The Boeing 737 MAX Misconceptions: An Engineer's View
At that time, I also was contacted by Boeing...
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August 26, 2019 - by Dhierin Bechai for seekingalpha.com
Boeing 737 MAX requires MCAS to achieve required feel forces.
MCAS is not anti-stall measure as widely portrayed.
How a weak MCAS design ended up in Boeing's end product is problematic.
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With two deadly crashes with the Boeing (BA) 737 MAX, Boeing has been in a negative spotlight for the past few months.
While a timely and global return to service is going to be complex, even after return to service, the Boeing 737 MAX is likely going to suffer from a damaged reputation for some time.
The reason for that is simple: A lot went wrong with the development and certification of the Boeing 737 MAX and/or its subsystems.
However, what we also see is that, in the media, there's a lot of "information" regarding the functioning of certain systems and the stability of the aircraft, which simply is incorrect. We live in a time where news pours into our life 24/7, so creating a certain image about a subject or person is extremely easy and so is pushing inaccurate news to laymen.
Because traditional journalists do often not quite excel in understanding the technicalities and have to make things better understandable for the laymen, a lot of nuance already is lost during the report, and that shapes a certain image, and that image starts to live its own life when readers couple their own views to stories.
In this report, I want to have a look at a few common misconceptions about the Boeing 737 MAX.
You will get the point of view from an aerospace engineer, not from an investor with a vested interest in any share price changes. My view on the Boeing 737 MAX remains largely unchanged vs. my observations after the first crash with the Boeing 737 MAX, and that's that the MCAS system design has been insufficiently robust and tested to control pitching motion with the authority it had in production aircraft.
That has been my view since late last year when we analyzed the first crash with the Boeing 737 MAX.
At that time, I also was contacted by Boeing which I believe shows that what I wrote in my earliest analyses was quite right while at the time Boeing still had some momentum going with a big group of investors putting all blame on the crew.
Since then, the focus indeed shifted toward the lackluster design and information supply regarding MCAS as well as the certification.
Today, we are at a point where a very vocal part of the people think the following about the Boeing 737 MAX:
The Boeing 737 MAX is an aerodynamically unstable aircraft that is enhanced via MCAS to prevent stalling. This instability is caused by the higher thrust, location and geometry of the CFM LEAP 1B turbofans used on the Boeing 737 MAX. The use of software is a clear signal that this aircraft should never have been developed.
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