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FAA test of the 737 Max

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by TheMayor, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Its just a matter of time now...

    Boeing 737 Max Takes Off for Crucial FAA Test of Comeback Effort

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-29/boeing-737-max-takes-off-for-crucial-faa-test-of-comeback-effort

    A Boeing Co. 737 Max lifted off from a Seattle airfield with a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration pilot on board, the first of several flights to test whether the revamped jetliner is safe following two deadly crashes.

    The Max 7 took off from Boeing Field at about 9:55 a.m. local time Monday and is scheduled to return about three hours later, according to its flight plan. Using call sign BOE701, the plane is flying maneuvers over central Washington state.

    The so-called certification flight is a milestone toward ending a grounding imposed worldwide in March 2019 after the accidents killed 346 people. The FAA plans to put the jet, bristling with monitoring equipment, through a comprehensive examination, said a person familiar with the matter, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the details.

    Among the flying planned is the infamous “wind-up turn,” a steep turn that essentially approaches a stall, with wings approaching 90 degrees of bank. Doing so should trigger the Boeing software system that played a role in both crashes, repeatedly pointing the aircraft’s nose downward until pilots lost control.

    “The certification flights are expected to take approximately three days,” the FAA said in a statement. “While the certification flights are an important milestone, a number of key tasks remain. The FAA is following a deliberate process and will take the time it needs to thoroughly review Boeing’s work.”

    Boeing jumped 9.8% to $186.72 shortly after takeoff, the most on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after climbing as much as 10% on news that the fight FAA flight was slated for Monday.
     
  2. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    About damn time! Hopefully the FAA will actually move forward without being scared of their own shadow.
     
  3. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    I presume that Boeing is already preparing teams to go to all the places worldwide where aircraft are parked to install and test the revised software and provide whatever instruction is needed to the affected airlines. That will be a big effort in its own right. (They may even need to bring along decals to cover the word MAX on the aircraft with whatever new name Boeing comes up with.)

    In a way, it's a bit reminiscent of what Lockheed needed to do to modify the L-188 Electras to eliminate the possibility of whirl-mode flutter. In a way, that was a bigger job because it involved significant modifications to aircraft structure, which is not the case here, but the number of aircraft was far fewer. They also had to rename the aircraft but left that up to the airlines; most chose "Electra II" or "Super Electra".
     
  4. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Another track on the re-entry into service is getting flight crews through the new training requirements. Last I remember hearing there were unresolved discussion on sim vs computer based training and how long it would be before someone had to follow up with sim time. Sim availability is one of the bottlenecks.
     
  5. Jeff Kennedy

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    More from AWST

    FAA Authorizes Boeing 737 MAX Certification Test Flights
    Bill Carey Guy Norris June 29, 2020
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Credit: Boeing
    WASHINGTON—The FAA has authorized Boeing to begin certification flight testing of the grounded 737 MAX with an updated flight-control system.

    In an email notification to congressional oversight committee staff on June 28, the agency said its Type Inspection Authorization board has completed a review of a system safety assessment Boeing submitted, clearing the way for what it expects will be several days of flight tests.

    The FAA expected that flights with agency test pilots aboard would begin as soon as the following day. A developmental 737 MAX 7 departed Boeing Field in Seattle for Boeing’s flight test center at Moses Lake Grant County International Airport, Washington, at 9:54 a.m. local time on June 29.

    In the email sent to congressional staffers, the agency emphasized that the certification flight tests are not a prelude to an imminent return to service of the 737 MAX, which has been grounded since March 2019 after two crashes in less than five months.

    “It is important to note, getting to this step does not mean the FAA has completed its compliance evaluation or other work associated with return to service,” the agency stated. “The FAA has not made a decision on return to service. We have a number of steps remaining after the conclusion of the certification flights.”

    Boeing has developed an update to the flight-control software of the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) implicated in the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019, both 737 MAX 8s.

    Among other fixes, the automated system now compares information from two angle-of-attack (AOA) sensors instead of one and prevents MCAS from activating if the sensors disagree by 5.5 degrees or more with the 737’s flaps retracted. The system cannot command more stabilizer input than can be counteracted by the flight crew pulling back on the control column.

    European and Canadian regulators are demanding additional design changes but will not prevent the 737 MAX from returning to service before the fixes are implemented, the Seattle Times first reported.

    EASA recommends that MCAS use a third physical AOA sensor, or an additional “synthetic” sensor that draws information from a variety of other sensors, similar to a system that Airbus uses, the Times said.

    Transport Canada confirmed that it is considering several possible changes to the 737 MAX flight manual, one of which would be a procedure to disable an erroneously activated stick shaker stall-warning system by pulling an overhead circuit breaker.

    “Transport Canada will consider Boeing’s circuit breaker proposal as part of a suite of changes that could be implemented,” the agency said. “It would be premature for Transport Canada to determine the final design configuration, flight crew procedures and training requirements before all the criteria and concerns have been addressed.”

    The Canadian regulator added that it will not lift flight restrictions on the 737 MAX 8 “until the department is fully satisfied that all safety concerns have been addressed by the manufacturer and the FAA and that enhanced flight crew procedures and training are in place.”

    The FAA listed several remaining steps after the certification test flights that will determine when the 737 MAX returns to service.

    These steps include the issuance of a draft report on minimum pilot training requirements by the agency’s Flight Standardization Board (FSB) and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board, which includes representatives from Europe, Canada and Brazil. The FAA will publish a final FSB report after reviewing public comments.

    The FAA will examine Boeing’s final design documentation to evaluate compliance with regulations. A multi-agency Technical Advisory Board will also review Boeing’s submission and issue a final report before the FAA makes a final determination of compliance.

    Notice of pending significant safety actions will be made via a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community. The FAA will also publish an airworthiness directive (AD) advising operators of required corrective actions that must be accomplished before the 737 MAX resumes commercial service.

    The FAA will eventually rescind its grounding order, which marks “the official ungrounding” of the 737 MAX, pending the completion by operators of the work specified in the AD and any required training. The agency said it will perform “in-person, individual reviews” of 737 MAX jets manufactured since the grounding and also review and approve airline training programs.
     
  6. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    People lost confidence in the DC 10. I think they never changed the name. But people lost confidence in them and the airlines stopped flying them. They still use them as frieghters I believe.

    IMO, it might be the 737 Max plus so people understand its been upgraded. Boeing and the airlines will have to go through some kind of marketing. Even after 2 years I think people will be worried

    But Southwest will be a big supporter and that will help.
     
  7. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

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    I think the average person has a terrible memory and/or doesn't care to look into what they are getting on. All they care about is spending as little money as possible and not missing any connections or having delays.
     
  8. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
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    From what I understand talking with people at Southwest they had been working to scoop up 737 Max at bargain prices but then the Corona hit and sorta threw a monkey wrench into the whole business. I’m curious what their stance might be now.
     
  9. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I cannot see the day Southwest buys another plane than a variation of the 737. They cut costs from having a single airplane platform. The Max was in part designed for them in mind but and airplane that works for Southwest also works for many others.
     
  10. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Absolutely correct. SWA believes in fleet commonality and sees that as a critical part of their financial success.

    At least in the past they also replaced their aircraft quicker than most everyone. They accumulated more cycles than average so wanted to sell early to preserve the values. This does keep the fleet newer and gives a side benefit of limiting maintenance costs due to age.
     
  11. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
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    I wasn’t thinking that they would ditch the 737, more just wondering if their previous willingness to soak up excess Max production capacity might be pulled back a bit. I’m assuming Boeing still makes other variants?
     
  12. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    FAA and Boeing Complete 737 Max Certification Flights
    by Gregory Polek
    - July 2, 2020, 7:52 AM

    Creative Commons (BY-SA) by Creative Commons (BY-SA) by Anna Zvereva)
    The FAA and Boeing flew the last of a series of certification flights with the 737 Max Wednesday, marking the completion of three days of tests to aid the evaluation of software changes to the airplane’s flight control system. While the completion of test flights marks a key milestone in the recertification process, a number of vital tasks remain, said the FAA, including evaluating the data the team of agency and Boeing engineers gathered.

    “The agency is following a deliberate process and will take the time it needs to thoroughly review Boeing’s work,” said the FAA in a written statement. “We will lift the grounding order only after FAA safety experts are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards.”

    Next, the FAA’s Flight Standardization Board (FSB) and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB)—which includes international partners from Canada, Europe, and Brazil—will evaluate minimum pilot training requirements. The FSB will issue a draft report for public comment addressing the findings of the FSB and JOEB before the FAA publishes a final FSB report.

    Other tasks include an FAA review of Boeing’s final design documentation to evaluate compliance with all agency regulations. The multi-agency Technical Advisory Board (TAB) will also review the final Boeing submission and issue a final report before the FAA determines compliance. The FAA then must issue a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) of pending safety actions and publish an airworthiness directive (AD) that addresses the known problems that led to the grounding. The AD will advise operators of needed corrective actions before aircraft may re-enter commercial service.

    Once it rescinds its grounding order, the FAA will retain its authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates for all new 737 Max airplanes manufactured since the grounding and perform in-person, individual reviews of each aircraft. Finally, the FAA will review and approve training programs for all part 121 operators.
     
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  13. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    What other variants are you thinking of? The NGs or all the MAX models - 7, 8, 9, 10?
     
  14. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    I believe once the MAX went into production, it superseded all previous models on the assembly line. Maybe they could just use their new terminology on the updated MAX models and just call them the 737-8, 737-9 and so forth.
     

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