Pontifications: Compensation claims against Boeing beginning to ramp up

By Scott Hamilton

May 27, 2019, © Leeham News: Airlines are increasingly going public with desires to be compensated by Boeing for the grounding of the 737 MAX.

Norwegian Air Shuttle and Spice Jet said shortly after the MAX grounding March 13 they were going to seek compensation from Boeing.

Air China has asked for compensation, reports Reuters. Other airlines with grounded MAXes are also beginning to notify Boeing about compensation claims.

  • Today’s paywall will be delayed to take advantage of the Embraer pre-Paris Air Show briefings that begins today. I’ll be reporting from Brazil.

Compensation for delivery delays is also a risk to Boeing. This already has reached $1bn, one aviation lawyer estimates, and stands to climb by billions more, depending on how long new deliveries are delayed.

But Boeing is preparing to take a preemptive defensive move against these latter claims.

Excusable delays

According to market intelligence, Boeing’s legal department is already notifying some customers that the grounding falls within the “excusable delay” clause of sales contracts. Other customers have yet to hear from Boeing.

This is a similar approach Boeing took with the 787 grounding in 2013. This last three months and delayed deliveries as a result.

Boeing, says one lessor that lived through that period, essentially dared customers to sue it.

Boeing “generally has expansive excusable delay provisions” in its sales contracts, says one buyer from the manufacturer. Boeing’s standard position is “you can always sue me” if something goes wrong. Boeing will take the position it isn’t liable, this company indicated.

Boeing’s Chicago corporate communications department did not respond to a request for comment.

Indeed, it’s been clear that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg left himself, and Boeing, plenty of wiggle room when he repeatedly said the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airways accidents were a “chain of events” and pilots didn’t “completely” follow procedures.

In addition to the 387 MAXes grounded worldwide, there are 516 more that were scheduled for delivery this year when the MAX was grounded March 13, according to analysis of data.

Deliveries in 2020-21 may also be affected, depending on how the timing of the recertification of MAX rolls out globally and how quickly Boeing ramps up production.

There are 591 MAXes scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 630 in 2021, at the originally projected production rates. Rates were reduced in mid-April to 42 737NGs and MAXes a month. The split between the two models isn’t known outside Boeing, but there few remaining NGs to be delivered in the program run.

Muilenburg’s MCAS

I was at the Airbus Innovation Days last week with more than 130 global journalists. Naturally, the Boeing MAX crisis was the subject of a lot of sideline talk among us.

To a person, the journalists are appalled at Boeing’s handling of the communications and messaging, and of Muilenburg’s various statements.

Also to a person, we believe the corporate lawyers, not the corporate communications team, are calling the shots in the messaging.

One reporter likened Muilenburg’s we-own-it, no-the-pilots-did-it approach to his own MCAS.

First, Muilenburg’s nose would rise with the we-own-it approach.

Then his nose would fall with the-pilots-did-it claim.

Then repeat, over and over.

There was general eye rolling that Boeing would engage “celebrities” to help rebuild the MAX brand.

It should be noted that there was absolutely no gloating or even a hint of it by any Airbus people. First, they realize any grounding that happens to Boeing could happen to Airbus.

Second, with two crashes that killed 346 people is not something to gloat about.

Airbus officials empathize with Boeing.


65 Comments on “Pontifications: Compensation claims against Boeing beginning to ramp up

  1. Just a guess but I suspect that the dominance legal has shown within Boeing for some time now (eg C Series case before this, ongoing WTO) must be getting the backs up of quite a few key people, so I ‘d be surprised if there isn’t a power struggle going on internally, especially with the expectation that lots of senior heads will roll over MAX if Boeing is going to be seen to have cleared house as part of rebuilding trust.

    Meantime, I hope for everyone’s sake (passengers, airlines, competitors etc.) that Boeing and the FAA match the strong arming on MAX with a genuinely corrected, back to the way it ought to be, standard of engineering and certification. At least then airlines could feel comfrtable that engineering was of quality sufficient to mean the risk of a situation involving Boeing’s strong arm would be manageably low.

    Does seem a bit risky though to try a strong arm bluff when many of your customers are not domestic and your country’s leadership are taking you into a trade war.

  2. Thanks again, Scott, for yet another compelling article.
    Minor hint: I guess you meant “…empathize with…”

  3. On March 11th Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg made the comment that Boeing were going to “make a safe airplane even safer”.

    To make such a statement while standing on the graves of the 189 people who lost their lives in the Lion Air crash is an indictment of Boeing’s approach to PR.

  4. I suppose the airlines don’t worry about the fine print so much when they get that discount off list price.

    • That why Ryanair will order more 737MAX (200’s?), the price should be really good.

  5. @Scott 3rd last word… Think you mean empathize? Autocorrect’s a bitch.

    Great article… Thanks again.

  6. ’emphasize’ should be spelled ’empathize’, oder ?

      • Scott: Don’t worry, we have a good excuse. The young whipper snappers can help us out now!

  7. I think the compensations will be case by case. If airlines extend 737NG leases damage will be limitted. If they can’t grow / can’t get temporary alternative capacity it’s larger.

    Boeing basically doesn’t want to fight customers. Because in the end, they pay all the company cars, mortages, salaries, investments. You don’t want to provide them a solid excuse to buy more Airbus aircraft in the future.

    • Hard telling with Boeing. Stay tuned on the predictions.

      I can see the sacrificial alter being prepared now (rightfully so) and then blame it all on Mr. M. though the board is complicit in it as well.

  8. Chances are high that at least one – if not more – disgruntled customer (Chinese?) WILL sue, at which time all the discovery items – internal memos, texts, etc- coming to the open should make fascinating reading. Think Watergate tapes👍.
    Truly, this will become the gift that keeps on giving for Boeing PR and legal types. For engineers, not so much!

    • Engineers are not stupid, there will be notes in the record that showed objections.

      We don’t always win against management (shoot we mostly don’t win) but we can and do leave trails to ensure that the blame gets pined where it should.

    • Sorry I don’t see how a civil case necessarily lead to all the info coming out. Boeing May have leaks but if they keep their internal information secure then the only judgement will be whether the aircraft development was of a standard acceptable to meet the certification. This is a ridiculously circular argument as it appears that Boeing have dictated those certification rules! The fact is that this becomes a game of proving negligence or contractual failure (sorry if this does not translate out of the UK). This will be notoriously difficult to do unless there is either a criminal indictment (chance close to zero IMHO) or multiple smoking guns (chance very slightly greater). The issue that Boeing should consider is the ongoing relationship with their customers. Simply MOL will spend $12bn in the next few years on MAXs. This is not just about contracts, they must make him feel like a king otherwise he can find a way to make this contract stall. Think AAB on steroids. If Boeing lose the faith of these big and powerful operators will force themselves into Airbus reckoning, maybe not today but in 5 or 10 years.

      How do you think BBD feel now? Having three players in this space (including A220-500) would have made life very interesting

      • Ordering planes is quite complicated. But after Boeing tried to increase the price of Delta’s initial CSeries order by 4 times, Delta announced the outcome of ordering more B737s in stretched models, or the A321. Delta order 100 A321, as most people know. If Boeing these past 20 years had been more concerned about keeping up than lashing out, their stock today would be over $500.

      • If its civil then it depends on how the settlement (if any) come out. Those can be and today are usually sealed. If someone wants to make a point though they don’t have to agree.

        Criminal though, that is open court.

        Stay tuned. A lot in motion we won’t know for some time yet.

      • Discovery in a US civil suit will open any internal item for all to see.

        Aldo, a civil suit will be pursuing two types of damages:

        Damnum emergens: direct costs I.e. lease payments incurred while the bird is sitting somewhere. This is straightforward and easy to value. B has no defense in my view and will pay these pronto.

        Lucrum cessans : opportunity losses or profits not realized due to the lack given of the necessary and scheduled a/c
        failing timely delivery. This is a much more complicated kettle of fish and difficult to claim legally, but commercially this is the most sensitive issue for B to manage- probably thru delivery discounts for forthcoming orders.

        In any case very substantial fact finding will,occur and that will not be good news for B.

        • Only if it goes to trial.

          If Boeing settles its going to try to seal the case and litigants can’t talk about it as their claims have been satisfied (supposedly, often its the best the lawyers think they can do)

          Amazing when its easy to say, yes we made a mistake, we are fixing it, compensate victims and airlines and its over.

  9. It is already established that the MCAS system is being rectified to correct the flaw in the original MCAS system. This is not an update as Boeing CEO keep saying to make a safe plane safer. Boeing can and will use the clause “Boeing “generally has expansive excusable delay provisions” in its sales contracts” but in this situation nothing is excusable as it is fraudulant, total negligent and irresponsible to offer for sale and sold the MAX knowing that there is a flaw in the MCAS system which can and has caused the crash of two planes with the loss of over 350 lives.
    The constant denial and non acceptance of fault by Boeing is not going to help rebuild the confidence of Airlines and the travelling public because how is the plane going to be safe to return to flight if Boeing keep saying that there is nothing wrong with the plane? Boeing need to heed that no one is above the law unless you are Trump who believes he is above the law and cover up everything that shows the contrary. Transparency is paramount in industry and government, failing which spells doom!!!!

    • I think it goes overboard when you say Beoing knew it had a flaw in MCAS when they sold hte 737.

      I would say they did not, its not an excuse for how thgey managed the program and they did set themselves up for it.

      Once Lion Air 610 went in, then fully yes they did.

      Clearly from that point on they are liable for the whole mess and they are liable for the development path (or lack there of) that lead to it. No one at that point was predicting MCAS would do what it did. So no, they did not KNOW.

      Were people unhappy with MCAS? We don’t know yet. The fact that the development team added authority is odd if they were.

      The serious question here is if Boeing denies it all, then they will indeed start a trickle of people going to Airbus as they can shift.

      All it takes is stock buyback for the year to compensate airlines for the mess they incurred to them (and compensate the victims of the lethal software they put into affect)

      • TransWorld, Boeing knew of the problem back in 2017 – fact

          • And it’s not hard to show a safety assessment that indicates the lack of AoA disagree indicator was not a safety issue based on the previous safety assessment that said MCAS was not a critical item (and this didn’t need to compare multiple inputs).

            Sure it was wrong because it wasn’t updated with the changes, but was the official assessment and it’s what the AoA disagree indicator decision was based on.

    • I agree Captain G. I think what’s happened is inexcusable making the contracts void. I also think that the delivery delay will be sufficient to void the contracts.

      I don’t think the 737 MAX will return in August even in the USA never mind outside

    • TransWorld, NZ choosing the B787-10 with GE engines does not mean the death nail for the RR Trent/10 The RR 1000/10 has unacceptable wear with their blades but they are developing a modified wing that will be more rugged and can withstand the harsher environment in the Far East.
      Remember the GE engine is not fault free. One major disaster was an engine on a brand new AI B787-9 exploded and caught fire on its delivery flight. This happened on the take off run.
      I hope that nailing or wising the demise of competitors is the worst case of impartiality when making reviews.

  10. I think of this as more a Mr. Bobbit sort of thing.

    Empathize is not the word I would use.

    Wince at it all yes. But Mr. Bobbit was not a nice man and you buys your tickets and youse takes your chances.

  11. Contrast Boeing vs Airbus on the AF447 debacle.

    I continue to admire what they did. I don’t conflate it with MH 370. Clearly different aspects.

    I can disagree with Airbus automation setup (or parts) but clearly it did what it said it would and the pilots hossed it up.

    737MAX, total opposite.

    • I think this is the crux. Different issues but Airbus confronted the problem and no doubt EASA/FAA held their feet in the fire. The issue as it has panned is that Boeing seem unwilling to confront the problem (at least publicly) and the FAA has played a supportive rather than interrogative game.

      The post crash game being played is unacceptable regardless of errors/negligence initially

      • I don’t think EASA or FAA had anything to do with AF447.

        Certainly outside any FAA purview – frankly its one of those odd balls that Brazil actually holds the ball as its in their region.

        Airbus wanted to know for sure though the ACARs gave them strong info.

        The details were what were stunning, a lot of speculation it had to be pretty sever weather to unhinge the pilots.

        It was proven to be mild and solid that the Pilot Flying simply honked back on the stick and full thrust.

        Due to the flight data transmitted they had a good final fix and the search was not far off on the first shot.

        MH370 has been searched extensively and they still could not find it. And it had all the hallmarks of a pilot take over and as we have found out, that is not something that is an mfg issue.

        Anecdotally having someone in the cockpit seems to be a deterrent (not 100% the FedEx MD-11 had two three other people in the cockpit)

  12. It’s all about long term cridibility. I think that the narrow body market is warming up. China and Russia are entering the race. This comes to Airbus. They are ramping product.

    But, this is the big but. It’s the A321. It has 25% more capacity than the A320. This means it will reduce footprint, 25% less flights for the same capacity.

    Airbus are ranping up for more A321. But, for the record the A321 can be beaten. It’s infact ripe for the taking from the engineering perspective. But today nothing is near it,

    But to return to the but. The future looks bleak for the 737. The world is caving in. They have an order book of 5000. Will that materialise or will customers run away.

    In my view customers will run away. There is better out there. Boeing need a new narrowbody.

    With regard to compensation. Yes it is $billion. That will upset Wall Street. Who cares! Boeing need to very seriously think about there future.

    • The reality is that there are no viable candidates in production let alone can compete with an A320NEO family.

      Airbus can’t begin to ramp up to the 50+ that Boeing is making in under 5 years (likely 10)

      Slots are sold out for years in advance, so you have to negotiate with someone to give them up (and in how large a quantity as the reasons they have the slots is their own needs)

      ANZ can change engines on their 787 because the delivery is 3 years from now and not all at once.

      Doing so with an aircraft? No.

      Will Boeing loose on this? Hard telling short term. Longer term? Airlines might well move to hedge their bets like some have anyway.

      It won’t be massive.

      • The 787 was designed to have common pylons and connections so that a particular plane CAN be changed to a new engine type. Air NZ is just ordering a new 787 version with different GE engines. Remains to see if it does ‘swap out’ its existing fleet, however I see the cost as better spent on new seats/cabin for those planes.
        I imagine this feature is likely only be used by lessors as they can tailor individual planes for a new lease. We shall see?
        as far as Im aware only one flying passenger plane had its engines swapped over, the first 777-200 prototype retained by Boeing , which flew with Pratt engines and was swapped to RR Trents to suit Cathay. Its now a museum aircraft

    • Philip, I think that’s a fairly accurate assessment of the situation.

      There are suggestions that, for Airbus, the launch of the MAX by Boeing was a big relief. They’d put some resources into the NEO, and had Boeing said “we’re doing a whole new airframe” there may have been a lot of customers willing to wait and see what that looked like. That might have turned the NEOs into a sales flop.

      I think the lasting damage to Boeing will be that customers now just can’t see them reliably delivering on a new programme. The 787 had problems. The MAX has had tragic and fatal problems. Who knows what the 777X will bring, but don’t hold one’s breath. An NMA or NSA launched now might be great on paper, but will Boeing actually be able to deliver it to schedule, problem free? Airbus have been perhaps a bit late, but the entry to service for their aircraft has been pretty good. Not one of them has been grounded.

      I don’t think that Boeing’s customers have much choice, at least not from the “regular” suppliers. They need aircraft, Airbus don’t have 100% more capacity to bring on tap. It’s Boeing, or nothing.

      However, this is a golden opportunity for the Chinese offerng (the Comac C919). China can make these in large numbers, probably, and if they get it up to snuff satisfactorily (I’m out of touch, it may already be complete) then they’d be a 3rd option in the market.

      • Is this satire?

        How can you tell the Neo (sold 5000+ Aircrafts) might have been a flop if Boeing just announced a new designed aircraft?!?

        They were 2 years behind already, so a B737 replacement would have seen EIS 9 years behind, A320neo already flying since 4-5 years.
        That would have not happend, also due to having the same engine technology.

        • Had Boeing responded to the NEO with a new airplane made from CF, it’d likely be flying by now and be better than the NEO. Good though the NEO is it’s a stretch of an Aluminium airframe, so it’s likely less economic than a well designed CF airframe. Sure the NEO would still have sold, but Airbus would have been looking to respond to that hypothetical Boeing sooner than later.

          As things stand Airbus has ended up with thousands of orders for the NEO, which is no doubt a relief.

          • This shows a lack of knowledge.
            It’s highly questionable if a composite fuselage does help on medium ranged twins.
            Actually, the most modern designs, CS / A220 are still an a AL based fuselage. They do have, and that’s their weigth advantage, a full composite wing.

            But it would be very foolish to assume Airbus would have sit down watching Boeing pulling out a all new NSA. They would have pushed at least for a new and better wing.

            A new wing for the A320 would have been 2bn south, which is the main issue to stretch the A320 beyond the actual A321neo and increase range.
            While Beoing would have to pull 15 bn in to deliver a all new plane that would have been in service early 202x with a new engine tech expected from 2026 on.
            It would have been a desaster, as Boeing was about to loose the AA order to the A320neo.
            Their consideration of the NSM has been arround in 2009-2011 but it didn’t lead to action. Boeing didn’t had the money, did not had the capacity, didn’t had any tech advantage and was still shaken due to the B787 desaster.

            The facts don’t hold up with your text.
            Boeing did think about it, and they would not have been in a better position. It is not that decision that hurts them today, it was their faulty design (which would have been the same for a clean sheet apporach). Remember the dreamliner battery issue.

          • I have to agree, I don’t see much advantage to a composite fuselage on a single isle aircraft.

            My personal view is the NSA from AB will be ~30% Al-Li fuselage, with very advanced composite wings.

            BA may offer the NMA/MOM 797, and it will be composite fuselage, if/when that’s done they will do a composite fuselage NSA.

            If that is what happens, AB will be in a better position than BA, their NSA will be in the air far sooner than a BA NSA, at a better price.

            I don’t expect to see much economic advantage between them (fuel consumption around the same, cheaper maintenance for composite NSA, lower cost for AB NSA)

            Waiting to see if BA offer the 797 at Paris.

    • 5000 Max’s to be delivered is questionable. I’ve stated before that a downturn in the World economy will be mostly to blame, and of course I’ve been refuted of that, but things are changing rapidly. The customers might demand something different. But who knows for sure, the MAX could sell another 1000, too…

  13. With regard to the article:

    I did note the nose would rise and the nose would fall comment. I assume that has nothing to do with the behaviour of the 737 MAX,

    You don’t need to reply!

  14. The Boeing viewpoint has been worse than disappointing. The whole episode stinks of short-termism and a fundamental neglect of their customers. If they strong arm their way to resolution of this matter, something legally they will probably achieve, they risk a mighty backlash. Regardless of the contractual issue I would guess they are closely monitoring each contract and preparing all manner of financial benefits to keep their customers in the fold. Looking at it from a contractual perspective is flawed in my opinion, if they resort to contractual obligation they have already lost regardless of the outcome. Boeing generates so much cash that they simply have to bite the bullet and pay up.

    • Replace “have to” with SHOULD. Dumb not to.

      MO seems to be dumb right now.

  15. Not being a lawyer, this might not be possible, but couldn’t this be the biggest class action of all time ?

    Even all Boeing’s lawyers and money might not stand a chance against a unified claim by all those customers.

    • Likely Boeing will make deals when it starts to look worse.

    • Nobody has an interest in significantly weakening Boeing.

      • keesje:

        No sure how you interpret them shooting themselves n the foot then?

        Boeing is killing itself, no outside force, just internal corporate stupidity.

    • A class-action lawsuit was filed by a Boeing shareholder in April. Going forward, we could see numerous class-action lawsuits by airline customers, Boeing suppliers and relatives of the 737 MAX victims.

      A federal class-action lawsuit accusing Boeing of hiding key information on the safety of its 737 MAX jet has been filed by a Boeing shareholder.

      The suit against the Chicago-based company, filed Tuesday by Richard Seeks in a federal court in Illinois, seeks unspecified damages on behalf of shareholders in the wake of two fatal crashes of the plane.

      It alleges that Boeing “effectively put profitability and growth ahead of airplane safety and honesty,” misleading investors about its core commercial-airplanes operation.


      • Good luck in gaining proof. Unless there is something truly rotten in Boeing a lawsuit will founder on the ‘chain of events’ and on classic legal obfuscation. As a customer what do you have to gain? As a relative of the deceased there is more reason but far less financial might/ expertise etc etc. Law is for the wealthy. There is one thing that makes Boeing vulnerable and that is the enormous wealth they represent. The David vs Goliath aspect may just gain sympathy but most judges are in thrall to the magic of flight and as such this is a difficult case to litigate. Let us hope that behind the scenes Boeing does the right thing, to the dead in particular.

        • Maybe better read “for the dead”, they already did it to them.

  16. Given the poor design or MCAS, the grounding was reasonable. Still, it’s not a blank check for airlines to get much more than the lease rate and lost profit. It’s not a blank check for regulatory agencies to delay the grounding. If so, the airlines bear that cost. Erring on safety, why is the world allowing JT and ET to continue flying? That is not mutually exclusive of the safety of the MAX.

    • Yes it gets complicated. ET has a relatively good record though they will lie when its on them.

      LA? They are pretty accident prone.

      I still go heavily in this case to a bewilderment of what was going on in LA case and ET, the procedure did not work.

      Keep in mind that the Simulators did not reflect how hard the cranking of the Manual Trim gets so there is another aspect to that whole mess.

      The FAA is well within their rights to hold it up as Boeing has more criminal conduct in regards to creating false simulator mapping for characteristics.

      If your manual system does not work under certain conditions its worthless for those conditions.

      FAA also has egg all over their face for allowing both situations . They were responsible for MCAS pass through and they knew at one time that manual trim was hard to impossible.

      So yea they arn’t going to let it go nor should they. They now are in the bright lights and don’t like it. Self inflicted or not, they don’t like it.

      So they will sacrifice Boeing and that is Boeing’s fault for putting themselves and 347 (one diver dead) in that positions.

      You can roll in the NG and the Classic plus a few originals flying into the issue now as well because they all have the same manual trim.

      Justifiably they could ground all 737s at least until re-trained with the correct manual trim issue.

      Boeing is still getting off easy. They should count their blessings, pay up and get on with a 737RS

      • “You can roll in the NG and the Classic plus a few originals flying into the issue now as well because they all have the same manual trim.”

        Not so much.
        1) The manual trim wheels were made smaller diameter on the NG to make room for the new displays in the centre pedestal. This reduced the mechanical advantage of the trim wheel handles for winding trim in.
        2) The horizontal stabilizer was made bigger on the NG but I don’t think there was a corresponding size increase on the elevators. This would reduce the effective authority of the elevator with respect to trim forces.

        [The MAX is the same as the NG for these, the originals and Classics are ‘better’ in both these respects.]

        Also the “roller coaster ride, wind the handles” trim recovery technique seems to have vanished out of the training syllabi about the time the NG came into fleet service.
        I think that omission may be what is currently ‘under review’

        • I’m not ssying your wrong, but I’m stunned that the elevators were not made bigger when the stabiliser was made bigger on the NG.

          It does answer the question as to why the trim stabiliser can impose so much authority relative to the elevator. Many, including me, have been looking at aerodynamics for the answer. It’s simple, the elevators are just too small!

          • Mike: The roller coaster goes back to the 727/707 let alone the 737.

            So I don’t think if they did change the wheel size is much relevance.

            Its clear the Manual Trim issue is part of the review now.

            Do you have a citation on the stabilizer size and wheel change ?

            When you make a plane longer you make surface smallholder as you have more leverage, I seem to be missing something.

            Wheel size alone is not the driving (bad pun) factor, you can change the gearing as well which would be the bigger factor.

            But you still have that issue of you can gear it but not move it as fast as you need to with the old Runaway Trim issue (let alone the MCAS)

  17. “TransWorld
    May 28, 2019

    Do you have a citation on the stabilizer size and wheel change ?”

    Stabilizer size:
    According to http://www.b737.org.uk/techspecsdetailed.htm
    The Classic had a horizontal stabilizer span of 12.70m and the NG & MAX are both 14.35m
    The elevator area is given as 6.55m2 for every single model from -100 to MAX-10

    Trim wheel size:
    On PPrune https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/621448-737-trim.html#post10469883
    poster “PEI 3721”, who appears to be rational and authoritative, said
    “together with a reduced size of the trim wheel”, and “The effect of the reduced size of trim wheel in recovery was not published, thus assumed to be negligible; however, with accumulated assumption, extent of trim runaway, reaction time, this could now be questioned”.

  18. TransWorld
    May 28, 2019

    Do you have a citation on the stabilizer size and wheel change ?

    Stabilizer & elevator size:
    According to http://www.b737.org.uk/techspecsdetailed.htm
    Classic stabilizer span 12.70m, NG & MAX 14.35m
    Elevator area 6.55 sq m, all models -100 to MAX-10

    Stab trim wheel size:
    A posting on PPrune here https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/621448-737-trim.html#post10469883 from user ‘PEI 3721’
    “reduced size of the trim wheel” and “The effect of the reduced size of trim wheel in recovery was not published, thus assumed to be negligible”

    • Mike,

      Very good catch.

      Thank you. Will look at it all and chew on it.

      • Also https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/05/boeing-737-max-crash-reveals-a-severe-problem-with-older-boeing-737-ngs.html

        “In the NG series a new Flight Management Computer (FMC) was added to the plane. (The FMC helps the pilots to plan and manage the flight. It includes data about airports and navigation points. It differs from the two Flight Control Computers in that it has no control over physical elements of the plane.)

        The FMC on the NG version has two input/output units each with a small screen and a larger keyboard below it. They are next to the knees of the pilot and the copilot They are located on the central pedestal between the pilots right below the vertical instrument panel (see pic below). The lengthy FMCs did not fit on the original central pedestal. The trim wheels on each side, used to manually trim the airplane in its longitudinal axis or pitch, were in the way. Boeing’s ‘solution’ to the problem was to make the manual trim wheels smaller.

        [pictures of NG and Classic cockpit centre pedestals]

        The smaller trim wheels require more manual force to trim with the same moment of force or torque than the larger ones did.

        Another change from the 737 Classic to the 737 NG was an increase in the size of the rear horizontal flight surface, the stabilizer.”

  19. Excusable or not, damage is done. Customers’ future contracts might not be so “excuse”-friendly without further concessions from Boeing.

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