After two fatal Max crashes, all of the Max aircraft in the world are believed to have been grounded. It was sold as a next generation aircraft. But it has now been involved in two fatal crashes in just five months. The Boeing Max 8 entered the market in , a part of the Max class, and became an instant hit. Within the first six months, more than 4, Boeing Max 8 planes had been ordered.
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After two fatal Max crashes, all of the Max aircraft in the world are believed to have been grounded. It was sold as a next generation aircraft.
But it has now been involved in two fatal crashes in just five months. The Boeing Max 8 entered the market in , a part of the Max class, and became an instant hit. Within the first six months, more than 4, Boeing Max 8 planes had been ordered. The new model was advertised as a rare win-win for both airlines and passengers. They added more cabin space, bigger windows and multicolored ceiling lights to help modernize the planes. But the company kept the name because it evoked a legacy of reliability and built trust.
Not only were they able to modernize the airplane with new engines, and new winglets, but they were able to keep that classic iconic look. The new model was also designed to help carriers save money. Really like the Max. Though the Max 8 planes did actually have a number of changes, including the size and location of the engines. But the F. Experts say that the lack of training for the new system may have helped cause a deadly crash with a Max 8 off the coast of Indonesia in October, killing people.
All of the Boeing Max 8s in the world are believed to have been grounded, while a second crash in Ethiopia is investigated. Boeing said it supported the decision to ground the planes and is cooperating with investigators. Boeing introduced the Max as a reliable fuel- and cost-efficient solution to air travel in the 21st century.
Chang W. At a factory near Seattle on Jan. In , Boeing had delivered just 14 of the jets, and it considered selling the program to a Japanese manufacturer, said Peter Morton, the marketing manager in the early s.
Morton said. Ultimately, Boeing invested. The eventually began to sell, bolstered by airline deregulation in Now nearly one in every three domestic flights in the United States is on a , more than any other line of aircraft. Each of the three redesigns came with a new engine, updates to the cabin and other changes.
But Boeing avoided overhauling the jet in order to appease airlines, according to current and former Boeing executives, pilots and engineers, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the open investigations. Airlines wanted new s to match their predecessors so pilots could skip expensive training in flight simulators and easily transition to new jets. Boeing remains under intense scrutiny nearly one year after the first Max jet was involved in a fatal accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration never required simulator training for pilots switching from one to the next. For instance, in the early years of the , jet travel was rapidly expanding across the world. Workers there could load bags by hand without a conveyor belt and maintain the engines without a lift, Mr. In the decades that followed, the low frame repeatedly complicated efforts to fit bigger engines under the wing.
By , Boeing executives were starting to question whether the design had run its course. The company wanted to create an entirely new single-aisle jet. Ludtke, the former Max cockpit designer who spent 19 years at Boeing.
Some engineers were frustrated they would have to again spend years updating the same jet, taking care to limit any changes, instead of starting fresh and incorporating significant technological advances, the current and former engineers and pilots said. The flight-control computers have roughly the processing power of s home computers. A Boeing spokesman said the aircraft was designed with an appropriate level of technology to ensure safety. When engineers did make changes, it sometimes created knock-on effects for how the plane handled, forcing Boeing to get creative.
The company added a new system that moves plates on the wing in part to reduce stress on the plane from its added weight. Boeing recreated the decades-old physical gauges on digital screens.
As Boeing pushed its engineers to figure out how to accommodate bigger, more fuel-efficient engines, height was again an issue.
Simply lengthening the landing gear to make the plane taller could have violated rules for exiting the plane in an emergency. Instead, engineers were able to add just a few inches to the front landing gear and shift the engines farther forward on the wing. The engines fit, but the Max sat at a slightly uneven angle when parked. While that design solved one problem, it created another. The larger size and new location of the engines gave the Max the tendency to tilt up during certain flight maneuvers, potentially to a dangerous angle.
The software was intended to operate in the background so that the Max flew just like its predecessor. Boeing also designed the system to rely on a single sensor — a rarity in aviation, where redundancy is common. If one of two sensors malfunctioned, the system could struggle to know which was right.
Airbus addressed this potential problem on some of its planes by installing three or more such sensors. Former Max engineers, including one who worked on the sensors, said adding a third sensor to the Max was a nonstarter. Previous s, they said, had used two and managers wanted to limit changes. Renzelmann was not involved in discussions about the sensors. The Max also lacked more modern safety features. On the Max, pilots still complete those checklists manually in a book. A second electronic system found on other Boeing jets also alerts pilots to unusual or hazardous situations during flight and lays out recommended steps to resolve them.
On s, a light typically indicates the problem and pilots have to flip through their paper manuals to find next steps. In the doomed Indonesia flight, as the Lion Air pilots struggled with MCAS for control, the pilots consulted the manual moments before the jet plummeted into the Java Sea, killing all people aboard. Tajer, the American Airlines captain.
The Max also runs on a complex web of cables and pulleys that, when pilots pull back on the controls, transfer that movement to the tail. The design allows for far more automation, including systems that prevent the jet from entering dangerous situations, such as flying too fast or too low. Some pilots said they preferred the cable-and-pulley system to fly-by-wire because they believed it gave them more control.
In the recent crashes, investigators believe the MCAS malfunctioned and moved a tail flap called the stabilizer, tilting the plane toward the ground. Once the power was cut, the pilots tried to regain control manually by turning a wheel next to their seat.
The is the last modern Boeing jet that uses a manual wheel as its backup system. But Boeing has long known that turning the wheel is difficult at high speeds, and may have required two pilots to work together. About 1 minute and 49 seconds later, the plane crashed, killing people.
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