Ascend takes a close look at MAX values, future

April 30, 2019: Aviation consultancy Ascend took a close look at the Boeing 737 MAX in a 30 minute Youtube video.

The consultancy begins and ends the video talking about other airplanes, but the middle focuses on the MAX, lease rates, values and considerations about the grounding.

The video is below.

29 Comments on “Ascend takes a close look at MAX values, future

  1. Is the data post Lion Air? I am thinking a lot of people were extermely uneasy even before Et320. In fact many were already calling for MAX grounding

  2. Worst case scenario for the MAX: Another crash soon after return to service, even if completely unrelated to MCAS. It would be another blow to public confidence, making it hard to resist pressure for another grounding.

    • Yeah, with the white-hot media spot light that is sure to follow any type of safety related incidents, and even those that have happier outcomes than the past two that resulted in the current grounding of the MAX models, for quite some time, fair or not, related to the current design/computer programming/training manual flaws or not, just about any kind of headline making incident(s) are going to be viewed in an unfavorable light by the media and general public (if not safety regulators around the world, too, where Boeing’s influence over captive government regulators like it has long had in the USA, and especially more so under the current ethically challenged Administration), that much is for sure.

      And here’s wishing that Boeing gets this “do-over”/“Mulligan” flawless this 2nd go round, because it’s hard to imagine the 737 MAX overcoming any type of incident resulting in mass fatalities anytime soon, whether it’s ultimately determined to be a design/operational flaw of the aircraft or not.

      Just don’t see how that model plane survives another doomed flight anytime soon.

      So, here’s wishing Boeing well – and that it moves heaven and earth to get things executed flawlessly and thereafter that it has a strong tailwind for a very long time because for sure there won’t be a third bite of the “safety Apple” in the public’s eyes if this bird doesn’t soar in our skies and perform nearly flawlessly for many years to come!

      • In the above at the conclusion of the first paragraph, please see the corrected version picking up as follows:

        “…public (if not safety regulators around the world, too, where Boeing’s influence over captive government regulators like it has long had in the USA, and especially more so under the current ethically challenged Administration is not nearly as predominant), that much is for sure.”

        With apologies for the earlier error! Often comments are written on the fly, and prone to abrupt ending due to other work commitments/meetings, incoming phone calls/emails (etc.), or reaching my stop on the NYC subways and buses – with quick uploads that cannot be edited until well after the editing window closes and the next opportunity for me to proofread opens!

  3. How much compensation for grounding will airlines get? The per month lease rate (300K), lost revenue to cover idled crew? 1 million a month per aircraft? What’s a ballpark value? I know American has 24 aircraft that could be grounded 6 months. What does the 350 million cost figure that has been given entail?

  4. The super puma is a good example of how Boeing could really get into trouble. I don’t think that we are there yet,but trust has been eroded.Another crash within a year or so with any connection to MCAS whatsoever and the damage will be permanent.
    North sea oil rig workers tend to have an engineering background and are not nervous types, but no amount of data and science will get them back into a super puma.It only took one crash to finish off the civil Chinook in the north sea.They need to have a replacement strategy.

    • Boeing certainly do need a replacement strategy. They’ve needed it for 25 years, and not once done it.

      I agree that with Boeing and the 737MAX we’re not there yet, at least not so far as airlines and the flying public are concerned.

      However, we might be there now so far as EASA, CAAC, and any other non-US regulators are concerned. They’re not going to risk their own reputations by letting any half-arsed fixes to MCAS back into the sky. No one likes being on the receiving end of litigation, but there’s more at stake for them than that.

      Imagine the consequences if the chaps in the CAAC took the FAA’s word that MCAS 2.0 was OK, but then there was a crash causing the death of a relative of a senior Chinese Communist Party member. The FAA, EASA personnel only have to worry about being sacked, sued. The CAAC personnel have to worry about being executed.

      That’ll focus minds somewhat. They’re going to take a very cautious view of the 737MAX going forwards. And, oh, China is the biggest market…

      Well, we’ll see what happens. I think that it’s unlikely that the rest of the world will let the 737MAX fly any time soon.

      • I disagree totally.

        Leaving out the implausible part of Chairman Mao going down in a 737 MAX, the FAA was astute enough to bring in all the relevant AHJs to the review.

        While we can all agree on the MCAS 1.0 issue, reality is that from a technical standpoint all the corrections are spot on and turn it into a non issue.

        The other AHJ may not agree to un-ground as soon as the FAA, but as long as those tech experts are satisfied MCAS 2.0 corrects the 1.0 disaster, then it will follow in short order.

        The replacement is past due, it will come eventually, but the issue right now for the Airlines and Boeing is getting the MAX back into acceptance. Both need it.

        And its no worse than the NG was, the manual trim issue not addressed though we may at least see it back into the manual and in training on how to deal with it.

        If manual trim is needed it won’t be because MCAS pushed it into it.

        • Your confidence is admirable, but regretfully unfounded. Take a look at, for example, and see if you can see any hint that the EASA is simply going to fall into line behind the FAA.

          And bear in mind, other EASA officials have been quoted as saying that this is also a “matter of trust”. That’s code phrase for, “if we think our approval is still being taken for granted, we’ll withhold it regardless”. Now, if you think Boeing’s recent statement that MCAS 1.0 was properly designed is going to help Boeing’s cause in salving such suspicion, I’d be fascinated to get an insight into the rationale.

          Personally speaking I think it’s more likely to result in a wholesale review by EASA of all Boeing certifications granted by the FAA.

          • I don’t know if my take is admirable, we won’t know for a month or so if its unfounded though will we?

            Clearly the FAA is making the right moves – its not required per agreements but it is required per the situation and they seem to recognize it.

            Now they could pulled a DM and take it all back, I don’t think so but its premature to say unfounded (well unless you are an Oracle)

        • Even if MCAS 2.0 is agreed to be OK, the potential challenge in the international review will stem from FAA’s slap-dash approval process for the MAX, which allowed the original MCAS to pass with minimal (or no?) oversight. The other agencies could potentially ask to review other areas of the MAX certification before lifting the flight ban.

          I have no deep insight to this, but to me it’s clear that the poor MCAS design by Boeing is only part of the problem. The other half is the lack of effective oversight by FAA, not only for MCAS but also for other MAX changes. Whether the other agencies make an issue of this remains to be seen..

          • That fairly accurate.

            If the FAA does it right the review is open to the other AHJs and they are fine.

            Does not mean they can’t or won’t keep looking but the engine mount position is the only major change on the 737.

            Like the 787 battery, it is likely the only really hosed up aspect. It was a key aspect for the so called commonality from Boeing’s BS (Boeing Spin of course)

            The other changes are really mechanical and not a pilot/flight issue.

      • No one is going to take the FAA or Boeings word for this. Its pretty clear they are as arrogant as they have ever been even after the 2 tragic crashes.

  5. A lot of rampant speculation.

    If an Asteroid hits a MAX that will of course wreck its future.

    Of course that will be miner to our wrecked future, I predict Boeing will go broke (well all of us will be broke)

    • @TransWorld
      ” I predict Boeing will go broke (well all of us will be broke)”


      So you do work for Boeing afterall.

      • Ahhh no, a previous admirer only.

        When I say broke I mean dead.

        Asteroids have a tendency to wipe life off a plant form time to time (or inflict massive damage)

  6. I’ve had a good giggle from these posts. Keep going, it’s fun!

    I think outside regulators will want to know why? Changing MCAS from a Stall Protection System to part of the Speed Trim System doesn’t cut the mustard. Outside regulators will want to know what MCAS is all about. Boeing and the FAA will have to tell the truth, because outside regulators will say: PROVE IT

    I still think the reason is that the 737 MAX likes to go nose up, especially during climb out. Bigger stabiliser? Horizonal rear mounted fins? Bigger elevators? Powered manual trim?

    Bit late to raise the undercarriage and move the engines back, adding a pylon!

    Next year at the earliest, but I do think aerodynamic changes are necessary!

    • I too am laughing as the relationship between speed trim and anti stall is all software.

      They both use the stabilizer and its drive system (trim).

  7. Having watched the video, what I find interesting is that even before the second crash, the larger 737MAX8 was trading at a significant discount to the A320 on the lease market, which presumably translates sooner or later into the price airlines and lessors are willing to pay for new-build.

    My impression was that prior to the re-engine efforts of A and B that a 737-800 would typically sell and lease for more than an A320.

    Am I off base?

    • That was Boeing’s claim but I never believed it.

      They lost a lot of marketing share thinking tat.

  8. Yes I think the NG has better fuel number then A320, and the Max 8 is also slightly better then 320NEO, but the 321 blows all 737s away. Looks like MAX is now inferior. I think Airlines will also have to charge less. I know I will pay up to 25% + to avoid flying on one.

    • 737-8 or A320 NEO? We would have to ask CFM which LEAP has better sfc, the A or B. Which better cargo capability, cabin space, noise levels, cockpit automation, safety track record, which sold better..

      • To date the A320NEO has 4,154 orders. The 737-8 has 2,704 orders, but there are also 1,439 “unspecified”, the vast majority of which will almost certainly eventually be -8’s. So the tally is close even though the MAX has not been on the market as long and some large traditional 737 customers haven’t yet ordered. In the long run I expect the -8 to outsell the 320NEO.

        Of course it will be a very different story when you add in the 321 vs. the -9 and -10. No contest there.

        • I think its a mistake to put the A321 out of context with the A320

          In reality Airbus has A320-100/200/300/400 not A318/319/320/321.

          So its overall 737 sales vs all A320 sales.

          There are close analogs then the jump at A321/-10.

          Boeing matches up fine at the -8 level, its a bit longer and a few more pax.

          It got its windows blown off by the A321 vs the 900/-9
          as that setup was not close to to the A321.

          What happens with the -10? Hard telling as the A321 is still better.

          Add in the 900/-9 as an adjunct to the 800/-8 and its a different picture at that level and a worse one at the A321 level.

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