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737 Max

Boeing CEO: The MAX is Coming Back

Boeing CEO: The MAX is Coming Back
Jeff Edwards

Speaking before a gathering of travel industry insiders, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he expects the Boeing 737 MAX to be ready for passenger service before the close of the current business year. The Boeing chief told those gathered that the company will formally apply for recertification for the MAX family of planes in September.

Speaking at the Global Business Association 2019 Convention in Chicago on Monday, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg put a positive spin on the progress being made in efforts to return the now grounded 737 MAX to the skies. He told the assembled travel industry leaders that the company plans to submit safety fixes to regulators next month and he expects the planes to fully return to service long before the end of the financial year.

“We are making software updates to the Max, we have worked our way through that,” Muilenberg promised in the public comments first reported by Business Travel News. “We plan to submit that cert package in September and return to service in the early fourth quarter. The MAX will be one of the safest aircraft ever to fly.”

The CEO admitted, however, that restoring the trust of consumers may be considerably more difficult than convincing regulators that the plane is safe to fly. He said that he has personally taken steps to help rebuild those relationships.

“This is a challenging situation and the respect and confidence of the flying public is extremely important to us,” Muilenburg confessed. “We know trust has been damaged over the past few months and we are working hard to re-earn that trust and rebuild that confidence for the future. I have personally flown on two flight tests. We know we have work to do and regret the impact it has had on you and the flying public.”

Boeing officials took a much more defiant position when regulatory agencies around the globe first began to question the aircraft’s safety record in the face of back-to-back air disasters only months apart. Muilenburg, himself, has in the past suggested that the grounding of 737 MAX planes was politically motivated rather than about safety concerns. This week, he took a decidedly more conciliatory tone.

“Certainly the situation with the Max has been a tough one,” Muilenburg said. “We continue to have deep sympathy for the families and loved ones affected by these two accidents. It has reaffirmed and driven us to continue to focus on safety as a core focus for our company, we are working hard on the Max and making good progress.”

Not everyone agrees with Muilenburg’s rosy prospects for a 737 MAX return to service. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said Boeing’s mishandling of the situation could soon result in layoffs and service reductions at the Dublin-based budget carrier. The airline had expected to take delivery of 58 737 MAX planes by the end of 2020, but O’Leary says those plans are now very much up in the air.

“It may well move to 20, it could move to 10, and it could well move to zero if Boeing don’t get their s— together pretty quickly with the regulators,” the CEO told investors using surprisingly colorful language last week. “We would not rule out redundancies and job losses, which will be inevitable if these MAX delays are as presently envisaged or get worse.”

 

[Featured Image: YouTube/AIRLIVE net ]

View Comments (15)

15 Comments

  1. Sabai

    August 6, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  2. glob99

    August 6, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    I guess Boeing will go with the iPad Pro for pilot training.

  3. jmj9905

    August 6, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Mulinberg should have been fired. His behavior has been been horrible and insensitive. I remember when he was named CEO over an executive whose name I can not remember(old age). Said executive went tp Ford as CEO and did one hell of a job turning ford around..

  4. jmj9905

    August 6, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Why?

  5. OZFLYER86

    August 6, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    plenty of other reasons for Ryanair cutbacks

    1. brexit mess

    2. worldwide recession

    3. trade wars

    & the list goes on

  6. GetSetJetSet

    August 7, 2019 at 1:43 am

    sounds like a threat

  7. horseymike

    August 7, 2019 at 4:22 am

    this guy keeps talking about the software. how about a flawed design ? Boeing took something great (THE 737) and tweaked it until it was awful.

  8. Lew1

    August 7, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Blah! Blah! Blah! Sounds like an MBA talking.

  9. Gallivanter

    August 7, 2019 at 10:46 am

    As much as I despise Ryanair and Michael O’Leary in particular (he’s a venomous toad in general), when the head of Europe’s largest airline and one of Boeing’s biggest customers says to get your shit together, people at Boeing know it’s no joke. Boeing has been spending way too much time crying about ‘unfair advantages’ at Airbus and trying to maximize profits at the expense of safety and common sense. A fine example of pure idiocy – install software and a system that overrides command inputs when it thinks it knows better what to do but don’t tell your customers about the inherent dangers and that is is a huge change… play it off by iPad as ‘an improvement’ but don’t warn of what will happen if it goes berserk and how to properly counteract it in an emergency. Smooth move, Boeing.

  10. Boggie Dog

    August 7, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    No pilot should fly the 737 Max 800 without a simulator qualification course and a set number of hours in the actual airplane in a training environment.

    Even then I think the changes Boeing made to the 737 to create the Max resulted in an airplane that will never be safe. The changes required to install LEAP engines changed thrust angles so that when performing a maneuver such as a go around will result in the aircraft pitching up. The fix for that was to add software that would counteract that pitching moment. Would have been nice to inform the pilots!

    Boeing can fly their airplane but I will find other means of travel.

  11. BC Shelby

    August 7, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    @ horseymike

    …I tend to agree. teh 737 ‘s original concept was that ofa short/medium haul jetliner designed to serve smaller airports where loading bridges or even “air stairs” were not available as many small propliners and turboprops of the day like the Convair 440, 580 and 600 had self contained boarding stairs. The 737 as well as its competitor the DC-9 and Bac One Eleven also had retractable passenger stairs (the DC-9 with a second one under the tail as well). This is the reason all three jets sat so low to the ground. The DC-9 and One Eleven had engined at the rear, while Boeing decided to go with twin wing mounted engines on the 737. This was not an issue as the low bypass JT-8 engines had a narrow cross section and fit nicely beneath the wing at the aircraft’s centre of gravity.

    When the “classic” edition was conceived the larger diameter CFM-56 engines had to be moved slightly forward of the plane’s CG and up (as well the bottom of the forward nacelle flattened) to provide sufficient ground clearance. This has a slight impact on the plane’s handling but nothing that couldn’t be handled through cross training, and pilots were required recertify for the newer type primarily due to of the glass flight deck and a few internal system changes (like swapping the power generator to the opposite engine). With the Max version the engines again had to be moved further forward and up as they had a larger cross section than the CFM-56. This resulted in a more “pitch up” due to the centre of thrust being moved even further ahead resulting in possible trim issues. To compensate, the MCAS was introduced, to give “feeling” of flying the “classic” version. This was a decision prompted more by the airlines as the change to how the aircraft would handle without it was significant enough to warrant recertification.training, something airlines wanted to avoid.

    Extending the landing gear to better accommodate the larger engines underwing would have resulted in a new type certification (basically making it essentially a “new” aircraft type),something the airlines didn’t want.

    Unfortunately, the MCAS sensors were prone to sending faulty data to the crew due to power issues which occurred in both teh Lion Air and Ethiopian incidents. The plane involved in the Lion Air crash actually had experienced a similar matter on an earlier flight but the crew was able to shut the MCAS down and fly the plane manually.

    This brings up the question, did Boeing possibly push the limits of the basic 737 configuration too far in response to what airlines demanded? Should Boeing have instead, started development on their NMA earlier (possibly alongside the 787) or developed an advanced derivative of the 757 (which was produced as recently as 2005)? The 757 was originally intended to be the 727-200’s replacement, however the “classic” versions of the 737 with their more efficient engines and improved range (along with its competitors’ the MD-80/-90 series and A320)tended to fill that role instead, leaving the larger twin to longer haul/higher load capacity domestic routes. With Recent ETOPs relaxation, the 757 is no longer restricted in overwater operations (in fact several airlines, including Delta and United use them on “thin” point to point transatlantic routes).

  12. glomph

    August 7, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Why why why why why does this hollow-head and the useless board of directors STILL have their jobs?

    They have cost untold billions in direct and reputational cost, may even be a fatal blow to an iconic American company.

    And yeah, the South Carolina plant full of non-union good ol’ boys? Close that [feces], it’s an embarrassment. Ditto for Chicago HQ, can only wonder what happens there between the PowerPoint font-tweaking sessions.

  13. jagat101

    August 7, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    You’ll NEVER make me fly in one. Regardless of what software, hardware or name fix. EVAR!!!

  14. KRSW

    August 7, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Missing from Muilenburg’s comments over the past few months: Fixing any of the aircraft’s other deficiencies, such as lack of sufficient fireproofing and insulation.

    The 737 Max would NEVER be approved as a brand new type of aircraft. The only reason it was certified was due to being grandfathered in under ancient rules. The 737 was great for the era in which it was initially designed. Technology and safety knowledge have improved greatly over the past few decades. It’s like the difference between a ’57 Chevy and a 2019 Chevy — even the worst cars today are safer than those from 50 years ago.

  15. caljn

    August 19, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Dude looks like a snake and the apology rang rather hollow. The worst of American capitalism.
    I did fly a UA 737 max9 in E+ IAH to LAX and it was a rather impressive ride, probably the best 737 experience ever…yes, a low bar.
    I do hope Boeing can recover from this though.

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