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History of MCAS development

Early in the development of the 737 MAX, engineers gathered at Boeing’s transonic wind tunnel in Seattle to test the jet’s aerodynamics using a scale model with a wingspan comparable to that of an eagle. The testing in 2012, with air flow approaching the speed of sound, allowed engineers to analyze how the airplane’s aerodynamics would handle a range of extreme maneuvers. When the data came back, according to an engineer involved in the testing, it was clear there was an issue to address.… ( More...

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Highflyer1950 5
Gee I wonder how many airliners have airflows that reach the speed of sound on take-off and what extreme maneuvers did this engineer envision?
btweston 0
You on weed, son?
Ray Toews 1
I heard an interesting tale about the Airbus Capt Sully landed in the Hudson. Apparently there are a couple of switches you can flip to bypass all the computer safeties and run the idling engines back up to full power. Apparently only maintenance needs to know about them??
A very comprehensive analysis!
346 should be posted all over Boeing , just as a reminder
patrick baker -1
so, an inherient instability problem was diagnosed, and the fix was to make a limited but defficient computer patch or fix, to overcome design instability. Avoid the underlying problem, but use external sensors, but only one of them, not the safe and sane number of at least two of them, and then turn the Boeing Bucking Bronco loose on the worlds unsuspecting airlines. wow...
Highflyer1950 4
Yes, and that’s what the industry is pushing. Computerized gizmos to fix, replace and in some cases fly the airplane for you. The F117A was inherently unstable and needed computers to assist the pilot in flying it. The shuttle relied on the same thing. Airbus in their first A-320 had issues where the aircraft would not let the pilot take over manually and crashed. Indeed the Airbus family had to have a set of control laws that would degrade the controllability of the airplane as each law was lost (or so an A320/A330A340 captain told me). The Baby Boeing at one time had a hard time making .74 in cruise economically but now is happy at .78 to .80. At some point everyone agrees that stretching an airframe can only go so far........just ask anyone about the re-engined stretch 8 and how many banged tails caused a return to the airport?
Stefan Sobol 1
F-16 is the same and it was around before the F117. Flight control computers fail or lose power and the pilot's only course is to eject.
btweston -1
You’ve got some fugazi facts going on there.
You know, watching the inherently unstable marching band come out on the field every five minutes playing the same old tune is getting old. You have your choice of Boeing screw-ups, why go with something so demonstrably false?

It does your cause a disservice.
Headlong in their competition with Airbus, they drank their own koolaid. The software 'patch' was expeditious, and 'cheap', and wouldn't hold up the sales of that Frankenstein machine. It was a cold calculation that had to be made by people high up in Boeing. People I might add, that STILL HAVE THEIR JOBS!

Choosing profit over caution. The rank smell of capitalism.

In decades past, engineers (instead of money counters) would have headed back to the drawing boards, and their review calculations, and determine what went wrong. They would have poured over the data, and come up with a physical cause, and a safe(r) fix than having software throw the plane at the ground repeatedly, and not base that whole process on only one sensor, and ridiculously charging customers tens of thousands of dollars for a second sensor that should have been a standard part of that 'fix'.

To me, the fact that the system was rushed out, and the stunning decision was made to use only one sensor, and also not inform customers and pilots of the hasty 'fix' means the decision came from their accounting department, and NOT the engineering people. It was a bandaid, a 'cheap and dirty' fix for something that needed a more through solution.

Boeing has taken their eyes off the technology, and is looking for money above everything. Capitalism...
No, the rank smell of corruption. Dishonesty. Disregard for others' lives.

Capitalism does just fine when not contaminated by the above elements. Which, I might add, are present (and to a much greater degree) in non-capitalist systems as well.
btweston 0
A lot of things do just fine in a hermetically sealed environment.
Robert, would you rather have airplanes developed by a commissariat? Like Chernobyl? Also, once they fix the poorly implemented software, we'll see that it is perfectly adequate to address the issues with the aerodynamic infelicities of the airframe. From what I understand, using software in that way to improve flight dynamics is now standard practice on all new airplanes, including the 747-8i. What's shocking is how badly Boeing botched this whole episode, from designing the software inadequately to thinking it was okay to not tell the pilots to managing the response to it's failure. It was sheer incompetence, which in some ways is even more disturbing than your ridiculous evils of capitalism narrative.
boughbw 4
How does Boeing make money off having a plane crash? I'm curious because I keep hearing this argument, but I've discerned no ability to profit from not selling airplanes and having them grounded for months on end.
Brian, obviously there was not full consideration of the results of the changes. They saved time and money by NOT telling everyone that there were changes and how it was changed. No light was brought to the changes and the dark poor changes killed people.
btweston 0
Have you heard of a place called Las Vegas?
So what economic system do you prefer?
btweston 1
Yes. The world is a choice between a few things we heard about during our first semester of college.
Taterhed -3
I'd just like to say.....

That the idea that we should study pilot reaction times as 'it may take up to 7 seconds' for pilots to react to critical emergencies is genius.

I think all takeoff emergencies (v1/v2 cuts) should be based on 7 second (MINIMUM) pilot reaction time.

That will make aviation MUCH safer. (sic)

Also, beloved Aeroflot has an amazing safety record (also sic). This is clearly due to a lack of Capitalism.
btweston 1
7. 7 minute abs. We do it a whole minute faster than those 8 minute folk.


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