The Anonymous Widower

Pilots: New Boeing Like Rodeo Ride

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s copy of The Times.

The article gives quotes from experienced pilots.

These pilots give me little confidence in the aircraft.

I doubt, I’ll ever knowingly book a flight in any Boeing 737 MAX

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

737 MAX, Airbus And Aventra

I think that there are parallels between these plains and trains.

The 737 MAX is a conventional fifty-year-old design of aircraft, that has been updated with modern technology through the years.

When Airbus designed their fly-by-wire systems about thirty years ago, they were duplicated with two independent systems, programmed by separate teams. I think that the plane could fly on one system, if the other failed. Ittook time to develop, but no-one questions its reliability today.

The design and some of the things it gets up to, like moving fuel around to balance the aircraft help to increase the efficiency of the aircraft.

Efficiency and low pilot workloads help to sell aircraft.

Boeing is now trying desperately to catch up, but doing this in an ageing design appears to be difficult.

One thing I wonder is that is misloading of cargo a problem in the two 737 MAX crashes.

Supposing there was an imbalance of cargo on an Airbus! Would the plane’s computer realise this and move fuel to conpensate? Boeing must rely on a conventional approach using the flying controls.

Boeing are obviously worried as they have installed a special anti-stall conputer system called MCAS.

So what has this got to do with Bombardier’s Aventra train, that is suffering from software problems causing delays.

The Aventra is a radical design, that rewrites the rules, just like Airbus did. It relies heavily on a sophisticated computer system to control everything and bring a higher level of efficiency.

It will take time to get right, but just as Airbus did all those years ago, I believe they will.

The Aventra will change train design by as much as Airbus have changed airliner design.

March 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Have Boeing Gone As Far As They Can With The 737?

As a Control Engineer, who has spent a working life, solving mathematical problems, I am tending to think that in trying to stretch a fifty-year-old conventional design to match an all-composite one from Airbus, where fuel is noved around to balance the aircraft, Boeing have reached the end of the road and need a new aircraft.

They realised this with larger aircraft and produced the Dreamliner, which has been successful.

March 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Are The Boeing 737 MAX 8 Crashes Too Much Of A Coincidence?

When I was flying extensively as a private pilot, I used to follow air crash information closely. Many pilots do, as you might learn something that could be useful, even when you’re flying a humble Piper Arrow.

The two Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes have a lot in common.

  • Both airlines had a good service record.
  • Both planes had only been with their airlines for a few months.
  • Both captains were experienced pilots.
  • The planes crashed soon after takeoff, after pilots requested to return to the airport.
  • Both planes appeared to dive straight into the ground or sea.

This is too much of a coincidence for me.

I won’t speculate as to what the problem is, but I do feel that both airliners succumbed to the same design fault.

The only similar problem, I can remember is the series of incidents caused by cargo doors on DC-10 airliners in the 1970s.

American Airlines Flight 96 had the first problem in 1972 and luckily no-one was killed.

Some modifications were made, but this didn’t stop the crash outside Paris of Turkish Airlines Flight 981 in 1974, which killed all 346 people on board.

Did McDonnell Douglas and the American Authorities act as professionally as they should have?

I made a decision to never fly in a DC-10 again. I actually did, but it was eleven years later, after all the problems had been fixed.

What Will Be Trump’s Reaction?

Consider.

  • Boeing has a factory to build parts and assemble aircraft in China.
  • A lot of 737 MAX 8 airlines have been ordered by Chinese airliners.
  • China is developing an airliner called a C-919, that fits the same niche as some variants of a Boeing 737.
  • China has grounded all 737 Max 8 airliners in the country.
  • China and the USA are having trade talks over tariffs and trade.
  • Boeing is one of the largest American defence contractors.

So what will Trump tweet?

Conclusion

I won’t be flying in a Boeing 737 MAX 8 for several years.

March 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 8 Comments