How much worse can it get for Boeing?

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  • RoyJones
    Participant

    JohnnyG I was being sarcastic when I said “(good customer relations)”.
    I don’t fully understand all the quirks of Chapter 11 so I am not 100% sure if the airlines would lose their deposits, most certainly suppliers would lose any monies owed. Switching to Airbus would not be easy, huge staff retraining costs (although a portion of those are probably going to be faced when the 737 MAX flies again) and getting availability. The fact is that Boeing is “too big to fail” as far as the US Government is concerned. It would also risk grounding fleets over getting approved available spare parts which normally come from Boeing.
    As I said before I am glad I am not a Boeing Director or shareholder.


    JohnnyG
    Participant

    Roy Jones

    On Thursday I spoke to a friend who works in the aviation industry and has links with all the major players, Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier etc and he was told in a meeting in the states last week that this is certainly a scenario that is being looked at and its ramifications. They also thought that the situation re Boeing would take at least 2 to 3 years to settle down. A lot of it depends on how many, not if, airlines go bust in the next 6 to 12 months or so and what consolidations will take place. This will of course affect other players as well. The other side of the coin being in that if an airline does go belly up and has orders of course that again means that manufacturers have again been left with airframes that are not wanted. Strange times indeed.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    The inevitable order cancellations have started. Avolon (70% owned by the ‘troubled’ HNA group) the worlds third largest aircraft leasing company cancelled a large order for Boeing’s plus a few airbusses.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/avolon-halts-orders-for-104-jets-as-clients-delay-bill-payments-39101981.html

    Many low cost and some major airlines have over ordered many hundreds of aircraft in order to cut favorable pricing deals. The majority of these orders will sooner or later be cancelled with Boeing being the most vulnerable due to its customer mix and the failed 737 situation.


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    There are (at least) four major sectors in the air industry: the aircraft manufacturers, the aeroplane leasing companies, the airlines and the airports. All four, ultimately, are fed by one source of funds – passenger revenue.

    That passenger revenue is currently all but totally suspended, and even when it returns, may well be considerably less than it was for an extended period. The question then becomes how the smaller cake is divided up between the four sectors.

    This is not a commercial issue so much as a straight power issue. In a fight for survival (which all four will face), who has the greatest power? And this in turn comes down to who has the strongest backers.

    Boeing will have the US Government behind it. It will survive (in some form or other). Major airports will survive, minor ones may not. Flag airlines (what an old-fashioned term) will survive, but possible partly or wholly nationalised. I’m not sure who has got the leasing companies’ backs …


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    trump will let America starve before he lets Boeing fail.


    notmenotme
    Participant

    trump will let America starve before he lets Boeing fail.

    Sad but true! Many people have not mentioned this fact, that Boeing is the US’s biggest exporter. No other company comes close. So, with Boeing’s problems, it will also affect trade deficits. I cannot believe that trump or the US Congress, will let anything happen to Boeing.


    JohnnyG
    Participant

    BOEING 737 LATEST 07-April 2020

    The Boeing Company has said it will make two new software updates to the 737 MAX’s flight control computer as it works to win regulatory approval to resume flights after the jet was grounded following two fatal crashes in five months.

    The United States plane maker confirmed to Reuters news agency on Tuesday that one issue involves hypothetical faults in the flight control computer microprocessor, which could potentially lead to a loss of control known as a runaway stabiliser, while the other issue could potentially lead to disengagement of the autopilot feature during final approach. Boeing said the software updates will address both issues.

    The Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday it is in contact with Boeing as it “continues its work on the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX. The manufacturer must demonstrate compliance with all certification standards.”

    The largest US plane maker has been dealing with a number of software issues involving the plane that has been grounded since March 2019. Boeing halted production in January.
    The company said neither new software issue has been observed in flight. It said in the autopilot issue “flight deck alerts and warnings are already in place to alert the crew if it did”.

    Boeing said the new software issues are not tied to a key anti-software system known as MCAS faulted in both fatal crashes.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    notwithstanding CV19, it’s worrying it takes over a year for the software to be amended to enable the 737 max to regain certification. Are there other issues…??


    canucklad
    Participant

    The trouble Boeing has with this aircraft , is not to dissimilar to when the DC10 short comings / issues (also covered up for financial reasons ) plagued McDonnell Douglas back in the day.

    Sadly for the Boeing executives it’s much easier for the general populace to be educated ( even inaccurately) with the problems, especially now that’s its an ongoing story out with their control.

    Boeing must be extremely nervous putting this airframe back in the air. If there was to be another unexplained catastrophic airframe loss with fatalities it would definitely signal the end of the “Max” as an airliner, plus it’s likely to be another nail in Boeings corporate coffin.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    It all sounds very unconvincing and the report above reads more or less like many other ‘progress’ reports issued over the past 12 months.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    For the simple minded (like me)- why is it so difficult to change/modify, even delete a computer programme, that was found to be dangerous and absolutely not required.
    As everyone knows it has been over a year now the ‘best engineers in the world’ at Boeing cannot carry out a simple (in my mind) task, a computer/avionics task, a modification of a programme for chrissakes, or just remove it, and get this bird flying again.
    Am I missing something here?
    Or is there much more to this ‘sick’ airframe as is muted in many other documentaries to be found on-line that this aircraft is ALL WRONG!


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t have been easier to lengthen the landing gear, and put the engines back where they should have been in the first place…

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    why is it so difficult to change/modify, even delete a computer programme, that was found to be dangerous and absolutely not required.

    Unfortunately the MCAS program is only one part of a very complex operating system (OS) that controls everything in the 737. It was bolted on to the overall operating system as a fix, to avoid Boeing having to radically redesign the physical plane.

    This has two consequences. Firstly the MCAS program links into the OS in many different places, and the linkages are not all simple, one-level or even fully understood. This is quite common with computer systems that grow organically with bits added on here and there, and means that a change in one part of the OS can have unexpected consequences in another which seems totally unconnected. The only solution to this, in most cases, is to run a full set of all possible circumstances that the OS might meet through a test environment, to see whether the OS with the changed MCAS is still stable. Fortunately one can do this on a simulator rather than in the sky with a real plane, but the process is extremely time consuming as there may be billions (literally) of scenarios to test. It is this that is adding to the time Boeing is taking.

    The second consequence of building an OS by incremental add-ons over the years is that the underlying core of the 737’s OS is actually very old. For every given addition, it is at that point in time cheaper and easier to add the addition onto the existing OS rather than redesign the whole OS from scratch. But this results in a hugely “top-heavy” structure, with the base or core of the OS vastly too small and fragile for the superstructure now erected on it. Picture an inverted pyramid, balancing on its point: that is what most OSs look like these days, and not surprisingly even a minor imbalance at the top can bring the whole edifice crashing down.

    This is a good article on Boeing’s challenge: https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/9/21197162/boeing-737-max-software-hardware-computer-fcc-crash, and it also highlights the downside of trying to solve a hardware problem (the plane is the wrong shape for good aerodynamic performance) with a software fix.

    Incidentally don’t be too hard on Boeing for this incremental style of programming. Every business does it. I briefly worked in IT for a bank, and it is even worse in that industry. Those of us in the UK will be well aware that our online banking systems are fragile, and repeatedly go down – this is because the base software behind all the UK’s banking platforms dates from the 1980s, and in some cases the 1970s. This was well before the year 2000 – who remembers the fear of the Y2K bug and what would happen when the first digit of the year changed to 2 – but it is also crucially well before anyone had thought of mobile banking or smartphone technology. So the whole of mobile banking relies on software built about 15 years ago and bolted onto software built about 45 years ago – quite often written in different languages, with different data protocols, and so on. It is in many ways a miracle it works at all.

    But when a banking app goes down, one is merely frustrated. When the 737’s OS goes down, so does the plane.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    Chris in Makati
    Participant

    For the simple minded (like me)- why is it so difficult to change/modify, even delete a computer programme, that was found to be dangerous and absolutely not required.
    As everyone knows it has been over a year now the ‘best engineers in the world’ at Boeing cannot carry out a simple (in my mind) task, a computer/avionics task, a modification of a programme for chrissakes, or just remove it, and get this bird flying again.
    Am I missing something here?
    Or is there much more to this ‘sick’ airframe as is muted in many other documentaries to be found on-line that this aircraft is ALL WRONG!

    As I understand it, the aircraft itself is fundamentally aerodynamically unstable. The MCAS computer software was needed to detect and correct that instability as it becomes necessary.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    With hindsight I’m sure the powers that be at Boeing had in retrospect opted to build a 797 rather than try and fit a square peg into a round hole.

    Brings to mind the crisis that the Rallying fraternity found itself in , when they pretty much souped up bog standard road cars and ironically found that they became unsafe due to wanting to take flight !

    Cheers Cedric for your insightful comment , certainly made it easier for my non IT thinking brain to understand the complexities a wee bit more than before .

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 57 total)
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