B737 MAX – Will You Fly on One ?Back to Forum
B737 MAX – Will You Fly on One ?
Because the original question is directed at the self, it triggers our brain to apply logic to the dilemma posed.
Change the question away from logical thinking and I wonder what the response would be…..
B737 MAX – Would you book your children on one ?20 Jun 2019
Much more fundamental, LP. New and larger engines to make it more economical, but because the B737 was designed in the 1960s for short haul flights into airports that didn’t have jetbridges etc, it had very short undercarriage to facilitate loading and unloading of pax and cargo. The larger engines therefore had to be mounted higher, and therefore further forward of the wing. This changed the weight distribution and also meant that in certain thrust conditions the airframe would tend to pitch nose-up. In order to make the airframe handle in the same way as previous generations, so that minimal pilot retraining would be required (about an hour on an iPad, apparently, was considered sufficient) the infamous MCAS software system was supposed to detect this (based on input from just one angle-of-attack sensor) and push the nose down – and although this could be overridden, the override only lasted for five minutes and would then trigger again. We all know how that turned out – sadly
Incidentally, the iPad training and updated flight manual did not, apparently, indicate the existence of this completely new software system20 Jun 2019
Yes the 737 was something different when it first appeared in 1968.
It was the first popular Western short-haul jet not to have rear-mounted engines. The fuselage was the same width as the B707 which made it wider than its rivals.
I remember taking a ZRH-FRA flight with a Lufthansa 737 soon after it had entered service. I remember joining fellow passengers in staring at the 737 as it taxied towards the ZRH terminal.
Lufthansa was I believe the first non-US airline to operate the 737. Its secondhand 737s ended up with US LCC PeopleExpress in the early 1980s who operated them on short domestic routes.
With hindsight maybe Boeing ought to have developed an entirely new aircraft rather than rely on modifying something 50-years old.20 Jun 2019
I agree with your last sentence particularly as from what I have read on the subject in a Forbes magazine report the ‘todate’ costs and pending liabilities associated with fixing the MAX far outweigh the cost of developing a new aircraft.
However the MAX came about because Boeing had fallen so far behind Airbus in development and sales potential of new aircraft that they needed to catch up fast hence the MAX was born and any semblance of good corporate governance at Boeing went out of the window to prop up the share price and shareholder returns.
I am not at all sure that Boeing will ever recover from this debacle.20 Jun 2019
Indeed, Alex, although of course the first commercial passenger jet of all, the ill-fated de Havilland Comet, had wing-mounted engines (actually buried in the wings, not in pods). And what a supremely handsome machine it was. Although its vertical tailfin looks extremely dated, its nose surpasses any modern aircraft for sleekness.20 Jun 2019
The Comet was indeed a handsome aircraft but its fate was eerily similar to what I suspect will be that of the 737 Max.
First passenger Jet aircraft: I have some memory that Avro (Canada) had an earlier passenger jet in the very late forties but as I am unable to find any reference to it I am perhaps mis-remembering. Does anyone know please.21 Jun 2019
Wikipedia suggests that the Avro C102 Jetliner first flew on 10 August 1949, thereby becoming the second jet airliner in the world, having been beaten to it by de Havilland and the Comet by a mere thirteen days. It also never went into production, only one prototype was built, and the project was scrapped (along with the prototype)21 Jun 2019
12cm. This is the cabin width difference between the so called extra-wide A350 and the B787 (i.e. about 2%). Having flown both on the same airline (QR) with the same product, I can say you cannot see the difference. So the impression of extra-room is purely subjective! Then the air quality is undoubtedly better on the B787. As for the windows’ blinds, it is a matter of preference
Dear Swissdiver, thank you for your post. A few points I would like to follow up on (and I am not trying to be unnecessarily combative, I think you raise a number of interesting issues and would like to learn more from you).
2% overall doesn’t translate to 2% more space per passenger (which would be meaningless). 12 cm extra width means that in a nine-across configuration, if aisle spaces remain the same, each passenger gets almost 2cm extra width – in an economy seat that’s quite significant. As you move forward, the differential becomes more significant. That also comes with extra ceiling height, adding to the feeling of space (perception is important too!). So I disagree with you when you say that “you cannot see the difference” – I believe that you can (and I have also flown both airframes). It is subjective, I agree, but I think the majority are likely to be with me on this point – the A350 feels more spacious than the B787.
The A350 is (and I will be astonished if you argue with me about this) quieter than the 787.
Your point about air quality is noted. However, having done an (admittedly quite brief) search I haven’t found any articles to support this, so I would be interested to see your sources. There is a longstanding trope about bleed air being somehow inferior to exterior air, but since it is taken BEFORE the combustion section of an engine, so far as I am aware (and I am willing to be corrected on this, it isn’t my area of expertise) I can’t help but question how it is different from any other air taken from the atmosphere (except that it’s hotter, and needs to be cooled down, but again that shouldn’t contaminate the air itself). My (again limited) research suggests that the pressurisation level is similar in the A350 and the B787, as is the humidity level, as is the filtration level. I am struggling, therefore, to see what the difference is, and how you can claim that the air in a B787 is “undoubtedly better” than in an A350. I genuinely hope you can enlighten me (and I hasten to add that I am not being sarcastic, I really do want to know what the difference is).
Currently I would pick an A350 over a B787 any day. Perhaps you can convince me otherwise, and I would be delighted if you can as it would therefore improve my travel choices 🙂21 Jun 2019
Thank you for your comments.
12cm/9 cannot mean an extra 2cm per seat! But it could slightly increase indeed the width in economy. At QR, each seat is 0.8cm wider on the A350 (according to SeatGuru). At SQ, it is 0.5cm. As for the cabin height, it is similar. Then the feeling of space depends on the cabin interior, notably the lights and the size of the overhead bins. Ultimately a feeling is indeed subjective.
Silence: I won’t argue on this since I prefer by far the sound of the engines to some personal disturbing noises (snoring being the less annoying one!).
If you add the yoke (instead of the Airbus’ joystick), the windows (I love the dimming on B787) and the air (better on the B787), the B787 beats hands down the A350! To be fair however, when QR sadly replaced the B787 by the A350 on the GVA-DOH route, I didn’t affect my usual routing…21 Jun 2019
Dear SwissDiver, thanks for the reply. I agree that the feeling of space is somewhat subjective, and I won’t argue further. However…
You have again asserted better air quality on the B787. I’m not necessarily contradicting you, but I am going to ask you, again, for sources, as I am unconvinced your assertion is justifiable.
Interesting debate, although I suspect we are straying far off topic.
I still won’t fly in a Max for the next couple of years. And to canucklad’s point, I certainly won’t put one of my children on one, nor the Memsahib. Boeing have to re-earn my trust. I don’t doubt that they will do so, in time. They’re a great company and I am sure – certain, in fact – that they will re-engineer the Max and do whatever is needed to make it safe. I’m just going to wait until they’ve done that and proven it before I trust them with my loved ones.
1 user thanked author for this post.21 Jun 2019
at 08:3921 Jun 2019
As I have also found the A350 cabin to be considerably quieter than the B787 cabin and to also to deliver an overall better experience I asked some pilot friends, who have much better access to industry data than do I if they were able to factually answer the questions raised.
Very conclusively the A350 is six decibels quieter than a 787 Dreamliner. It seems that six decibels is very considerable difference as decibels are measured in an algorithmic scale not a linear scale and so three decibels = double the noise energy…..a lot. The 777ER I was informed is 10Db noisier than the A350 XWB.
The economy class seat on Cathay A350 is 18 inches in width while on the Qantas B787 it is 17.2 inches (according to the Qantas web site) I checked a dozen or so full service airlines and it seemed that in all cases the A350 seat was wider than on the B787. I could not find one instance where the B787 seat was wider and In most cases the A350 also offered more leg room.
As to cabin air quality it seems that the A350 is far superior offering 21% more fresh air, 8 adjustable air zones to the B787’s 2 or 3, also adjustable air humidification to the A350 business and first class cabins.
The purchase cost of the A350-1000 is around 30% more than the comparable B787 thus it is in my opinion only reasonable to expect the 350 to deliver a superior customer experience.
The A350 I am told is also considerably cheaper to operate per pax than the B78722 Jun 2019
Price-wise, Airbus seems to be generally more aggressive (although I guess WW got a very good deal with his last B737 Max order). Ultimately, I am not sure the actual price paid for a A350 is very different from a B787’s. And if your friends are right about the running cost, how to explain the sales numbers?
2019: A350: -1 / B787: 37
2018: A350: 40 / B787: 109
2017: A350: 36 / B787: 94
2016: A350: 41 / B787: 58
2015: A350: -3 / B787: 71
Total (since launch): A350: 893 / B787: 144022 Jun 2019