back on air again.

Posted by: martin | Dec 17 2019 7:01 utc | 53

Thanks, Martin...appreciate hearing from you...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 13:37 utc | 54

Now that production stopped, it's time for the Chinese to put Trump on his knees.


@ Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 4:43 utc | 51

By "solution", we mean "a rational solution". I could also simply state that a solution to the 737 MAX is for the USA to create a culture of acceptance of regular deaths by plane crashes. That is a solution - just not a rational one.

Posted by: vk | Dec 17 2019 14:16 utc | 55

In response to

".but the reality of it is that Boeing is a company with huge's almost unthinkable that they won't force the MAX's just a matter of timing, really...

Already I have noticed with some colleagues in professional aviation circles that are either drinking the Boeing Koolaid, or are even compromised in some way...

The only way that the MAX is killed for good is if another MCAS-related crash happens...I know that's not what people want to hear, but I'm afraid that's how it's going to play out...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 4:43 utc | 51

I don't think Boeing can pull off this one. Its just not US Aviation authorities. Its the Europeans as well. Plus passengers who will refuse to fly.

This plane is dead. It cannot be fixed otherwise it would have been by now. Any so-called "fix" now put together will not prevent more crashes.

Boeing stands exposed. It is lost trust.

I really do not think this plane will fly again. There is no fix and everyone now knows the truth.

Posted by: Seema Sapra | Dec 17 2019 15:40 utc | 56

Boeing built a plane which should never have been allowed to fly in the first place. If an investigation happens, there will be evidence found of Boeing corrupting the regulators in order to get this plane in the air in the first place.

Two crashes happened. People died. Boeing attempted a cover-up. That failed. People dug out the truth and spoke about it.

Now everyone knows this plane should never have been allowed to fly.

I wonder at the hubris of people at and behind Boeing who perhaps are still thinking that they will again corrupt the regulators and get this plane back in the air.

I do not think this will happen though. Air safety is in a different league altogether. Its not like cigarettes.

Posted by: Seema Sapra | Dec 17 2019 15:59 utc | 57

This will be interesting. As a side comment, they will not be using "at least" two AOA sensors. The A/C only has two and you can't just glue these things onto the A/C. The real problem is an aerodynamics problem posed by more powerful engines and increased weight. The only way to fix this that eliminates the need for an MCAS type bit of software is to move the wings. I'll let you extrapolate what that means.

Posted by: Jeff | Dec 17 2019 18:07 utc | 58

@ VK re 'Rational Solutions'...

Not sure what you mean...I have given a professional opinion based on my experience and qualifications...

We all agree that MCAS is a bandaid 'solution' to a flight stability problem...And yes it could be addressed with the addition of strakes...which would you rather have...a plane with a computer bandaid, or a plane that has the proper flying qualities...?

Since the strakes aren't even being considered, you and the rest of the flying public [as well as the flight crews and cabin crews] are going to get MCAS my answer is, if only we were so lucky that we could get the strakes...

And yes, I too would prefer that the MAX just be killed...I have written here extensively about the inherent problems of an airplane that is now DOUBLE its original weight and passenger capacity...yet still on the same basic airframe...

At some point, I may have even believed euthanasia was a possible outcome...but it's not...

The public has a short memory...some will certainly never get on a MAX, but I doubt that's going to be a lot of people...

Boeing is going to get this airplane into the air, that is crystal clear to me I said I have seen how even trusted colleagues have been rolled on the issue...and yes, compromises are being made...

But it will start flying again...and once it starts flying and the trouble free flights accumulate, the farther the memory will fade...

As for Europe and China, don't hold your talks is the bottom line...there is simply no way to make up for the loss of the most popular airplane flying today...people need to fly...even airlines in China are going to have to come to a decision if they are going to fly people or can't fly people without planes...

If times were different, the new Russian MC21 jet would be a great a few years it may well be...but there is not the production capacity in place, even if by some miracle the global airline industry suddenly decided to kick their Boeing and Airbus addiction...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 18:55 utc | 59

@ Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 18:55 utc | 59

Yours would be a rational solution if we were dealing with cutting edge technology which only Boeing was capable of mastering.

But we are not living in such a parallel universe. Instead, the other countries can just go to France and buy the superior Airbus A320. And that's not counting for the remote, but possible, possibility that China can use this crisis as opportunity and ramp up its already existing national plane.

And what would be the cost of your band aid? Do you have access to Boeing's books? Maybe the cost to design another plane would be lower. After all, they'll have to spend another tens of billions of dollars in rebuilding their brand image either way - better for them to have a pristine and flawless new plane to back it up.

Posted by: vk | Dec 17 2019 19:04 utc | 60

@ VK...

First...Airbus doesn't have the production capacity to replace the 737 would take literally years to ramp need not only factories, but skilled workers, suppliers etc...

China has practically zero experience building civil has built only 26 copies of the much smaller regional jet ARJ21...which is basically a knockoff the MD80...which had a production line in China [and which tooling was retained when they left...]

The C919 which would compete against the 737 is not going to go into service before 2021 [and I think even that is optimistic, judging by the years it took for the ARJ21] it has no production capacity to speak of either...

The Irkutsk MC21 is a fantastic airplane...completely modern with a carbon fiber wing, wider cabin than either 737 or A320...

But the Russian industry is being deliberately sabotaged by Washington [by means of sanctions] and Russia is now doing a U turn from buying any western components and is concentrating on 'Russifying' the MC21 as well as the reasonably successful Superjet 100 regioinal liner...the once mighty Soviet civil aircraft industry could have stepped in, in a situation like this...but this is long gone now...

So no, there is no short term fix...but the number of people flying every year continues to you can scratch your idea of 'just going to France'...

The strakes would add minimal cost and development...I can tell you that a lot of people in industry are hugely skeptical of MCAS and would like to see it disappear...for instance the Transport Canada official who has gone public about scrapping MCAS...'so we can sleep at night...'

All I am trying to do here is to bring to light information that you otherwise might not have...I can tell you a lot of people in industry are thinking along the same aerodynamic fix...

The strakes would be the cheapest and easiest solution at this point, which could realistically satisfy most people...enlarging the tail [horizontal stabilizer] could also fix the problem, but will cost a lot more because it would involve the redesign of a major component...

Boeing never should have opted for a software bandaid to an aerodynamic problem...there is nothing new or unique about even this particular problem...designing airplanes is a well established science...what is new and problematic is that Boeing decided to throw every sound principle to the wind...and have reaped the whirlwind...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 19:59 utc | 61

@flankerbandit | Dec 17 2019 19:59 utc | 61

Airbus doesn't have the production capacity to replace the 737 orders....
The C919 which would compete against the 737 is not going to go into service before 2021 [and I think even that is optimistic, judging by the years it took for the ARJ21] it has no production capacity to speak of either...

Could China's high-speed trains take up the load until the C919 production capacity ramps up? I understand that within China the trains are already dominant; only for international travel are planes really needed. I don't know, maybe the Airbus production capacity will be adequate for just the international traffic. What do you think?

Posted by: Cyril | Dec 18 2019 5:31 utc | 62

Cyril...I would say the high speed trains might be an alternative for short-hop regional airliners, like Embraer and Bombardier small jets, or even turboprops like the Dash 8...we're talking maybe up to 1,000 km...

The medium haul trips are from about 1,500 km to 4,000 km...the 737 MAX can go up to 7,000 km...and some are even used on transatlantic flights...but the grounding of the fleet has caused one such airline, Norwegian, to suspend that...

So short is answer is that I don't think the MAX orders from China are predominantly about domestic flights anyway...except for the longer-route city pairs within China, where train is really not a viable alternative...

Mostly I think it's for routes to cities within about a 3,000 to 5,000 km radius or more...that covers a lot of major cities in Asia and the Indo-Pacific...and even to Europe...Beijing to Berlin is about 7,300 km...

Another thing to keep in mind is that very few airlines have actually cancelled orders...other than Ethiopian and Lion [the two crash airlines]...which are turned off also by the ugly and racist Boeing propaganda about 'inferior' foreign pilots that we saw at the beginning...that is going to be a long-term stain on Boeing in a lot of places around the world...

I think some Russian airlines have canceled their MAX orders too...and it's worth noting that it is kind of incredible that they would order MAXes to begin with considering the MC21 is just around the corner...but that tells you about how capitalism's all about the money...

As for Airbus picking up slack...that's going to be very little, if any...since the company is going at full capacity just building as many A320s as it can...with about 4,000 orders that is going to take years for many existing customers to get deliveries...

There is more on this business aspect in the news out there and that's not really my cup of tea anyway...but it seems to me that it is almost certain now that the MAX will be back with MCAS 2...maybe in a few months...but not much longer than that...

That's just the reality...I don't like it...I haven't liked anything about the MAX or Boeing for a long time now...but that's the turbo-capitalist world we live in...the US sheeple seem to be okay with where their oligarchs have taken them...even though its a hellish place...

Until those people wake up and start demanding a square and fair deal for themselves their children, nothing is going to change...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 18 2019 10:23 utc | 63

Below is a new ZH posting related to Boeing and the production shutdown

Trump Called Boeing CEO To Discuss 737 Max Production Halt

The take away quote
Until know, we knew there were White House whistleblowers/leakers when Trump spoke to world leaders. It now appears there are also leakers - at least three of them - when the president speaks to CEO of US companies.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 19 2019 4:20 utc | 64

Below is a Reuters posting that provides some depth as to the sub contractor situation because of the Boeing halt in production of the MAX

Boeing 737 MAX freeze divides suppliers into haves and have-nots

It reads like some companies in Washington State may have serious problems and possibly others as well. Again, it depends IF or on how long before production restarts.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 19 2019 5:55 utc | 65

@flankerbandit | Dec 18 2019 10:23 utc | 63

Thanks for an informative reply.

As for Airbus picking up slack...that's going to be very little, if any...since the company is going at full capacity just building as many A320s as it can...with about 4,000 orders that is going to take years for many existing customers to get deliveries...

With 4000 pending orders, and with China possibly doubling that, it seems to me that France & Germany could easily expand production of the Airbus 320neo. The expansion wouldn't take that long either, as they would only have to replicate existing, successful production lines. That's a lot easier than starting from scratch.

The huge economic boost from expansion would help France especially, given the current general strike there and the ongoing Gilets Jaunes protests.

Do you think that Airbus production can grow enough -- and grow quickly enough -- that China won't have to buy any Boeing 737maxes?

Posted by: Cyril | Dec 19 2019 6:04 utc | 66

Apparently, Boeing has accounting issues as well, which might have become unmanageable after the 737 MAX production halt. Too similar to GE.


Also, GE is the engine supplier. Surely they share accountability with Boeing on this greed for profits that resulted in creating a flying coffin. GE had to agree to put its engine on an unsuitable frame.

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Dec 22 2019 13:10 utc | 67

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