Tag: Aviation

More Mistake Jet Follies

It appears that the Pentagon’s solution to problems with the F-35 is to declare that it’s not really a problem, or at least not a serious problem.

Cases in point, the F-35 will literally melt the back of the plane if it spends more than about a minute at supersonic speed, and the response is to remove this as a requirement:

An issue that risks damage to the F-35’s tail section if the aircraft needs to maintain supersonic speeds is not worth fixing and will instead be addressed by changing the operating parameters, the F-35 Joint Program Office told Defense News in a statement Friday.

The deficiency, first reported by Defense News in 2019, means that at extremely high altitudes, the U.S. Navy’s and Marine Corps’ versions of the F-35 jet can only fly at supersonic speeds for short bursts of time before there is a risk of structural damage and loss of stealth capability.

The problem may make it impossible for the Navy’s F-35C to conduct supersonic intercepts.

“This issue was closed on December 17, 2019 with no further actions and concurrence from the U.S. services,” the F-35 JPO statement read. “The [deficiency report] was closed under the category of ‘no plan to correct,’ which is used by the F-35 team when the operator value provided by a complete fix does not justify the estimated cost of that fix.

This is what happens when you have a deeply corrupt and completely dysfunctional acquisition process.

But wait, there’s more:

The F-35 Joint Program Office has put in place stopgap fixes for five key technical flaws plaguing America’s top-end fighter jet, but the problems have not been completely eliminated.

Last June, Defense News reported exclusive details about 13 major technical issues, known as category 1 deficiencies, impacting the F-35. The JPO has since quietly downgraded five of those issues to the lesser category 2.

A category 1 deficiency is defined as a shortfall that could cause death, severe injury or illness; could cause loss or damage to the aircraft or its equipment; critically restricts the operator’s ability to be ready for combat; prevents the jet from performing well enough to accomplish primary or secondary missions; results in a work stoppage at the production line; or blocks mission-critical test points.

In comparison, a category 2 deficiency is of lesser concern — something that requires monitoring, but not something that should impact operations.

But downgrading the category doesn’t mean the problems are solved, said Dan Grazier, who tracks military issues for the Project on Government Oversight.


The ALIS sovereign data transfer solution does not meet information assurance requirements.


Incorrect inventory data for complex assemblies continues to result in grounding conditions.


The F-35B and F-35C experienced incongruous lateral and longitudinal control response above a 20-degree angle of attack.

One of the most eye-opening issues identified in the initial report was that the F-35B and F-35C models used by the Marine Corps and Navy become difficult to control when operating above a 20-degree angle of attack — which would be seen in the extreme maneuvers a pilot might use in a dogfight or while avoiding a missile.

Pilots reported the aircraft experiencing unpredictable changes in pitch, as well as erratic yaw and rolling motions when coming in at that angle of attack


There were unanticipated thrust limits in jetborne flight on hot days.

That last one could cause the lost of an aircraft executing a vertical landing.

You can get a good summary from POGO, but the bottom line is that the aircraft is not combat ready.

It’s the Little Things

I would not have thought that a minor change to KC-135 wiper blades can improve fuel efficiency by over 1%:

The U.S. Air Force has discovered that vertically mounted wiper blades on the KC-135 Stratotanker reduce aircraft drag by about 1% during cruise conditions, potentially saving the service $7 million annually in fuel costs.

The wiper blades on the Boeing KC-135 traditionally are positioned horizontally on the windshield as part of the original 1950s-era design. As aviation aerodynamics research later indicated, placing wipers vertically when not in use could improve aerodynamic efficiency.


The team used a KC-135 from Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio for comprehensive airframe ground testing. A computational fluid dynamics model revealed a reduction in drag of 0.8% for repositioning the blade vertically and 0.2% for a slimmer wiper design. After collecting sufficient data, the team is ready to begin airworthiness testing and certify the updated design with the FAA.

First, I find this intensely amusing, and second, why did it take until 75 years into the jet age to discover this?

Some Garbage Airline ———

You know, I don’t wanna name an actual airline so let’s just make one up; let’s call it, “Delta Airlines,” just instructed its employees not to tell other employees if they test positive for Covid-19, because allowing employees to take precautions might interfere with the cash flow.

Can we find a way to throw these motherf%$#ers in jail?

Delta Air Lines has directed flight attendants who test positive for the coronavirus to “refrain from notifying” fellow crew members or posting about their health on social media, according to an email HuffPost reviewed.

The email, sent Thursday afternoon to more than 25,000 flight attendants, stated that Delta management will “follow an established process” to alert co-workers who recently came in contact with flight attendants who “are symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19,” the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

“Please refrain from notifying other crew members on your own,” read the email, which was sent at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time. “Once you have completed the reporting procedures listed above, leaders will follow the established process to notify any impacted flight attendants.”

Boeing Cannot Make Anything Anymore, Part MMMDCCXXIV

It turns out that Boeing, the company that invented the airborne tanker, has mission critical fuel leaks on its new KC-46 tanker.

Seriously, saved this issue 60 years ago, and now, after 25 years of stock buybacks, they can’t even prevent a fuel tanker from leaking fuel:

The U.S. Air Force has upgraded an existing deficiency for the KC-46A Pegasus fuel system to Category 1.

The service’s program office first identified “excessive fuel leaks” in July after an air refueling test. The Air Force and Boeing are working together to determine the root cause and implement corrective actions. A Category 1 deficiency means the government has identified a risk that jeopardizes lives or critical assets.

“The KC-46 Program Office continues to monitor the entire KC-46 fleet and is enhancing acceptance testing of the fuel system to identify potential leaks at the factory where they can be repaired prior to delivery,” according to an Air Force statement.

Every senior executive at the firm needs to be fired, including the board of directors, and stock buybacks need to be banned for the next 4 decades.

Corona Virus Claims the First Airline

Low cost carrier Flybe has ceased operations:

Only five days ago, the boss of British Airways’ owner IAG warned that the coronavirus would push weaker airlines “over the edge”. Little surprise, then, that Flybe should be an early victim: a perennial struggler to turn a profit, flying routes that few others deemed commercially viable around the UK. But, even at such a geographical remove from the current outbreak, it is unlikely to be the last.

For now, the effects of Covid-19 on airlines echo the pattern among the human population: standstill in China, tolerated by the stronger carriers abroad, but potentially fatal to those less robust. And Flybe’s pre-existing conditions included an unusually onerous tax burden of air passenger duty affecting domestic flights, dampened demand alongside Brexit, and increased fuel and leasing costs from a falling pound. Its investors – a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic swooped in last year – had sensed a final opportunity after its share price had tanked; but by January they were begging the government, in vain, for assistance to stay alive.

 This will probably not be the last.

More Boeing Bad News

This is aircraft manufacturing 101, don’t leave garbage in the aircraft, and Boeing cannot do this:

Boeing Co. has found debris inside the fuel tanks of about two-thirds of undelivered 737 MAX jets inspected so far, according to federal and aviation-industry officials, indicating a bigger production-related problem than the company previously suggested.


While Boeing disclosed the debris problem publicly earlier this week, the latest details shed more light on the scale of the issue. Industry officials said Boeing has so far inspected about 50 of roughly 400 MAX planes awaiting delivery once regulators allow the jet back in the air. Materials left behind include tools, rags and boot coverings, according to industry officials familiar with the details.


On Friday, the Boeing spokesman said inspections first found the fuel-tank debris in late November and immediately notified the Federal Aviation Administration. He said the manufacturer has added safeguards to prevent workers from leaving materials inside fuel tanks at its 737 factory in Renton, Wash., and beefed up efforts across the company.


The inspections have raised red flags, some of the officials said, because Boeing’s commercial-airplane unit traditionally has been recognized as a leader in devising systems to combat such production lapses. All tools used inside aircraft are supposed to be logged and tagged, with employees double-checking each other to verify each piece of equipment is removed. The Boeing spokesman said the company has ramped up such checks to prevent future problems.

Boeing has become a hedge fund that makes aircraft, and hedge funds do not build aircraft well.

This is Will Never Save Money

Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, wants to restructure the cost profile of the next US fighters to front load the costs, on the theory that this will save money down the road through Silicon Valley style “Distruption.”

Well, that just pegged my bullsh%$ meter:

The U.S. Air Force’s acquisition chief said Feb. 18 that he expects a congressional backlash over how a recent revamp of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) procurement strategy could drive up the average procurement unit cost (APUC) of a sixth-generation fighter.

But the Air Force remains committed to an acquisition strategy for an F-22 replacement that accepts higher upfront costs in order to save money during the sustainment phase of the program, said Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force, speaking during an “Ask Me Anything” webinar for the service’s acquisition workforce. The Pentagon calculates APUC by dividing total procurement costs, including recurring and nonrecurring bills, by the number of units purchased.


But Roper, who was appointed in 2017, said in early 2019 that the strategy had changed. The details of the highly secretive NGAD program are murky, but Roper has compared the new acquisition strategy to the business model for the Apple iPhone. Apple does not sustain the iPhone beyond a few years, so it makes profits by charging a premium on the design at the point of sale. Although the upfront cost is higher, Apple’s business model incentivizes an external community of software developers to create applications for the iPhone at little to no cost.

Roper wants to apply a similar philosophy to the development of the next generation of combat aircraft. He wants traditional defense prime contractors to transition away from a sustainment model for profits and incentivize them to focus on design by offering them a premium.

An iPhone has a life of about 3 years., and with the exception of electricity to keep it charged, it has a sustainment cost of $0.00.

A fighter aircraft is a completely different life cycle.

This is a particularly disastrous form of bullsh%$ bingo.


Of course they can’t.

They were the ones who spent tens of billions of dollars on stock buybacks instead of investing in new aircraft as a part of a systematic plan to allow upper management to loot the company through stock options:

In December, when Boeing’s board of directors fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg, some corporate governance experts and investment analysts wondered what took so long.


Investigations, lawsuits and news stories revealing festering internal problems had piled up. Muilenburg faced public grillings and calls for his resignation during Congressional hearings. Revenues and stock values plummeted. Worst of all, Boeing’s once sterling reputation for quality and safety was badly tarnished.

The prolonged hesitance to fire Muilenberg in the face of spiraling crises underscores concerns about the board’s oversight of the company, even as it faced the most troubling period of its 103-year history. It also raises questions about the board’s culpability in the tragedies and its ability to reestablish confidence in the company among regulators, Wall Street and the flying public.

“Nine months is a long time — it’s a forever in business for a crisis like this,” said Charles Elson, a professor of finance and head of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. “So, the question is, where was the board during that time? If they only came around ‘late in the game,’ well why is that?”

Because the board of directors are largely a creature of corrupt upper management whose goal is get their vigorish before the whole house of cards collapses.

The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight Buys the Plane That Can’t Shoot Straight

I am referring, of course, to the trillion dollar F-25 mistake jet, whose cannon is wildly inaccurate, and puts cracks in the airframe:

Add a gun that can’t shoot straight to the problems that dog Lockheed Martin Corp.’s $428 billion F-35 program, including more than 800 software flaws.

The 25mm gun on Air Force models of the Joint Strike Fighter has “unacceptable” accuracy in hitting ground targets and is mounted in housing that’s cracking, the Pentagon’s test office said in its latest assessment of the costliest U.S. weapons system.


The number of software deficiencies totaled 873 as of November, according to the report obtained by Bloomberg News in advance of its release as soon as Friday. That’s down from 917 in September 2018, when the jet entered the intense combat testing required before full production, including 15 Category 1 items. What was to be a year of testing has now been extended another year until at least October.

“Although the program office is working to fix deficiencies, new discoveries are still being made, resulting in only a minor decrease in the overall number” and leaving “many significant‘’ ones to address, the assessment said.

This procurement program really is a complete cluster-f%$#.

The Pentagon Spends Too Much on Acronyns

Case in point, a digital autopilot based gunnery enhancer that the USAF has named Digitally Enhanced Aiming Through Control Law (Death Claw).

The concept is simple, using the flight control system to aid gunnery accuracy, but someone spent weeks coming up with this name:

A 40-year-old idea to improve strafing accuracy by transferring flight control of a manned fighter to the autopilot to aim the gun is being revived as the U.S. Air Force looks internally for innovations that can be demonstrated and delivered quickly.

An operational version of the Digitally Enhanced Aiming Through Control Law (Death Claw) system is in development less than two years after the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School conceived and performed an eight-month demonstration.

The concept is sound technically, but the name is beyond silly.

Also, I recall a similar system being tested on an F-15 in the late 1980s.

Boeing Cannot Make Planes Anymore

It now looks like the Remote Vision System (RVS) for the Boeing KC-46 tanker is still not working properly, and may never do so, which would mean that the boom operator has to go back to a station at the rear of the aircraft:

The U.S. Air Force does not believe Boeing’s proposal for the KC-46 Remote Vision System (RVS) will meet the program’s critical performance parameters, according to a service official.

This is based on evidence the service has seen to date, Lt. Gen. Jon Thomas, Air Mobility Command deputy, told Aerospace DAILY Jan. 29.

“The tanker is not capable of all of its missions and won’t be until the problems with the Remote Vision System are fixed,” he said.

The Air Force is counting on the KC-46A Pegasus to recapitalize its tanker fleet and delays to the program only exacerbate the service’s capacity problem.

“It’s really hard for us to consider the KC-46 part of our operational capacity,” Thomas said.

Seriously, if there is anything in aviation where Boeing should be the center of excellence, it is aerial refueling, and they cannot get that right.

Same Sh%$ Different Name

One of the selling points of the F-35 Lightning II is its prognostics based maintenance system.

Unfortunately, this has turned into a completely non-functional sh%$ show.

In response, Lockheed and the Pentagon have given the system a new name, and started back at square one on the software.

To quote Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

The US military is dumping its Autonomous Logistics Information System (ALIS) in favour of ODIN as it tries to break with the complex past of its ailing F-35 fighter jet maintenance IT suite.

ALIS is the software suite that comes bundled with the F-35 fighter jet. A Lockheed Martin product, ALIS is intended to be a proactive maintenance suite: it tracks the health of each jet, tells supply systems when to order parts and tells maintainers what needs doing and when.

At least, that was the theory. Instead the all-encompassing suite has become so unwieldy and problem-ridden that the US armed forces are ditching it in favour of a new thing called ODIN, or Operational Data Integrated Network.


Far from meeting its originally envisioned role, ALIS was so bad that the US Government Accountability Office, an auditor similar to Britain’s National Audit Office, reckoned one US Air Force unit wasted 45,000 working hours per year working around ALIS’s shortcomings. In 2018, US Marine Corps station Beaufort was suffering spare part shortages of up to two years, thanks to ALIS making a hash of its spare part systems.

So, you have the same folks who made a complete dogs breakfast out of maintaining the F-35 are going to start from square one, with the same people, and make it all better.


I’m Expecting a Government Bailout

Between lost revenues, and penalties to airlines, I’m guessing that Boeing wishes that it hadn’t blown billions on stock buybacks to boost executive stock options:

Boeing Co. on Tuesday pushed back its forecast for when regulators will clear the return of the 737 MAX to commercial service, saying it doesn’t expect approval until midyear at the earliest.

The plane maker said its new estimate for the Federal Aviation Administration’s signoff—which people briefed on the matter expect in June or July—takes into account the need for approving training for pilots and “experience to date with the certification process.”

The global MAX fleet has been grounded since last March following two fatal crashes, with Boeing repeatedly revising when it expected regulators to approve changes to the flight-control systems implicated in the accidents, as well as new training regimes. It previously forecast the FAA would lift its flight ban and approve training by January, with the expectation that it would still take some months before the MAX again carried passengers.

The delays have extended far longer than most airlines and industry analysts expected, and leave the global passenger-jet fleet short of almost 5% of planned capacity for a second peak summer season in a row, adding to the hefty compensation Boeing owes its customers.

The latest projection isn’t in response to the emergence of any new technical problems or fresh friction with regulators, according to people familiar with the matter.

Right now, Boeing is seeking another $10 billion in cash after having spent $43 billion over the last 7 years on stock buybacks:

The first thing to know about Boeing’s mad scramble to line up “$10 billion or more” in new funding via a loan from a consortium of banks, on top of the $9.5 billion credit-line it obtained in October last year – efforts to somehow get through its cash-flow nightmare caused by the 737 MAX fiasco – is that the company blew, wasted, and incinerated $43.4 billion to buy back its own shares since June 2013, having become a master of financial engineering instead of aircraft engineering.

If Boeing had focused on its business – such as designing a new plane instead of doctoring an ancient design to save money and time – and if it hadn’t blown $43 billion on share-buybacks but had invested this money in a new design, those two crashes wouldn’t have occurred, and it wouldn’t have to beg for cash now. The chart below shows the cumulative share-buybacks in billions of dollars since Q1 2009. In Q2 2019, it belatedly halted the share buybacks (share buyback data from YCharts):

As is always the case with share buybacks, the idea is to buy high in order to drive shares even higher. This is what you learn on the first day of Financial Engineering 101. So Boeing stopped buying back its shares in Q1 2009 when its shares had plunged into the $35-range, at which point they were a good deal, and then recommenced share-buybacks in Q2 2013 when its shares had already risen to the $100-range.

The second thing to know about Boeing’s mad scramble to borrow another $10 billion is that it already has a huge amount of debt and other liabilities, and that its total liabilities ($136 billion) exceed its total assets ($132 billion) by about $4 billion as of September 2019, meaning that it has negative net equity, that the share buybacks have destroyed its equity, which is what share buybacks do to the balance sheet.

It also means that every dime in “cash” and “cash equivalent” listed on the balance sheet is borrowed. And this is about to get a whole lot worse. In October 2019, Boeing had already obtained a new credit line of $9.5 billion, which about doubled the size of its existing credit line. Credit lines serve as liquidity backup.

And now Boeing is scrambling to pile “$10 billion or more” in new loans on top of it.

Wolf Richter’s understated take on this, that, “Putting a priority on financial engineering over actual engineering can get very expensive,” gets to the core of the problem.

Another Rock Turned Over at Boeing

From recently released emails, we learn that Lion Air wanted simulator training to transition to the 737 MAX, and Boeing aggressively lobbied them not to do so, because it would be bad for their sales pitch.

When there is a safety issue, and Lion Air is on the side of the angels, you have completely screwed the pooch:

Boeing’s efforts to keep 737 Next Generation and MAX training as similar as possible included limiting external discussion of the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) as early as 2013, as well as an aggressive lobbying effort to dissuade Lion Air from requiring simulator sessions for its pilots, new documents released by the manufacturer reveal.

The documents, comprising external and internal emails and internal instant message exchanges, underscore the priority Boeing placed on positioning the MAX as nearly the same as its predecessor, the 737 Next Generation (NG). They also offer some of the most compelling evidence yet that Boeing consciously chose less costly approaches over safer, more conservative ones during the MAX’s development.

Boeing determined early on that ensuring 737 pilots could transition to the MAX without simulator time would be a huge cost advantage when pitching the model to customers. It also realized that regulators could consider some of the MAX’s new features as too much to cover in computer-based training (CBT). The MCAS, a flight control law that commands automatic stabilizer movements in certain flight profiles, was chief among them.


Boeing’s solution: refer to the MCAS externally as an addition to the 737 Speed Trim, not by its name. Boeing knew the approach might be questioned, so it sought input from its FAA-designated authorized representative (AR) “to ensure this strategy is acceptable” for certification.


The plan extended to keeping mention of the MCAS out of MAX pilot training materials. Its erroneous activation played key roles in two MAX accidents—Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019—that led regulators to ground the MAX in mid-March. The fleet remains grounded while Boeing addresses regulators’ concerns, including adding MCAS training and modifying the system’s logic.

Lion Air was the first Asia-Pacific customer to order the MAX, and would be one of the model’s first operators. In June 2017, with its first delivery just days away, the airline was still developing its training curriculum, and simulator sessions were on the table. The airline’s early entry-into-service status meant other MAX customers would be monitoring its progress and fleet-related decisions, including training.

“I would like to discuss what if any requirements beyond the Level B CBT the DGCA has required of you, or if your airline has determined any additional training is required,” a Boeing employee asked a Lion Air 737 training captain in early June 2017.

The captain replied that the airline “decided to give the transition pilot one simulator familiarization” in addition to CBT.

“There is absolutely no reason to require your pilots to require a MAX simulator to begin flying the MAX,” the Boeing employee replied. “Once the engines are started, there is only one difference between NG and MAX procedurally, and that is that there is no OFF position of the gear handle. Boeing does not understand what is to be gained by a three-hour simulator session, when the procedures are essentially the same.”

The Boeing employee then listed six regulators that “have all accepted the CBT requirement as the only training required” to transition to the MAX. “I’d be happy to share the operational difference training with you, to help you understand that a MAX simulator is both impractical and unnecessary for your pilots.”

In a subsequent email, the Boeing employee provided presentations on the MAX technical and operational differences for the Lion Air captain and his team. The Boeing employee also urged Lion Air to consider alternatives to simulator time, such as a flight-hour minimum in 737s or ensuring a pilot’s first MAX flight is always done alongside a pilot with MAX experience.


Around the same time as the Lion Air exchange, two Boeing employees discussed the airline’s concerns in an instant-message chat.

“Now [Lion Air] might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity,” one Boeing employee wrote.

If someone senior at Boeing does not go to jail over this, then the law is a lie.

The Boeing 737 MAX is Toast

The FAA is looking at requiring significant simulator time for 737 MAX pilot certification, which would make the MCAS system largely irrelevant, the pitch up issue that it was created to combat was pretty minor from a stick and rudder perspective, and would likely mean that there will be very few new orders for the airliner:

Federal aviation regulators are considering mandatory flight-simulator training before U.S. pilots can operate Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jets again, according to government and industry officials familiar with the deliberations, a change that would repudiate one of the plane maker’s longstanding arguments.

The Federal Aviation Administration months ago rejected the idea—which would entail extra costs and delays for airlines—as unnecessary. But in recent weeks, these officials said, requiring such training before returning the grounded U.S. MAX fleet to the air has gained momentum among agency and industry safety experts.

“The deliberations appear headed for a much different direction than before,” according to one of the officials, who described increased FAA emphasis on the topic.

Boeing has long maintained 737 MAX pilots don’t need supplemental simulator training beyond what pilots receive to fly other 737 models, a stance that many FAA officials now regard with increasing skepticism, according to the officials.

The FAA’s changed outlook on simulator training has arisen partly because Boeing and regulators are proposing rewriting some emergency checklists for pilots and creating some new ones, according to some of these officials.

In addition, one of these officials said, the FAA expects certain cockpit alert lights to be updated so they can notify crews of potential problems with an automated stall-prevention feature called MCAS. Misfires of that system led to two fatal MAX nosedives in less than five months, taking 346 lives and resulting in global grounding of the planes in March.

Simulator training typically is used to ensure flight crews understand and can respond appropriately to numerous changes in emergency procedures or alerts.

Since at least early fall, regulators in Europe, Canada and some Asian markets have signaled they are leaning toward mandating extra simulator training as part of their independent reviews of the MAX’s safety.


Complicating the FAA’s decision is an industrywide shortage of functioning 737 MAX simulators.

In response, the FAA, Boeing and airlines are considering installing new software in existing 737 NG simulators so they can better mimic the characteristics of MAX jetliners, according to these officials.

Meanwhile, agency chief Steve Dickson, a former airline captain and safety executive, plans to personally test software fixes and training changes as soon as the end of January or early February.

A year ago, when the FAA was analyzing earlier versions of MCAS fixes, Boeing argued strongly against upfront simulator requirements. The company said in a letter to the agency that differences between 737 NG and MAX models relating to the MCAS software “do not affect pilot knowledge, skills, abilities or flight safety.” At the time, FAA and Boeing officials tentatively agreed on training sessions that aviators could perform by themselves on tablets or laptop computers.


Separately, a broader internal review of the MAX’s design by Boeing, extending well beyond software questions, has uncovered a potential safety problem stemming from the location of certain wire bundles inside the tail.


An FAA spokesman said the agency will ensure that all safety related issues identified during the review process are addressed before the MAX is approved for return to passenger service.

The central selling point of the 737 MAX was that 737 NG pilots could transition to the newer plane with little more than an hour or so training session on an iPad.

This is not going to happen, and it appears that the timeline of certification for the aircraft is still uncertain.

Unless the name of your airline rhymes with mouth-fest, there is no reason for an air carrier to order a new narrow body from Boeing.

I’ve Heard about Getting Back on the Horse, but This Is Ridiculous

It appears that the Boeing’s failure to properly implement automation on the 737 MAX, to the tune of 346 dead passengers, has led the Seattle (Chicago) aviation giant double down on automation in its airliners.

It’s clear that Boeing has neither the skill set nor the corporate culture to properly implement flight control automation, but they want to get rid of the pilots.

To quote Nietzsche, “It is like the bite of a dog into a stone, it is a stupidity.”

Boeing Co. is increasingly committed to transferring more control of aircraft from pilots to computers after two crashes exposed flaws in an automated system on its 737 MAX that overpowered aviators in the disasters.

Executives at Boeing and other makers of planes and cockpit-automation systems for some time have believed more-sophisticated systems are necessary to serve as backstops for pilots, help them assimilate information and, in some cases, provide immediate responses to imminent hazards.

Now, such changes also seek to address the fact that average pilots may not react to problems—including those tied to automation—as quickly or proficiently as designers traditionally assumed, according to former and current Boeing officials and industry executives. The view took hold after a flight-control system known as MCAS put two MAX jets into fatal nosedives within the past 14 months that together killed 346 people. “We are going to have to ultimately almost—almost—make these planes fly on their own,” then Boeing Chairman Dave Calhoun said in a CNBC interview in November. Mr. Calhoun will become the plane maker’s chief executive Jan. 13.

The first rule of being in a hole is to stop digging, something which completely escapes the  finance types now running the company.

And the Inevitable Defenestration………

Boeing has fired its CEO Dennis Muilenburg for the recent chain of disasters that have beset the company.

The problem is not Muilenberg though, it’s the whole company, which has moved to a finance driven clusterf%$#.

I’m wondering if Boeing will be facing a government bailout, like Lockheed did in the 1970s.

This is not a company that has had setbacks, this is a company that has completely lost its way.

737 Line Shut Down

This is what happens when you let Wall Street values run a business.

Nine months after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the 737 MAX, Boeing finally pulled the plug on the jet’s production Monday. The company announced it’s temporarily halting the assembly lines in Renton from January, with no specified timeline for a restart.

However, in a welcome surprise for the 12,000-strong Renton workforce, Boeing said there will be no layoffs.

“During this time, it is our plan that affected employees will continue 737-related work, or be temporarily assigned to other teams in Puget Sound,” Boeing said in a statement.

Boeing has faced an unprecedented crisis, with more than 700 MAX aircraft grounded worldwide, including nearly 400 built since the grounding. Many have been in storage so long they’ll need extensive maintenance before they fly. The production stoppage will stop the parked fleet from growing to unmanageable proportions, while retaining the workforce will allow a smoother restart of the assembly lines when that time comes.

If this shutdown runs longer than a month, their supply chain is going to take weeks to come back up to speed.

This is why you don’t let finance types run your business.

Boeing will be suffering as a result of Harry Stonesphincter for years to come.