HOTR: Alaska begins service with 737 MAX

  • Alaska likely to cancel A320neo order. Details below.

By the Leeham News Team

March 1, 2021, © Leeham News: Alaska Airlines today launched its first service with the 737 MAX.

The carrier’s first flight was flight AS 482 from Seattle to San Diego, operated with a 737-9.

Alaska is the fourth US airline to operate the MAX. It is the third to use it in service since the type was recertified in November by the Federal Aviation Administration. American and United airlines returned their MAXes to service earlier. Southwest Airlines followed later this month. The Seattle-based airline hadn’t taken delivery of the MAX before the March 13, 2019 grounding.

Alaska is the second carrier to place a follow-on order for the MAX, after Ryanair, following recertification by the FAA. The MAX 9 will replace Alaska’s remaining Airbus A319/320ceos by 2024. Alaska continues to operate 10 Airbus A321neos and still has 30 A320neos on order, all from its acquisition of Virgin America in December 2016. In its annual 10K filing, Feb. 26, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Alaska said, “At this time, we do not expect to take delivery of these 30 Airbus aircraft.” Alaska disclosed that $15m in deposits for the A320neo order, made by Virgin America, are “not likely to be recoverable.”

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9. Source: Woody’s Aeroimages.

The carrier originally ordered the 737-8. Officials later swapped these orders for the larger MAX 9. Alaska’s 737-900ERs are configured with 178 seats compared with the 737-800’s 159 seats. The advertised range of the MAX 9 is 3,550 statute miles with one auxiliary fuel tank. The tank adds about 270 miles to the range of the base specification.

Boeing doesn’t break out the sales of the MAX sub-types. There are an estimated 250-300 orders for the MAX 9, a “tweener” airplane between the MAX 8 and MAX 10.

Aircraft Valuations

David Yu, an academic based in Shanghai, wrote a detailed look at aircraft valuations and the impact of COVID on the airline industry.

Aircraft Valuation: Airplane Investments as an Asset Class doesn’t make for scintillating reading. But as an academic exercise, it’s top-notch. It’s also not intended for the typical aviation geek. The price of the book, on Amazon, is a stunning $132 for the hardback and $109 on Kindle. Unusually, the book can be rented on Kindle for $30. This is clearly a limited-edition textbook. It runs 347 pages.

Anyone wanting to learn about the complexities of how airplanes are valued and the still-evolving impact of COVID should turn to this book.

Aircraft Valuation also gives a detailed look at the somewhat opaque China aircraft leasing sector. This industry has grown quickly, often with too much money and too little expertise. Established lessors often complain that Chinese lessors drive lease rates to ridiculously low levels and contracts failed to have comprehensive return conditions. These shortcomings sometimes forced the established lessors to match terms at rates that aren’t compensatory. The airlines love it. The lessors hate it.

Yu’s look at the Chinese sector is one of the more interesting segments of the book.

 

 

269 Comments on “HOTR: Alaska begins service with 737 MAX

  1. Re: “At this time, we do not expect to take delivery of these 30 Airbus aircraft.”

    This may be news or a surprise to many readers here; however, apparently it was not a surprise to the Boeing paint shop or the people who tell the Boeing paint shop what to paint. Note that in the picture at the link below, N919AK, a 737 MAX 9 destined for Alaska Airlines, had the following painted under the cockpit window on 1-23-21: “Proudly All Boeing”.

    https://twitter.com/BDFphotography/status/1353291131715342336/photo/4

    • @AP: Alaska never ceased using the Proudly All Boeing label even after acquiring Virgin in Dec 2016. It’s not like the tag line disappeared and reappeared.

      • Hello Mr. Hamilton,

        To me, it has always seemed odd that an airline that was seriously considering maintaining a duel Airbus/Boeing fleet would continue to take delivery of new Boeing aircraft painted with “Proudly All Boeing”, but did not paint “Proudly All Airbus” on their Airbus aircraft.

        • I found it odd, too, especially since it was a pre-pandemic fact that the Airbuses would remain in the fleet through the end of the 2020 decade, given the lease terms on the 321neos (12 years) and the mid-2020 lease terms for the A319s and A320s. It always seemed to me that the Proudly All Boeing needed to come off at least for the decade. But airlines do strange things.

          • If I was trying to squeeze the lowest possible price out of Boeing, the first thing that I would have done would have been to call them up and tell them to stop painting “Proudly All Boeing” on new deliveries.

          • @AP: Don’t worry. AS truly squeezed Boeing with Airbus and the grounding overhangs.

          • Could make it

            “Proudly all Boeing…
            (except for those aircraft we didn’t buy but inherited via an acquisition and which we will eventually get rid of)”

            or

            “Proudly buy only Boeing”

          • Proudly All Boeing
            Except for Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer

          • Their main hub being Seattle, I think I’d give them a pass on this, since most knowledgable minds in the area would.

  2. Perhaps slightly off-topic (though it does relate to the MAX).
    I’m copying this entire comment by @ Gerrard White (hope he doesn’t mind) from the “Boeing management podcast” lower down on the site.

    China Max Re cert Update Negative

    https://apnews.com/article/technology-beijing-china-united-states-software-d16c3954760ac3de86a8e7caaea4b179

    China says ‘Niet’ to BA over Max re cert

    CAAC, unlike FAA, focuses on the technical details of the plane and puts politics to the side

    « Major safety concerns” raised by Chinese regulators have not been fully resolved, said Dong Zhiyi, deputy administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, at a news conference.

    « Design changes must pass approval for airworthiness, pilots must receive “effective flight training” and conclusions of investigations into the two crashes must be clear, Dong said.

    “The technical review has not yet entered the certification and flight test stage,” Dong said Monday. He gave no timeline for when that might happen.

    China is, along with North America and Europe, one of the biggest markets for Boeing Co. and its European rival Airbus. That makes the 737 Max’s approval by Beijing important for its commercial success. »

    Comments invited from BA

    • “CAAC, unlike FAA, focuses on the technical details of the plane and puts politics to the side”

      One of the dumbest statements I’ve ever seen posted on this site.

      • @Mike Bohnet

        You need to learn how to read sarcasm- if you follow this site at all you’ll have seen extensive comments on how foolish both countries have been in hyping up some kind gray zone playdough War

        Let’s call it politics – BA’s been playing it all it can

        Read this for instance

        Boeing Trade War Update Loser

        Boeing has lost out in the US China Trade War – witness no Max re cert, and so on, although given all the BA plane problems this is a chicken and the egg situation

        According to this new report Boeing also loses out in the US EU Trade War, although the analyst remarks it’s hard to state with certainty given that all Boring planes have all sorts of problems which inhibit sales and deliveries at so many levels

        « That’s the case when I try to answer the question whether the tariffs of aircraft slated for delivery to European customers has had any adverse impact. If you include all European customers, the answer seems to be “no” but if you exclude European lessors since they place the aircraft with carriers around the world without even taking possession of the aircraft with a European aircraft registration the answer seems to be “yes.” If you add to that there are problems with various Boeing aircraft programs and a clouded demand profile for aircraft it’s hard to give a convincing answer because the delivery flow also is a reflection of aircraft airlines have on order and aircraft that Boeing can deliver to airlines and that does not include the Boeing 787 and just has started to include the Boeing 737 MAX. »

        https://seekingalpha.com/article/4409381-trade-war-is-boeing-losing-out?mail_subject=ba-trade-war-is-boeing-losing-out

        • Regardless of motivation, politics, diplomacy, backstabbing, or whatever else one may want to call it, a very clear fact is that, without Chinese certification of the MAX, Boeing has a very nasty problem.

          The Chinese took years to certify the A350 after it was certified by EASA: they have plenty of patience, and they know that they have a useful hand of cards. Poor Boeing: 40% potential market out of reach.

          • Boeing has self inflicted this but it also could be a push over point in dealing with China.

            Its not just Boeing at this points its a US (and world) supply chain.

            We don’t need China (cheap mfg anywhere), how much does China need the rest of the world though.

            Have to see if Peiping feels its worth it.

          • We don’t need China.

            But my pharmacy is out of pills.

            Rest of the World doesn’t care if USA or PRC is number one. And this seems to be the main American problem with China.

          • No, the problem with China is its expansionism and slave labor camps as well as not meeting its written agreements.

            South China sea is NOT Chinese territorial waters by anyone definition.

            Hong Kong was an agreement to peacefully settle that problem and all China had to do was wait.

            Slave Labor camps went out with Staling and the Nazis.

          • They even manage to have one of those prisons run under the American flag: Guantanamo 🙂

            China acts constructive on a global scale.

            The US acts destructive on that same scope.
            ( Seeing various nations go up in flames from that acting really formes behavior.)

          • @TW: You may believe you don’t need China and its “cheap” manufacturing. Rural U.S. internet providers are hurt by lacking low cost equipment, wait …. from China.

            Didn’t the U.S. signed a beautiful fantastic trade deal forcing China to buy hundreds of billion aerospace products? So who else is going to soak up those excess capacity??

      • I would not call it dumb, anyone that thinks is not political let alone CAAC political has been indulging in various mind bending substances.

        CAAC did the right thing to grounding the MAX for all the wrong reasons.

        Its now part of the political warfare merging into the aggressive so called diplomacy.

        Taking advantage of an opportunity.

        Keep in mind, if the MAX is not certified in China, no surround country that owns MAX can fly into China with it.

        That is a big rock in a small pond.

        But this is the same country that goes by dashes hand drawn on a map by another country and claims anything they sailed to or close to as Chineese.

        • The PRC inherited those 9 dashes from Taiwan. At least those islands were not inhabited and the people kicked off like what another state do.

          Talking about surrounding countries. What decision have the Indonesian and Vietnamese FAA made with respect to the MAX

          • Seems Taiwan is still not occupied by the PRC.

            Ergo, by your logic they are Taiwan’s though I can take my sharpie and draw liens anywhere I felt like it as well.

            You seem to miss those are built up and its all a bunch of BS.

            So by that logic all the US has to do is build and Island off the Yangtze River mouth and claim it as US territorial waters.

            Which is exactly what we should do.

            I guess we need to occupy Big Diamede as well.

          • @ char
            Very valid/interesting question about the lack of MAX re-cert in the countries surrounding China.
            To date, the only MAX re-certing countries in the entire Asia-Pacific region are Australia (just last week) and Japan (a few weeks ago, in secret). New Zealand has said that it will *not* give the MAX a blanket re-cert, but will review the situation on a case-by-case basis for any airlines that want to enter NZ using a MAX. So no other country has followed the lead given by EASA…it makes you wonder why.
            On a related note, I’d love to know what the contractual order cancellation possibilities are for an airline when one of its major markets doesn’t certify the plane in question. You mention Vietnam and Indonesia, but there are plenty of other countries in the region that have heavy shorthaul air traffic with China (including HongKong).

          • Bryce:

            Hong Kong is not a country. Formally it was a part of China controlled by the UK.

            By treaty is is part of China now with what was a separate independent operating agreement.

            Now its simply occupied by China with said agreement stomped into the mud.

            Vietnam, Laos will not buy C919, they know better.

            Not a clue yet if they allow a non certified aircraft to operate in their countries.

            The C919 is not a freighter, its a passenger aircraft.

          • @TW: By resolution 2758, UN recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as “the only legitimate representative of China”. The PRC “inherits” the status of ROC (mostly referred to as Taiwan nowadays).

          • @tw

            ROC (Taiwan) still occupies two island in the South China Sea. They are also real island and the reason why the Philippines in reality lost their case in The Hague.
            The side that lost the Chinese civil war, the old Chinese government, retreated to Taiwan. That retreat included a lot of people. Majority in Taiwan was born in China and not Taiwan after the civil war so claiming Taiwan part of PRC is IMHO understandable. Besides ROC claims China plus some more. Today their claiming of China is not sincere but it was still definitely real in the 80’s

            But let’s not talk politics, it will bore me.

            @bryce

            Have any airline that fly to/are NZ MAX on order?
            Could you get away from your lease if your country doesn’t see the MAX as airworthy is a better question. Airtrafic is seriously down even in the countries that handled Covid well

        • @TW: AFAIK most airlines use WB, not NB to fly into (or out of) China, except a handful LCC inside China or possibly from Korea.

          • Hmm, no clue as to topic.
            I do keep text of what I post but …
            BTW, ‘edited’ is incorrect, ‘deleted’ or stronger word is correct.

      • Mike, yes, it is an obvious misrepresentation. The Chinese are on public record as specifically linking the MAX certification to relations with the US, and thus to politics.

        No other world regulator has made any reference or linkage to certification politics at all. Certainly not the FAA. Only China has, they stand alone in the world in that regard. So this statement by Gerrard is the exact opposite of the truth.

        • The term “politics” encompasses more than just governmental policy.
          Politics also gets played on a daily basis in all sorts of other settings/relationships, including in corporate affairs and domestic commerce.
          For example, a regulator can be “in the pocket” of a particular OEM, or can be pressured by a government — that’s also “politics”.
          I very much doubt that many people sincerely believe that the FAA is a truly 100% independent organ, and is completely uninfluenced by “politics”.

          • Which has nothing to do with Gerrard’s erroneous statement. You are speaking to theories and hypotheticals, but in the case of the Chinese, they have specifically said their decision depends on politics, and are alone among the world regulators in making any kind of similar statement. No theory required, they’ve said it openly.

          • Which has everything to do with Gerrard’s astute statement. You are hiding behind theories and hypotheticals, but in the case of the FAA, extensive investigations have shown that their decisions depend on “politics”, and they are not forthright to the world’s regulators in admitting such behavior. No theory required, it’s been revealed openly.

          • @Bryce

            It is extraordinary how impervious to subtlety and nuance, wider context, it is possible to be when it appears that so called technical matters turn out to be a part and sometimes a small part of any commercial or in this case political decision making process

            It is easier to retreat into a fantasy world where earnest minded talk of ‘techniques’ are the only considerations that anybody must retain, especially politicians, who not so politely smash the return

            Let us remember we are in the main discussing a company that did all it could to disregard and distort engineering standards, in favour of a corrupt subordination of the regulator, and to the purpose of deceptive commercial sales techniques

            This turned out to be very poor politics and BA is paying the price

          • Didn’t BA’s former CEO frantically phone POTUS not to ground the MAX, until the last moment after Transport Canada couldn’t wait longer, took action and grounded the MAX on its own??

            BA: Blame politics, when it can’t play its politics/lobbyists card.

            P.S. How much BA spends every year in lobbying Washington??

        • “The Chinese are on public record as specifically linking the MAX certification to relations with the US, and thus to politics.”

          No. It never happened.

          • satire, sarcasm, .. doesn’t carry over well into internet communications. This is a long known fact.
            Guess why emoticons were invented for eMail and NNTP back in the late 70ties :-))

        • @Rob

          You should obey the memos from Calhoun – you have already been reminded of this

          We need to encourage diversity of opinion and fight group think, welcome new groups and focus on inclusive conversations of all points of view, races, countries and so on, with special attention to hitherto underprivileged populations, especially from Africa origin

          That US China and the EU are involved in various trade wars using varied pawns as well as token prohibitions and administrative and commercial discrimination

          To such an extent that BA itself recognises that their countries are following EASA not FAA in recommendations

          Some argue, inclusively, that the US kicked this ball first, some argue…..

          It all comes down to politics, both in the beginning and in the end

          However the requirement for inclusionary debate stands, and hostile eventuation is forbidden

        • @Rob: Any link from Chinese gov’t that ties “the MAX certification to relations with the US, and thus to politics”??

          I remember you posted, not that long ago, that we should “wait” for official investigation report to come out, what’s wrong with China waiting for final report from ECAA before it can be sure all deficiencies are properly addressed by BA+FAA??

    • I feel it is most defently a political move from China being one of the largest purchaser of the 737 Max. Just my opinion.

    • “China says ‘Niet’ to BA over Max re cert

      CAAC, unlike FAA, focuses on the technical details of the plane and puts politics to the side”

      ROFL
      Why am I not surprised.

      In Communist China, everything is driven by politics.

      Technical stuff is wet with NIH, just ask Viking Air about the Twin Otter -400.

  3. Anyone know if the MAX flights are or will be
    operating with the third ‘chaperone’ pilot in
    the cockpit (per earlier reporting), or not?

    “Keep your finger on that switch..”

    • So EASA and Transport Canada didn’t focus on technical details?

      • @ Stephen
        As regards what EASA and Transport Canada did, I’m not sure whether the verb “focus” is entirely appropriate. There certainly was a lot of attention paid to MCAS, but I’m not at all convinced that enough attention was paid to other aspects of the aircraft. I know that the European Parliament was “not amused” when EASA announced the ungrounding, and it had a whole list of questions for Patrick Ky. Even where MCAS was concerned, I suspect that some of what was done could perhaps better be qualified as “paying lip service” rather than “focusing”.

        Remember that the FAA is *requiring* all MAX flights to be tracked using a flight monitoring service, so as to accumulate any fishy flight data and intervene if necessary to prevent another accident. That doesn’t sound like confidence to me. Of course, the Boeing cronies try to play this down, but no other model of aircraft has ever been subjected to mandatory chaperoning in this manner. It doesn’t inspire confidence.

        On top of all that, we have Ed Pierson’s recent report:
        https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55751150

      • EASA and Canda and everyone else pretty much did focus on the issue of the needed fix.

        What was not the core was the political theater China exists in.

        Clearly the regulations should have been updated and a new cockpit put into the MAX to bring it up to contemporary standards (though I disagree that those standards actually work)

        This is Chinese aggression no less than the Southern Asian Ocean, Hong Kong and the Uighurs

        This has shades of the US cutting off Japan oil supply back in 1940.

        • … sanctioning Iran.
          .. santions against NordStream2
          … sanctions, sanctions, sanctions.

          it never stopped. undeclared war effected on a wide range of nations. ( And I suppose that the majority of hostile activities aren’t even publicly visible. Look at the archive releases on activities in the past. They lag 20..40 years but it should not be too difficult making assumption on more recent activities.)

  4. Does anyone know if any of the unloved MAX whitetails have been purchased by anyone? Or are they still corroding in parking lots?

    • Hello Bryce,

      Re: “Does anyone know if any of the unloved MAX whitetails have been purchased by anyone?”

      Alaska Airlines has purchased 9 MAX white tails. See the excerpt from, and link to, the 12-22-20 Business Insider Story Below.

      “The total order will also see an option for an additional 52 aircraft that would grow Alaska’s fleet to 120 if exercised. Alaska opted for nine “white-tail” aircraft, or planes that were built but never delivered due to an order cancellation, in the order, CEO Brad Tilden told CNBC, as they were likely more cost effective than buying new builds.”

      https://www.businessinsider.com/alaska-airlines-buys-more-boeing-737-max-adds-alaska-routes-2020-12

      • Thanks AP.
        So, that’s 9 down and more than 100 still to go…

        • United has announced its upping its Max order and bringing forward deliveries- a good sign that its taking never to be repeated deals

        • Posters don’t realize that AK is using BA’s customers compensation to pick up white tails on the cheap. Minimum to no cash payment!!

          AK? Win.
          BA??

    • From page 33 of United Airlines’ 2020 Annual Report (see the link below).

      “On February 26, 2021, the Company entered into an agreement with The Boeing Company (“Boeing”) for a firm order of 25 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for delivery in 2023, and to reschedule the delivery of 40 previously ordered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to 2022 and 5 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into 2023.

      The aircraft listed in the table above are scheduled for delivery through 2030. To the extent the Company and the aircraft manufacturers with which the Company has existing orders for new aircraft agree to modify the contracts governing those orders, the amount and timing of the Company’s future capital commitments could change. United also has an agreement to purchase 11 used Boeing 737-700 aircraft with expected delivery dates in 2021. In addition, United has an agreement to purchase 17 used Airbus A319 aircraft, which it intends to sell, with expected delivery dates in 2021 and 2022.”

      https://ir.united.com/index.php/static-files/ad8b7f51-44f5-4c8a-afcf-78cef5abfb2d

  5. Good chance I get to fly one when Covd starts to free up.

    Some areas between infection and Vaccine are getting into low level herd immunity.

  6. United has order 25 more MAX and speeded up delivery of 45.

  7. Below are some excerpts from a 1-22-2021 Skift article titled: “The Inside Story of How Alaska Airlines Went All-In on the Returning Boeing 737 MAX”.

    “Ultimately, Alaska and Boeing were able to reach a deal. The decision ultimately came down to “math,” as Pieper put it. While the A321neo offered slightly more seats and better performance on certain routes, the Max 9 was cheaper with a lower weight that offered operational savings on many of the airline’s routes.

    The list price of the A321neo was nearly $130 million in 2018 — the latest number from Airbus — and the Max 9 nearly $129 million. However, planemakers almost always give airlines lucrative discounts for new orders.

    “The way that you get the best answer for your airline is, you find the airplane that matches the route network so that you’re using most of its range,” said Pieper. “It’s like having a Ferrari in a 30 mile-an-hour speed limit — it looks awesome but you’re never going to get to use the power and all of the other components of that car.”

    “Alaska hired Pieper to, among other things, figure out its fleet puzzle. He joined the airline in August 2019 after a career at Delta Air Lines where he was the driving force behind the carrier’s landmark widebody jet order for Airbus A330neos and A350s in 2014. The planes are now the backbone of Delta’s widebody fleet since it opted to retire its Boeing 777s early amid Covid-related cuts.”

    https://skift.com/2021/01/22/the-inside-story-of-how-alaska-airlines-went-all-in-on-the-returning-boeing-737-max/

    • “lower weight”
      Thats what Ive been trying to say all along here. For all the A320 series advantages, the B737 series can offer lower weights and longer range ‘when needed.- and you dont have leave passenger baggage or cargo behind when you have auxiliary tanks in the hold to make up the range. Cheaper comes from Boeing wanting to kick out Airbus from a US domestic customer
      Its why both main carriers in Australia used the 737, as transcon range is important. ( And Qantas likes the extra range and passengers the A321XLR offers with its special tank for a regional aircraft which can do transcon as well).
      The Max 10 should have had some bigger changes, than a levered undercarriage for ‘tippy toes takeoffs’, to allow it compete properly – another Muilenberg decision that defied reality. A board with no idea of market realities let him get away with that one.
      A competitive Max 10 is far cheaper than a full NMA project and may well be on the cards now but the timing for announcements has to wait for the other issues to die down otherwise any ‘good news’ incites the mob!. Favoured airlines like United or Alaska etc could have had inside indications already

      • That would be wrong as far as kicking Airbus out. Alaska Airline has been a 737 user for 20 years or so.

        Airbus would be the intruder here and only because of the Virgin pickup.

        Airbus had to win this as AK has a bias for good reason to Boeing.

        AK will run the A321 until the end of the decade and they have the 30 options they can defer or pickup a few more A321 if they have a need for the range and capacity.

        Clearly Airbus did not feel it was worth the cost to flip AK.

        The MAX 10 as noted is just a lame attempt to match the A321 that is laughable.

        Its only use will be for a fleet that has some need of more pax capacity and can deal with the lack of takeoff ability.

        • What’s laughable about a Max 10 with undercarriage changes to be able to compete with A321XLR?
          What’s good for the goose is good for gander, and no it doesnt need wholesale changes, as way back the Concorde showed how to stow a longer undercarriage leg for takeoff in the smaller stowage Bay.
          The only thing holding it back is a Max 10 ER would cut into a market for a short range NMA. That will grow anyway as it doesn’t have a large enough ‘addressable market’ under 5000nm. Yes a longer ranged NMA will undercut some 787 sales, but the production capacity has been reduced for 787 and it’s not going back to 10 or more pm.

          • If the 737 doesn’t have a smooth landing the fuselage breaks apart in pieces.

          • @ Leon
            On the subject of “fuselage breaking apart in pieces”, any word on how the 787 revisions are progressing?

          • “… as way back the Concorde showed how to stow a longer undercarriage leg for takeoff in the smaller stowage Bay.”

            Concorde did not start out as a waddling duck 🙂

            The -10 MLG shows a large gain in loads and complexity.
            * MLG gear leg loads double,
            * parts count doubles too?

          • “”any word on how the 787 revisions are progressing?””

            Bryce,

            Calhoun mentioned few possible 787 deliveries for end of Feb. I don’t have real data yet but guess that that was just the usual Boeingitis.
            Udvar-Hazy might know more if he thinks that the issues can’t be fixed.
            Just remember March/April 2019 when Muilenburg assured the world that the MAX is save, it’s the same with the 787 now, they say it’s safe but even Boeing engineers don’t want to fly it.

            It’s no problem at all, Airbus can deliver widebodies the world needs on their own.

      • There is a reason why Boeing doesn’t split payload and OEW in their range curves. That’s why the OEW of ET302 is even more interesting, with 47090kg OEW the MAX can’t compete with the A320 family.

        • Thats only for Ethiopian configuration.
          Other airlines would have A320 in similar higher weights than the certification number when seating configuration, galleys , in flight entertainment etc for an international flight

          • The problem is that there is not much OEW data available when Boeing is hiding so much and Boeing is even trolling with data assumtions from their marketing fools.

            ET302 configuration was for 160 seats, very much in line with this Alaska article.

            There are no certified OEW numbers because it’s not important. But Airbus devides between payload and OEW. Why would someone hide much better data and instead show boeingitis assumptions on its website.

          • A “dry” OEW ( what used to go under MEW )
            is relevant. It cuts into payload not steerable by the airline user and depresses the payload/range curve.
            payload loss via cabin fittings is in the airline domain.

            Other thing:
            The payload derate over range in the “full use of MTOW” section of the paylaod/range chart is
            a good indicator for efficiency.
            That value is smaller on the A320NEO ( vs 738MAX )

          • Hello Leon,

            Re: “The problem is that there is not much OEW data available..'”

            I know that for US general aviation aircraft the pilots manuals of the 1960’s listed an unrealistic empty weight (minimal optional equipment) that is also often the empty weight that one will see listed on Wikipedia or on or in popular aviation websites or publications. Many overload incidents or accidents resulted when these “standard empty weights” were used for performance and takeoff calculations instead of the actual real world empty weight for a particular individual aircraft. In today’s’ new issue general aviation pilots manuals, a typical empty weigh is not listed, the only place that you can find the empty weight is on the approved weight and balance sheet for a particular individual aircraft. I can’t remember exactly when this change happened, but I think it may have been in the 1980’s, and I can’t remember whether it was by agreement of GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association) or mandated by the FAA. It has actually become difficult to find typical empty weights in manufacturers sales brochures, unless they refer to a very specific configuration, I suspect, but do not know, that this may have something to do with the FAA. I will provide some specific examples of make believe and real world empty weights when I get home and can check my collections of pilot manuals.

            In the case of Airliner pilot manuals, I have never seen one that lists a generic empty weight for a particular airliner model. Such a weight would be of zero interest for real world flight planning calculations. The weight and balance calculations that must be done before each airline flight must start with the empty weight for that particular individual aircraft, determined from or traceable to actual weighing of that particular individual aircraft. Aging aircraft, like aging people, have a tendency to gain weight.

            “14 CFR part 125 requires aircraft with 20 or more seats
            or maximum payload capacity of 6,000 pounds or more
            to be weighed every 36 calendar months. Multi-engine
            aircraft operated under 14 CFR part 135 are also required
            to be weighed every 36 months. Aircraft operated under 14
            CFR part 135 are exempt from the 36 month requirement
            if operated under a weight and balance system approved in
            the operations specifications of the certificate holder.”

            https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/media/12_phak_ch10.pdf

          • “”A “dry” OEW.
            The payload derate over range in the “full use of MTOW” section of the paylaod/range chart is
            a good indicator for efficiency.””

            Uwe,

            sure, EASA is showing a dry weight in certifications which is far below the OEW and might be without seats.
            Airbus is showing payload in the range curves and an standard OEW can be calculated from the MZFW.

            The curves are really a good indicator for efficiency.
            The A320neo is even more efficient than the MAX-7 in the same range section.

          • “much lower than OEW.”

            What used to go under MEW
            manufacturer weight empty.
            afair the flyable plane with no cabin fittings.

      • @DoU: BA is giving discounts to compensate for lesser capability, that’s how market works. However, lower margin would ultimately hurt BA’s free cash generation and its capability to fund R&D. It’s akin to Boeing putting a noose around its neck, all by itself!

        I heard AK keeps flying A321 because there are airports that Boeing jets it has are not suitable.

  8. Interesting also that no airline that has resumed MAX service, has reported any issues with passenger acceptance. As Calhoun had referenced in a recent interview, that was criticized here at the time, but has turned out to be true thus far. The difference between hype and reality.

    • “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

      An airline can see when someone cancels or changes a flight, but has no way of detecting when someone doesn’t book a flight in the first place.

      When it was made, that Calhoun utterance was understandably derided in a podcast here on LNA. Marketing hot air from a cornered cat desperate for some revenue.

      • Bottom line, airlines report no problems with load factor for these flights, or diminishing passenger traffic. Which means that even if some people book elsewhere, they are not numerous enough to impact airline decisions. Which was the point made by Calhoun and others.

        • Bottom line, airlines are reticent to report problems with load factor for these flights, or diminishing passenger traffic. This means that while people book elsewhere, cash-strapped airlines currently have few options to change their decisions. Which was the point Calhoun and others attempted to downplay.

  9. The recertification of the MAX in China is repetitively brought up here, but it’s not the huge obstacle it’s made out to be.

    The truth is that the Chinese scored a rare global PR win when they grounded the MAX first. It so happened that their political agenda aligned with Boeing’s real-world engineering errors. They will milk that to the greatest extent possible. But as the rest of the world recertifies, they will become increasingly isolated and out-of-step. The world perception will shift from leading to following. They also need cooperation with their own aircraft certification.

    When that transition occurs, and barring greater than normal tensions with the US, they will recertify. If tensions prevent that, then the reasons will be clear to the rest of the world.

    It’s notable that China has tied recertification to the final Ethiopian report, but Ethiopia has now publicly said they want to be the last in the world to resume flying the MAX (currently their prediction is July). So by collaborating, these two can delay their certifications. That somewhat tempers the Ethiopian decision to continue with the MAX.

    Ethiopia and Indonesian both carefully avoided finding fault with their airlines or pilots. That makes things more difficult for them now, if the problems with the aircraft are resolved, as demonstrated by increasing number of flights, as well as airline & passenger acceptance around the world. To avoid recertification, they have to claim that the problems are not resolved, but without giving any details, as there is no factual basis for that. Somewhat similar to what China is doing now.

    • The recertification of the MAX in China is repetitively brought up here, because it’s precisely the huge obstacle it’s made out to be.

      The truth is that the Chinese badly embarrassed the US when they grounded the MAX first. It so happened that their will to keep China’s skies safe collided with Boeing’s real-world engineering errors. They will take as long as is necessary. But as the rest of the Asia-Pacific region fails to recertify, the FAA and EASA will become increasingly isolated and out-of-step. The world perception will shift from following to ignoring western regulators. They need zero cooperation with their own aircraft certification, since they have huge non-western markets to sell into.

      When the transition to their own domestic planes occurs, and barring a miracle, they will have zero need to recertify. If the US creates trade tensions to prevent that, then the reasons will be clear to the rest of the world.

      It’s commendable that China has tied recertification to the final Ethiopian report, and very revealing that Ethiopia has now publicly said they want to be the last in the world to resume flying the MAX (currently their prediction is July). So by cooperating, these two can justifiably delay their certifications. Purely financial considerations have straightjacketed the Ethiopian decision to continue with the MAX — otherwise, it would have chucked it.

      Ethiopia and Indonesian both understandably avoided finding fault with their airlines or pilots — who were, of course, blameless. That makes things very clear for them now, since the compromised image of the aircraft will never be resolved, despite a trickle of flights, as well hot air from Calhoun about so-called acceptance around the world. To avoid recertification, they can just point out that many problems are not resolved; we all know the details, so there is plenty of factual basis for that. Somewhat similar to what China is doing now.

    • China requires zero certification of the C919 by the FAA.
      It has huge “non-western” markets into which it can sell without ever having to go near the USA.

      • To sell to “non-western” markets needs a sort of endorsement.
        FAA certification is one.

        • @ Toulouse
          Outside of a handful of countries, the “endorsement” of the MAX by the FAA and EASA has been ignored in the Asia Pacific and African regions. Hardly surprising: after all, look at how worthless the “endorsement” of the initial MAX was by those regulators.

          Indonesia ordered a number of Chinese regional planes just a few weeks ago, without needing any “endorsement” of the planes by the FAA or EASA.

          African countries also don’t need any US/EU “endorsement” of the trains that they are buying from China.

          China is exporting its Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines to numerous countries without requiring any “endorsement” by the FDA or EMA.

          China and its customers can easily conduct a vast amount of business without giving a hoot about what “old world” regulators think.

          • Bryce: You very much miss-state the sitaution.

            China has tried twice to achieve a path to FAA or EASA certification.

            So yes, while the Chinese apologists have shifted their tune, China desperately wants that as its both a practical as-pct and a Political thing.

            Its the only reason they joined up with Russian on the Ill fated 929, Russia does have certification that is recognized.

            Its not a rubber stamp, its a process and documentation of that process. So no you can’t ignore it and China has to comply with all the requirements if it wants it to fly. Russian cann’t recognize the wing and ignoring the fuselage, it does not work that way.

            Like it or not, those two are recognized and approved process built up around the world and one or the other is required (Japan and Brazil are also recognized but most countrified requires FAA or EASA sighn off as well as their own AHJ).

            If you require FAA or EASA then you cannot fly your aircrat to any country that does.

            China then cannot fly a 919 to Hong Kong and then jump to Japan, they are not allowed to operate in Japaneses airspace through they can buss around out over the ocean to their Hearst continent.

            Your destination exter China is limited to North Korea and Zimbabwe.

            Few countries will take it as they cann’t then fly to other countries.

            China and and is forcing it on Airlines they control inside China. That gives one a warm fuzzzy feeling.

            Regs, what regs, the Party demands you take off!

          • @ TW
            This was explained to you before by @ Pedro, but it seems that you’ve forgotten it. Some of the busiest air routes in the world are entirely within the borders of China. It is possible to have a thriving domestic airline with a large fleet without ever having to fly to another country.

            Apart from that, any country (such as Japan, in your example) can decide for itself whether or not it “requires” FAA certification of an airplane. So, for example, Indonesia went ahead a few weeks ago and ordered Chinese regional aircraft without giving a hoot what the FAA thinks on the matter. Similar considerations apply to a whole host of countries, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos (all bordering or close to China) most of central Asia, most of Africa, and most of South America. The world no longer looks to the irreparably tainted FAA for guidance.

            Similar considerations apply in other fields. For example, several countries are using the AstraZenica vaccine even though it hasn’t (yet) been approved by the FDA…nobody could care less. And Americans are quite happy to eat chlorinated chicken that is forbidden in the EU…and they don’t lose any sleep about it.

            The world order has changed.

      • Almost all markets rely on either FAA or EASA for much of the certification work. As we’ve seen in the rollout of the MAX certification. That is not likely to change in the near future.

        The MAX has also added scrutiny that is not exclusive to Boeing. Everyone will be aware of the risk of the C919. This is why only 10 sales have occurred outside China.

        If the C919 establishes a safe and reliable record inside China, then it will have a good shot at the world market. Right now it’s a huge unknown.

        • China is the world’s fast-growing aviation market, with a population in excess of 1.4 billion people. COMAC can do just fine without ever needing to go near “western” markets.

          “Everyone will be aware of the risk of the C919”
          Everyone is already aware of the risk of the MAX and the 787. The MAX is the second most lethal passenger aircraft in modern aviation history, and is “not up to modern standards”. The 787 has been subject to two groundings, and is currently subject to major revisions to which there is no end in sight.

          • Sales and operation of 737 and 787 continue. All earlier attempts by COMAC at foreign certification of C919 have failed, hence the resort to IP theft to achieve certification standards. Internal Chinese certification at lesser standards can be forced by the government.

            So yes, the C919 will find a market in China, but not necessarily elsewhere, at least in the foreseeable future. Time will tell.

          • Sales and delivery of 737 and 787 have stalled; not a single 787 has been delivered since October, and only a handful of countries have ungrounded the MAX. COMAC is going to start eating market share of “foreign” OEMs, hence the resort to allegations of IP theft to try to blacken the newcomer. Internal Chinese certification to much higher standards than the FAA will be encouraged by the government.

            So yes, the C919 will find a market in China and aligned countries outside China, but not necessarily elsewhere, at least in the foreseeable future. Time will tell how badly this hurts Boeing, Airbus and Embraer.

    • If so, that strategy won’t work. FAA will not link the two, and will evaluate compliance of the C919 as for any other aircraft.

      Also, whatever the decision on the C919 is, it’s likely that FAA and EASA will collaborate and stand together, as they did on the MAX. You won’t see a split on certification.

      • The days of the FAA and EASA “standing together” are gone.
        EASA took its time after the FAA re-certified the MAX, it came up with its own separate re-cert demands, and its requirements effectively forced Boeing to delay intro of the MAX-10.
        The FAA has flushed its reputation down the toilet, and other regulators want to distance themselves from that.

        • All refuted by the actual events and the statements of both FAA and EASA. But you are welcome to your own opinion.

          • All backed-up by the actual events and the numerous statements concerning both FAA and EASA. But you are welcome to your own opinion.

  10. Of interest to the discussion above:
    2021-03-01: “China Eastern purchases first batch of C919s”

    “China Eastern and its subsidiary airlines plan to deploy the C919s on its most popular domestic routes from Shanghai to Beijing’s Daxing airport, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in south Guangdong Province, Chengdu in southwest Sichuan, Xiamen in southeast Fujian, Wuhan in central Hubei and Qingdao in east Shandong.

    ““The contract signing marks an important milestone for the C919 to enter the commercial operation stage,” said He Dongfeng, president of COMAC.

    “He said the purchase also showed the determination of China’s aircraft manufacturing and transport sectors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “COMAC has secured 815 orders of intent from global carriers and clients for the C919.”

    https://www.shine.cn/news/metro/2103015280/

    So, why should China bother with the antiquated MAX — which Sully has described as “not up to modern standards” — when China has its own domestic FBW model instead?

      • Assuming that the hacked info is (still) protected by patents in China and other countries in which COMAC planes will be used, the aggrieved companies have every right to file infringement suits and present their cases.

        Just like the families of the MAX victims have the right to engage in litigation in the US.

        Good luck with that (in both cases).

        • Don’t need patents in China to identify and prosecute theft. It’s not a matter of copying, but of stealing. Countries are unlikely to order an aircraft that represents ill-gotten gains taken by illegal Internet & computer espionage from their own businesses.

          • Certainly do need patents in China to prosecute alleged IP infringement in that country. It’s not a matter of alleging, but of proving. China-aligned countries will have no qualms ordering an aircraft that is being tarred by disgruntled entities alleging ill-gotten gains taken by illegal Internet & computer espionage from western businesses.

          • copy!

            if it were “stealing”
            the originator would no longer have access to his stuff.
            Stealing is a tangible hardware concept.

          • ROFL!
            pot, kettle, black!

            talking with industry people/my customers they see US snooping paired with rather imperialistic/predatory behavior in the follow up as more of an existential risk than Chinese activities.

          • Indictments already issued in the US for the known Chinese participants, and an active FBI case still in progress. The certification process will reveal the manufacturers of the stolen technologies, and once that happens, examples will be procured and the theft identified. Then those manufacturers will be added to the list.

            You are right that China can and has evaded international law within its own borders, and that market will exist for the C919. But COMAC will be held to a different standard outside those borders. Not only as a matter of trade, but a matter of theft. The hacked companies include many in the EU.

            Uwe, intellectual theft includes depriving another of their rights to ideas, and the fruit of their efforts. It’s why there are separate definitions and statutes for intellectual property crime.

          • Indictments already issued in the US for the known Boeing activities, and various active law suits still in progress. The continuing suits and investigations will reveal the degree of the sub-standard technologies, and once that happens, examples will be published and the cover-up laid bare. Then Boeing will be (further) black-listed in many countries.

            You are right that Boeing can and has evaded international standards within its own borders, and that market will exist for its sub-standard products. But Boeing will be held to a different standard outside those borders. Not only as a matter of trade, but a matter of safety. The aggrieved airlines include many in the EU.

            Uwe, intellectual theft is often alleged by aggrieved parties who have lost their lunch, and now pluck the bitter fruits of their complacency. It’s why the various definitions and statutes for intellectual property crime are seldom applied successfully.

      • “The Crowdstrike report referenced here…”

        Prove it. Until then, I dismiss Crowdstrike’s report as silly fluff.

        What is asserted without evidence, can rightfully be dismissed without evidence.

        • @ Jimmy
          That happens a lot — an example of “opinion presented as fact”.
          But, as we’ve all been told by the person in question, “repeating falsehoods does not make them true”.

        • This comment is just one the increasing strident falsehoods presented here in defense of China.

          CrowdStrike is a world renowned security researcher, originally funded by Google to document Internet criminality. They do not represent the US government or any corporation, but their record for establishing bad actors in cyber espionage is outstanding.

          The accuracy of their results has been sufficient to support fed3ral investigations and indictments, which of course are ignored by the countries that host the actors and provide them funding and legal shelter.

          The Chinese report was not without evidence, by any stretch of the imagination, even within the context of the obvious propaganda offered here. In fact it documents the activities in detail, across many companies and businesses, right down to the identity of many of the actors involved.

          There is no doubt whatsoever of the validity, and the investigation into Chinese IP theft continues. It won’t stop and it will lead to prosecution.

          Here is a speech given by the FBI Director in July 2020, which revealed the agency has upwards of 2,000 active investigations open on China’s cyber espionage program. The extent of the activity is stunning.

          https://www.fbi.gov/news/speeches/the-threat-posed-by-the-chinese-government-and-the-chinese-communist-party-to-the-economic-and-national-security-of-the-united-states

          Very relevant to the commentary here, is the extensive Chinese propaganda campaign. Does anyone else wonder why China keeps being injected as an unsolicited central topic in these forums, always in the context of supporting and defending Chinese actions? And despite Scott’s request to not do so, and his deletion of numerous China posts in the past?

          Yet somehow the pattern has never been broken or diminished, it’s just resurrected again and again and again. Facts not withstanding, truth not withstanding.

          A final quote from Director Wray which isolates the behavior of the Chinese government from that of the Chinee people:

          “Confronting this threat effectively does not mean we shouldn’t do business with the Chinese. It does not mean we shouldn’t host Chinese visitors. It does not mean we shouldn’t welcome Chinese students or coexist with China on the world stage.”

          “But it does mean that when China violates our criminal laws and international norms, we are not going to tolerate it, much less enable it. The FBI and our partners throughout the U.S. government will hold China accountable and protect our nation’s innovation, ideas, and way of life—with the help and vigilance of the American people.”

          Color me vigilant.

          • That was a fascinating rant.
            This thread was started by a highly relevant comment and article regarding the continuing lack of MAX re-cert in China.
            You then diverged into the all-too-familiar pattern of trying to demonize China…though it’s entirely unclear what that has to do with MAX certification, other than being some sort of sulk reaction to the fact that the world is increasingly disinterested in “buying American”.
            Americans buy Chinese-manufactured iPhones every day, without caring a hoot about all the anti-China points you’ve raised; so, by extension, why shouldn’t an Indonesian airline buy a COMAC aircraft?
            All the conspiracy theories you can concoct just won’t change the fact that China won’t be re-certifying the MAX anytime soon…as is perfectly within their rights.

          • Further to your weird comment (which has no relevance to the current LNA article).
            I recall watching Colin Powell explain in detail to the UN Security Council how Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. He was talking for at least an hour, and showing satellite photos, quoting intelligent reports…you name it. As we later found out, the entire show was a farce, the “intelligence” was completely wrong, the world was led on a wild goose chase.

            Against that background, the comment from @jimmy is perfectly understandable.

          • I’ve objected to the lies told here, which as I mentioned, become increasingly strident and expansive as they are pointed out. The tools and method of the propagandist.

            All these discussions unfold in the same way. An unsolicited but obvious falsehood is floated to see if it will gain traction. In this case by Gerrard (no surprise), but he is by no means alone in doing this. That draws immediate refutation by those interested in the truth. Which in term invites counterattack composed of increasing fraudulent statements, and the assertion of unfounded conspiracy theories regarding the US. These theories are how the facts are dismissed or circumvented.

            This pattern has gone on here for well over a year now, and will never change under the current circumstances. The only way to avoid it is to stop the initiating falsehood, which prevents all that follows. Scott has tried to do this, but without success. At best, the behavior recedes for brief period, but resumes as soon as the perpetrators believe the coast is clear. Scott’s instructions are ignored.

            The basic pattern has repeated here dozens of times now. So be it, we will continue to go though the cycle, with Scott becoming frustrated with us and deleting posts, temporarily halting things until the behavior resumes, as it always does.

            It’s a sad state of affairs, and is resolvable, but not by any of us. Only Scott has the power to address it.

          • Hello Rob,

            Re: “Which in term invites counterattack composed of increasing fraudulent statements, and the assertion of unfounded conspiracy theories regarding the US. These theories are how the facts are dismissed or circumvented.”

            I agree 100%. It think it is very sad that what used to be an aviation oriented comments section now consists mostly of debate about politics, COVID, and the same few people raging against the United States and Boeing, with these endless debates, involving a handful of people, including you, always returning to the same topic no matter the original topic of the post by Mr. Hamilton or his staff. Many times I have been in the verge of canceling my paid subscription rather than having one cent of my income support and enable this trash; however, every time my interest in Bjorn Fehrm’s excellent technically informed and non-political posts, which do not have insane comments sections, keeps me from doing so. The millisecond second I read China, Russia, or COVID in a comment, I skip over it and go to the next one. Aren’t there enough other places on the internet to discuss politics and which country is most evil or virtuous? For Mr. Hamilton’s present HOTR post, for which his topics were Alaska’s first MAX service and aircraft valuation, I really don’t understand why any post that doesn’t mention MAX’s at Alaska Airlines or aircraft valuation should not have been deleted. This would include, for instance, discussion of the geopolitics of islands in the South China Sea whose ownership is disputed. Whichever side of these political debates I agree with, I just don’t think they belong here, and wish that the comments section would return to being mostly about aviation rather than mostly about politics and COVID.

      • Copying requires thorough understanding of the technology including reasons.

        That’s been a problem even with standards for computer software. Many cases of incompatibility because of misreading of a standard, aided by wording that should have been clearer. And tinkering – Microsoft Word in mid-90s fouled up compatibility with WordPerfect by ‘oh we’ll use a newer version of RTF as we simply Word document format to RTF’. Microsoft had to patch Word to restore compatibility. Of course adapting technology is awkward if you do not know its history.

        And apparently Japanese did not understand safety/certification procedures well enough for their new airliner (that was being tested in Moses Lake WA with help of American consultants).

  11. Regarding the United order, do we have any indication of the MAX sub-types ordered in the new batch? Were they (or, at least, some of them) whitetails?

    • @Bryce

      All the hot air from @Rob et al about COMAC, ip theft, and so on is merely propaganda from BA in the so called trade war taking place

      Which has been rehearsed and repeated time and again for through out at least 50 years of constant US decline

      I’d pay it no mind – although it is necessary to counter such war mongering and find the careful arguments to dismantle them

      • Gerrard, the theft is established fact that has been substantiated by worldwide security investigators. Has nothing to do with Boeing, apart from being one of the many victims. You are right that propaganda is involved, but I am not the source of it here.

        • @Rob

          You are lazy in your remarks about theft, and to take what you say as ‘for granted’ is lazier

          If you wish to build a case for IP theft, which is not actually ‘theft’ as has been pointed out to you, you are free to do so

          Pay attention to technique, remember

          To posture your derogatory opinions as fact, and about a country counts, in your BA Diversity and Inclusion Program, as ‘racist’, not even unconscious, but pre meditated

        • @Rob

          Further to last

          The predatory enforcement of patent law while off shoring the actual industry and production is exploitative in every sense

          And is doomed to failure – current US patent trade war against China only encourages all users/clients of any US tech to think twice about buying anything from the US, and enc. China to develope internal or alternate technology

          And to play tit for tat

          US is too weak to win this phony war – such accusations are a sure sign of failure

          Check in with DoD (as per previous posts) for a realistic assessment of US technical engineering and manufacturing weakness and dependence rather than repeating stale propaganda slogans

      • Gerrard, Boeing’s various transgressions are established facts that have been substantiated by worldwide regulator investigators. Has nothing to do with China, apart from being one of the many victims. You are right that propaganda is involved, but we all know the source of it here

        • You can slather things over and have false equivalency if you so desire.

          One is a US Corporation that does not drive US policy but does have an affect on policy as well as the well being of the country.

          The other is a Dictatorship that you had best comply with or you wind up in the Gulag.

          I know where I want to live. Anyone that wants the flip I encourage to put in their passport for and become a citizen of so they can enjoy all the advantages of that society.

          Let us know as your adventure begins so we know why we never hear form you again.

    • All the fish I ever saw came through in individual boxes fed off a pancake into the conveyor system.

      AK ships some fish by their aircraft but the bulk is FedEx (maybe UPS, I never saw their side much)

      The most hated package in the system. Ungh. Slimy, sticky, we need a slide cleanup on Aisle 7!

  12. Hello claes,

    Re: “Does Alaska use the A321 containers to ship fish? With the 737-9 that will be different and more manual I assume.”

    Alaska has mostly used a small group of its oldest and lower passenger capacity aircraft to handle the bulk of Alaska seafood business. Presently this small group consists of 3 all cargo 737-700F’s. Previously Alaska used 737-200 Combis and 737-400 Combis for most of the fish business. I doubt that Alaska’s newest and highest passenger capacity aircraft will be carrying much fish. See the excerpts below from the Wikipedia article on Alaska Airlines.

    “Alaska Air Cargo has regional operations in parts of the United States and has the most extensive air cargo operations on the west coast of the U.S., larger than that of any other passenger airline. Alaska’s cargo operations are focused primarily on the northwestern contiguous states and Alaska, between Anchorage and Seattle. South from Alaska, goods that are carried primarily include fresh Alaskan seafood, while products carried north from Seattle primarily include US Postal Service mail; in addition, the airline also carries goods for remote Alaskan communities and personal packages.”

    “The current cargo fleet consists of three Boeing 737-700 freighter jets that were formerly passenger aircraft and converted to cargo aircraft over 19 months in 2016 and 2017 by Israel Aerospace Industries.[122]”

    “Alaska also used eight Boeing 737-200 Combi/QCs to suit the unique needs of flying in the state of Alaska. These combi aircraft operated with a mixed load of passengers and freight on the main deck were valued for their ability to be rapidly reconfigured (hence the moniker QC or “Quick Change”) to match the specific cargo and passenger loads for any given flight. In the all-freight configuration, the 737-200 Combis carried up to six cargo containers, known as “igloos.” The palletized floor allowed for passenger seating to range from 26 to 72 seats. The 737-200s were also gravel-kitted, which allowed them to be used at airports such as Red Dog, which formerly featured a gravel runway.[127] Alaska replaced the 737-200s with six reconfigured 737-400s between 2006 and 2007. Five featured a mixed cargo/passenger Combi arrangement, and one was a freighter carrying only cargo. Unlike the 737-200 Combi, the 737-400 Combis featured a fixed seating capacity of 72 seats.[47] The last 737-200 Combi (short for combination) was retired in 2007 and is now displayed at the Alaska Aviation Museum.[128][129] The 737-400 Combi aircraft were retired in October 2017.[130] Alaska Airlines also retired their passenger 737-400s in March 2018, making it the last major airline operating the 737 Classic.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines

    Over the past 10 years I have been flying domestically in the US on average about once a month, most of these 100 plus trips have been on Delta. On these trips I have flown a wide variety of Delta Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, and MD aircraft and can’t recall once seeing cargo containers loaded while I was waiting in the boarding area. Consider one of my typical pre-pandemic flights: Idaho Falls to Salt Lake City on a Delta Express E175 or CRJ, then Salt Lake City to Atlanta on a A321, A330, 737-800, 737-900ER, 757-200, 757-300, 767-300 (now retired) or 767-300ER, then Atlanta to Huntsville on a 717, MD-88 (now retired), E175 or CRJ. Many fellow passengers on each leg will be traveling different connecting itineraries on different Delta aircraft. Typically on my SLC to ATL flights the connections screen will show several dozens different locations to which one or more passengers will be making connections. The passengers connecting, like me, from smaller cites with no direct service to their destination, are one big reason that Delta was sometimes using 757-300’s, 767’s or A330’s on a route where the no or minimal conection ULCCs or LCC’s were using A319’s, A320’s or 737-700’s. What container type will fit all the aircraft that I and my fellow passengers will be flying on their itineraries? If the passengers on a SLC to ATL flight are going to several dozen destinations on a dozen different aircraft types all with different cargo hold dimensions, how would baggage sorting with containers work? Perhaps have 30 or 40 different containers of different sizes to fit different aircraft lined up near each arriving mainline aircraft to send bags to 30 or 40 different destinations on a dozen different aircraft types? Would this be more efficient than putting a bar code on each individual bag encoding its destination and having a baggage sorting system that reads the bar code and then directs each bag to the proper gate, or to a cart going to the proper gate, and then hand loading the bag into the proper aircraft when it (hopefully) arrives at the proper gate? Keep in mind that much of this sorting will need to occur during a hub ramp, during which several dozen aircraft will meet for about an hour at a hub and exchange passengers and bags. I have seen containers being loaded onto international widebody aircraft that are parked for hours or overnight at a gate before their next flight, instead of being directly involved in the unload, load, and go, hub scramble.

    • The small A320 family Airbuses can use LD3-45 containers. 737 does not have lower deck cargo containers. But if Alaska has not invested into LD3-45 cargo system for their Airbuses then going back to 737 is no big difference. I just assumed they has special made LD3-45’s for fish and seafood to increase speed and safety shipping them south.

      • You can freeze fish into any form you like.

        i.e. you can also freeze them into 737 hold Xsection shape.
        Voila ULDish for MAX 🙂

  13. Somewhat off topic, but of general importance to the airline industry:
    Reuters – Crisis deepens for airlines in January: IATA

    “Global airline body IATA said that the crisis deepened for airlines in January, as international traffic plunged 86% in the month compared to pre-crisis levels, and domestic air traffic was down 47%.”

    “New variants of the coronavirus forced governments to tighten travel restrictions across the world, hurting the outlook for airlines, the group warned.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-airlines/crisis-deepens-for-airlines-in-january-iata-idUSKBN2AU1O8

  14. Yea the EU rollout (flop out) is a disaster.

    UK has done well, go Brexit (and too the EU to schooling on how to write contrast! just goes to show that sucking up to China and Russian Kumbeya has real world impacts).

    US is on the way to full vaccine come July with a groundswell hitting late this month.

    We should start exporting vaccines to the EU (assuming they ever get around to approving the approved) by July.

    Guyana will need all the help it can get as well, a whopping 600,000 doses in a population of 39 million, that is going to help (a Big Whoop out to WHO).

    When the going gets touch the Acronyms fall on their faces.

    • @TW: UK experiments with its residents in adopting one dose regime; EU is strictly two doses.

    • Please get off your bully pulpit. The Nordstram 2 will deliver NG to Europe cheaper than the NG coming from u.s, but the u.s. is screaming foul. Patriotism is fine, but we aren’t the “House on the Hill”, as RJR proclaimed. Sheesh. Slightly out of context, but ergo, you’ll get my point.

    • WSJ: ‘ Boeing Co. was planning to strengthen protective engine covers on its 777 jets months before a pair of recent serious failures, including one near Denver last weekend, according to an internal Federal Aviation Administration document.

      The plane maker and regulator had been discussing potential fixes even longer — for about two years, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks began after two failures in 2018, one on a 777 operated by United Airlines Holdings Inc. and the other on a Southwest Airlines Co. 737. ‘

      – ‘”Boeing will be manufacturing new fan cowls and providing service instructions for operators to remove and replace the fan cowls,” according to the document, part of a routine Aug. 6, 2020, update on efforts under way at the agency’s Seattle-area offices. Boeing and the FAA declined to comment on the engine-cover plan’s status Wednesday. ‘

  15. A meta-comment: looks like there is one commenter here- one commenter, only- who has Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
    on its side; and anyone who dissents from its opinion, according to that commenter, is *by definition* wrong and should be silenced.

    Interesting times, yea verily. Not that surprising, though..

    #newDarkAge

  16. You really mean I believe that around six months from now the US will cease to be the only ‘vaccine nationalist’ state in the world – the only one that has banned previously ordered vaccines made in the US from being sent to their purchaser abroad.

    Marginal to the issue I here I certainly agree – except that it should be noted that China has been freely exporting vast quantities of its vaccine while still heavily vaccinating its own population. I fear much of the attitudinal assumptions made by many in this discussion are now wildly out of date as nations observe that dictatorial China and Russia freely supply vaccines to them, while capitalist USA is consumed with its insular political paranoia.

    • Let’s not stray into COVID stuff. It’s not part of the post.

      Hamilton

      • Yes – and with apologies: Feelings are a little strained up here in Canada over this. Will be good from now on.

  17. Adding: What is allowed to be said, in any venue, is
    increasingly constrained; and that is not at all to the hoi polloi’s benefit.. anyone else notice that?

    It’s not that one commenter that’s bugging me (well, maybe a little.. ;)), it’s the anti-free-speech and elite-benefitting consequences of the New, Anti-Free-Speech ‘Woke’ Orthodoxy-

  18. I’m going to close comments if y’all don’t knock off the talk about COVID, China and politics unrelated to recertification of the MAX. This post is not about territorial disputes of the South China Sea, COVID, etc.

    This post is not about Brexit, COVID shots in the UK, etc. Knock it off.

    Further to AP’s comment on this, I couldn’t agree more, but I don’t spend 24/7 monitoring comments. I catch what I can, when I can.

    Finally, if people don’t start shaping up, I’ll suspend the lot of them: Bryce, Gerrard, Trans World, Rob, take note. Others may join them. I’ve had it with all of you.

    Hamilton

    • The message is clear.
      However, the discussion was originally about MAX re-cert in Asia Pacific (more particularly China), and also a new expansion of the C919 order book, and it was going just fine until “others” decided to talk (and then rant) about dictatorship, work camps, IP theft, etc. Now everybody is being tarred with the same brush.

    • Scott

      Thank you for providing a forum for those interested in aviation. I agree with your efforts to keep posts on topic. If anything I’d be stricter. .

  19. The free speech argument is another of the fallacies presented here, which at least is consistent with the general theme of disinformation.

    There is no problem with considered differences of opinion, of which there are many that take place here, without either side introducing a falsehood. It’s not necessary or relevant to do that in discussions where the rules are observed, and the arguments are reasoned, rational, and respectful. But there is a large gap between that and propaganda that is provably false, yet actively being pushed.

    [Deleted as off topic.]

    AP argues his positions both strongly and factually here, with overwhelming research and knowledge. That approach is almost always successful, and by definition doesn’t require any false information. Nor does it require him to attack anything or anyone.

    For reasons that he gave earlier, he avoids the non-aviation discussions that are regularly introduced, and that are the most heavily based on non-facts. But he remains an example of appropriate conduct.

    As for me, I’ve spent too much of my life combatting misrepresentations to have much tolerance for it. All it takes for a lie to win out, is for those who recognize it to remain silent. So I will always speak up. But I agree with AP that the topics introduced here, that constitute the majority of the problem, are inappropriate, even when I am the guilty party.

    • More politics and conspiracy theories…totally unrelated to any aspect of aviation.
      What Trump and McCain have to do with the MAX is completely unclear.

    • Scott, you deleted my remarks on integrity & choice that were meant specifically for you. Therefore I will assume they went unheard.

      The problems with posters continue here because it is your choice to allow them. As we’ve seen countless times before, and now again in the developing commentary below. A better choice is possible, many examples of better outcomes exist, I gave only one.

      With that I rest my case. It’s up to you.

      • @Rob: This is not a political forum. It’s not a Brexit forum. It’s not a South China Sea forum. I do what I can to delete the nonsense, but I don’t moderate this as a full time job. Sometimes, stuff slips through. If you don’t like it, tough. This is my newsletter and my rules (see Reader Comment Rules). Newspapers have their rules for Reader Comments, too.

        If you (and others) object, go some place else. My patience is at an end.

        Hamilton

        • >If you don’t like it, tough. This is my newsletter and my rules (see Reader Comment Rules). Newspapers have their rules for Reader Comments, too.
          If you (and others) object, go some place else. <

          Thank you, and a "hear, hear!" as well.

        • Scott, the focus on off-topic discussions is valid, and I don’t question your ire regarding that at all. But it’s not the root problem here.

          The same behaviors occur also for on-topic discussions. AP has mentioned it above, SPh has mentioned it, Mike Bohnet has mentioned it, and others as well, so it’s not just me.

          I totally get that you shouldn’t have to spend your time here babysitting, that’s my belief as well. There are ways to avoid both. That was my point.

          But if you don’t want to change things here, that’s entirely up to you. We agree 100%, your site, your rules. My only thought was that the quality of the site is improved in the absence of those behaviors.

          • @Rob

            You should read the memos, especially those from Mr Hamilton

            Stop attempting to be exclusionary and censorious, it will not work – be inclusive and welcome diversity as well as diverse points of view many not from a white privilege perspective

  20. Max Recertification Update

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1216917.shtml

    A new report adds that CAAC concerns with the re certification procedures extend to the recent US Dept of Transport IG review of the FAA re certification

    “The US Transportation Department’s inspector general last week faulted “weaknesses” in US government’s certification of the aircraft with a 63-page report saying the FAA did not have a complete understanding of a Boeing safety system tied to both crashes and said “much work remains” to address some outstanding issues. The department cited “management and oversight weaknesses” in its report. »

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202012/1210561.shtml

    Another and previous report insists that technical issues only are being addressed, in particular safety, and that politics is not a consideration

    • @ Gerrard
      Very interesting articles relating to MAX re-cert, though they also contain the “Ch word”, so it’s uncertain that your comment will be allowed.
      I wonder what are the “design changes to the aircraft that must be approved for airworthiness”? Have they been listed in a link anywhere?

      More on topic: Harbin in NE China is 5380km from Anchorage in Alaska, and is thus within the range of a MAX 8,9 and 10 (under favorable conditions). So, until the CAAC re-certifies, Alaska will not be able to expand into this market with its 737s…though its A321 neos would be allowed.

      • @Bryce

        Mr Hamilton stated “.. knock off the talk about COVID, China and politics unrelated to recertification of the MAX.’

        I take this to mean that subjects related to Max re cert are welcome, but not independent comments on China and politics, or am I mistaken ?

        I think Mr Hamilton is correct that the inevitable contentiousness provoked by the monoculture comments should cease

        I might add cease in favour of inclusive conversations

        Re more information on CAAC deliberations and attitudes, I would have thought that Chinese language blogs deal in much more detail with the technical and administrative aspects of the Max re cert – but for these one can only appeal to Chinese language speakers for comment

        I consult only a few of the english language publications, which use careful graded language

        PS I find the passive/aggressive and confessional mea culpa wholly indicative of the new mono c

        • @ Gerrard
          I also noted the apparent qualifier “unrelated to recertification of the MAX”, and interpreted it in the same manner as you indicate.
          But you never know.

          I agree with you that there must be a wealth of data only available in Mandarin, and it’s a pity that we have no direct tap into that. As you can see in your links, those in “other countries” are certainly following English-language material published elsewhere — most notably the damning IG report (63 pages) on the MAX certification. You can be sure that the same people are also following all publications on the KC-46…including demeaning fruit-related descriptors used recently by a certain high-ranking officer in the USAF.

        • @Gerrard: My outline was clear. China-certification on MAX is fine. Political stuff about the South China Sea, Brexit and COVID are off topic. What part of this don’t you understand?

          Hamilton

          • @Mr Hamilton

            My post was on China recert of the Max, nada mas

            So that I think this was on topic

            In my comment to Bryce I was making sure that my understanding was correct

            It is, isn’t it?

  21. Hope this fascinating story is allowed: it relates to aviation, more specifically the A321XLR, but also an interesting action by Boeing:

    “Boeing Co has raised concerns over the design of arch-rival Airbus’ newest narrow-body jet, the A321XLR, saying a novel type of fuel tank could pose fire risks.
    “In a submission to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Boeing said the architecture of a fuel tank intended to increase the A321XLR’s range “presents many potential hazards.”

    “The concept caught the attention of EASA which in January said it would impose special conditions to keep passengers safe. “An integral fuselage fuel tank exposed to an external fire, if not adequately protected, may not provide enough time for the passengers to safely evacuate the aircraft,” it said.

    “Public consultation is part-and-parcel of an aircraft development programme,” an Airbus spokesman said, adding any issues raised would be tackled together with regulators.
    “Such technical exchanges rarely capture attention. But a battered aerospace industry is on edge after the MAX crisis, compounded by COVID-19, shook confidence in aviation.
    “Commercial stakes are also high. One industry source familiar with the project warned any extended wrangle over certification could delay the A321XLR’s service entry from “late 2023” to 2024 or beyond.
    “Should that happen, sources say Boeing is expected to encourage airlines to wait a few years longer for a potential all-new model that insiders say would leapfrog the A321XLR.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-design-boeing/boeing-cites-risks-in-design-of-newest-airbus-jet-idUSKCN2AU2RJ

    That last citation in particular is an indication of “politics” at play — which will be a great shock to those who believe that such practices are confined to “a certain country in Asia” 😉

    • Boeing in its last breath.
      Remember when Muilenburg said WE OWN SAFETY, that was when he threatened engineers with undue pressure.
      Boeing is a joke and everybody knows it. Udvar-Hazy won’t order a Boeing again. Only the greedy fools order Boeing like Ryan and Alaska.

    • Hello Bryce and keesje,

      Re: “The concept caught the attention of EASA which in January said it would impose special conditions to keep passengers safe. “An integral fuselage fuel tank exposed to an external fire, if not adequately protected, may not provide enough time for the passengers to safely evacuate the aircraft,” it said.”

      I am not very familiar with EASA regulations; however, see below for some excerpts from long standing FAA Advisory Circulars relating to fuel tanks under the passenger cabin floor.

      From AC 25-30″Fuel Tank Strength in Emergency Landing Conditions” issued 10-7-14. See the link after the excerpts for the full AC.

      “Section 25.963(d), as revised by Amendment 25-139, requires that “Fuel tanks must, so far as it is practicable, be designed, located, and installed so that no fuel is released in or near the fuselage, or near the engines, in quantities that would constitute a fire hazard in otherwise survivable emergency landing conditions….”

      “Therefore, to meet the introductory requirement in § 25.963(d), every practicable consideration should be made to ensure protection of fuel tanks in more severe crash conditions. For example, as much clearance as possible
      should be provided between fuel tanks and structure that can be crushed, or the tanks should be protected by primary structure not likely to be crushed. The tank design should isolate the tank from airframe-induced structural loads and from deformations induced by the wing and fuselage during a crash landing. Lastly, fuel tanks and supports should not be located at fuselage break points, where the fuselage is most likely to fail in a minor crash landing. For tanks located in the fuselage below the main cabin floor,
      the capability to withstand a survivable, off-runway takeoff or landing accident should be comparable to that of an equivalent integral aluminum wing fuel tank. Equivalent structural integrity, as well as tear and penetration resistance, should be provided.”

      “Compliance with § 25.963(d)(4) and § 25.721(b) and (c): Each fuel tank should be protected against the effects of crushing and scraping action (including thermal effects) of the fuel tank and surrounding airframe structure with the ground under the following minor crash landing conditions:

      An impact at 5-feet-per-second vertical velocity on a paved runway at maximum landing weight, with all landing gears retracted and in any other possible combination of gear legs not extended. The unbalanced pitching and rolling moments due to the ground reactions are assumed to be reacted by inertia and by immediate pilot control action consistent with the airplane under control until other structure strikes the ground. It should be shown that the loads generated by the primary and subsequent impacts are
      not of a sufficient level to rupture the tank. A reasonable attitude should be selected within the speed range from VL1 to 1.25 VL2 based upon the fuel tank arrangement. The attitude or attitudes selected for evaluation should be shown to be the most critical attitude(s) in terms of the effect on the structural integrity of the fuel tanks. VL1 equals VS0 (TAS) at the appropriate landing weight and in standard sea-level conditions, and VL2 equals VS0 (TAS) at the appropriate landing weight and altitudes in a hot day temperature of 41 °F above standard.”

      “Auxiliary Fuel Tanks.
      AC 25-8, Auxiliary Fuel System Installations, provides additional information applicable to auxiliary fuel tanks carried within the fuselage. That AC provides guidance on crashworthiness and other design issues that may also be applied to fuel tanks other than those considered auxiliary fuel tanks.”

      https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_25-30.pdf

      The last excerpt above references AC 25-8 “Auxiliary Fuel System Installations” which was issued 5-2-86. Below are 2 excerpts from AC 25-8. See the link after the excerpts for the full AC.

      “1. STRUCTURAL INSPECTION.
      a. General. Survivable accidents have occurred at vertical descent velocities greater than the 5 feet per second (f.p.s.) referenced in§ 25.561. The energy from such descents is absorbed by the structure along the lower fuselage. As the limits of survivable accidents are approached, structure under the main cabin floor is crushed and deformed and the volume below the floor, where the auxiliary fuel tanks are frequently located, may be reduced and reshaped. For this reason the tank material chosen by the applicant should
      provide resilience and flexibility; or, in the absence of these characteristics,
      the tank installation should provide extra clearance from structure that can be crushed or be protected by primary structure not likely to be crushed. If
      lightweight composite structure with brittle failure characteristics is chosen,
      compliance with current regulations or special conditions may be required.”

      “(7) Sufficient vehicle structural crush distance should be available
      to avoid auxiliary fuel tank ground contact under the loading conditions of
      § 25.56l(b). Compliance may be shown by analysis and where necessary by test. The analysis should identify the failure mode and define the interaction between the tank and adjacent structure and between adjacent tanks.”

      https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_25-8.pdf

      • AP_Robert, thank you as always for the informative and fact-based post. As you mentioned, this safety issue was raised by EASA and they solicited industry comments, to which Boeing responded. As EASA stated, a routine occurrence. EASA will issue the special conditions that are necessary for safety of the aircraft, after reviewing all comments and data.

      • @ AP
        I think most people here were already somewhat aware of the technical details that you posted: TWA 800, for example, is graven in the collective aviation memory, and was again in the news recently because of the plans to dispose of the re-assembled wreckage.

        The bombshell in the link that I posted was, as I indicated, the final quote, which suggests that Boeing may be intending to use subterfuge to delay A321XLR certification in an effort to boost sales of its own future offering. Many technical people are insensitive to such undertones, but aviation commentators picked up on it loud and clear — e.g. as evidenced by Pedro’s Twitter link. Just as a wolf can come in sheep’s clothing, so too can an attempt at market manipulation be dressed up as a “technical observation”.

        Seeing as Boeing shot itself in the foot (and was massively hoodwinked) in the Bombardier misstep, it should beware of opening Pandora’s box by attempting to frustrate certification of a competitor product — because that same game can also be played by the opposing party. And, at present, Airbus can throw back far more stones than Boeing might be comfortable with. Jon Ostrower tweeted:
        “Regardless of Boeing’s concerns up or down on the A321XLR fuel tank, the company is making assertions from a position of severely diminished credibility on safety issues, to say nothing of the obvious conflict of interest at play here.”

        So, the Reuters link wasn’t just a technical story, but was also (or, perhaps, mainly) a story about tactics and strategies in the future regulatory and competitive landscape.

      • FedEx MD-10 N370FE at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood on 10-28-16. Because no one was sitting on top of the fuel tank that exploded, no one was killed.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQSv_NOUHK0

        Because no one was sitting on top of the left wing that caught fire, the left wing was incinerated but no people were incinerated.

        https://avherald.com/img/fedex_md10_n370fe_fort_lauderdale_161028_1.jpg

        The airport fire department arrived promptly, but not fast enough to prevent incineration of the left wing and a fuel tank explosion.

        If I was a regulator I would take a very dim view of a manufacturer, any manufacturer, asking to have existing fire safety regulations relaxed for certification of their new design. It puzzled me that the request by Airbus for such a relaxation was not news; however, Boeing’s response in public comments to EASA’s response for a relaxation of their existing fire safety regulations has turned into big news. It is also puzzling to me that some of those who complain endlessly here about the FAA being too easy on Boeing, seem to not be bothered by Airbus requesting an exemption from fire safety regulation for their new design. So it is only bad for Boeing to try to get regulators to go easy on them, it is OK for other manufacturers to request exemption from safety regulations?

        See below for the full text of proposed EASA Special Condition “Passenger Protection from External Fire” – SC-D25.856-01, issued 1-18-21 which,unlike Boeing’s public comment response to it, seems to have been deemed unworthy of coverage by the media. Note in particular the following.

        “As per CS 25.856(b), these panels will have to be compliant with the burnthrough specifications. The aircraft manufacturer studied this strategy and concluded that, for the proposed design, compliance with CS 25.856(b) is technically not feasible due to the following reasons:
        a. It is not possible to install insulation panels between the RCT and the cabin floor that would be compliant with the installation requirements as expressed in FAA AC 25.856 2A, due to the lack of space.”

        FULL TEXT STARTS HERE

        “INTRODUCTORY NOTE:
        The following Special Condition (SC) has been classified as important and as such shall be subject to public consultation in accordance with EASA Management Board decision 12/2007 dated 11 September 2007, Article 3 (2.) which states:
        “2. Deviations from the applicable airworthiness codes, environmental protection certification specifications and/or acceptable means of compliance with Part 21, as well as important special conditions and equivalent safety findings, shall be submitted to the panel of experts and be subject to a public consultation of at least 3 weeks, except if they have been previously agreed and published in the Official Publication of the Agency. The final decision shall be published in the Official Publication of the Agency.”

        IDENTIFICATION OF ISSUE:
        EASA received an application for a major change to type design on a large aeroplane. The design change includes the following features that require a Special Condition to be raised by EASA.

        1) An integral (structural) rear centre tank (RCT) located behind the wheel bay is introduced to the aeroplane in the lower section of the fuselage, partially replacing the aft cargo compartment. The RCT creates a ‘cold feet’ effect for the passengers located above it, and insulation panels will have to be installed between the RCT and the cabin floor for comfort reasons. As per CS 25.856(b), these panels will have to be compliant with the burnthrough specifications. The aircraft manufacturer studied this strategy and concluded that, for the proposed design, compliance with CS 25.856(b) is technically not
        feasible due to the following reasons:
        a. It is not possible to install insulation panels between the RCT and the cabin floor that would be compliant with the installation requirements as expressed in FAA AC 25.856 2A, due to the lack of space.
        b. Burnthrough protection of the cabin floor would leave the decompression panels located on each side of the fuselage unprotected, as they cannot be blocked by any insulation panels. The total area of
        discontinuities above the RCT in terms of burnthrough protection would be around 10 %.
        c. Due to the Fire, Explosion and Smoke Risk Assessment (FESRA) conclusions around the RCT, a certain level of ventilation must always be ensured, and any attempt to install burnthrough-compliant material
        would jeopardize this ventilation.

        2) The integration of a fuselage integral fuel tank located behind the wheel bay, under the passenger cabin, brings additional risks (explosion, penetration by fire, vapor migration, etc) if it is exposed to an external
        fire. While the other risks are addressed separately, this proposed Special Condition intend to address the risk of penetration by fire only.

        Even though paragraph 25.856(b) focuses on the insulation material, the intent of the rule is to provide enough time for the occupants to evacuate the aircraft in case of an external pool fire. An integral fuselage fuel tank exposed to an external fire, if not adequately protected, may not provide enough time for the passengers to safely evacuate the aircraft.

        From a fuel tank fire protection perspective, aluminium alloys are indeed recognised to have fire resistant properties, when of a thickness that is appropriate to the function to be performed. This minimum thickness is, unfortunately, not specified. Moreover, from a fuselage burnthrough point of view, it is also acknowledged that an aluminium skin provides very limited protection, hence the fire protection function is mainly provided by the insulation material.

        Considering all the above, the following Special Condition is proposed:

        Special Condition
        Passenger Protection from External Fire
        In order to protect the cabin occupants from an external pool fire, the lower half of the fuselage in the longitudinal location of the rear centre tank shall be resistant to fire penetration.

        Means of Compliance to Special Condition SC-D25.856-01

        The associated Means of Compliance is published for awareness only and is not subject to public consultation.

        In showing compliance to SC-E25.856-01 the following may be considered:
        1. The strategy for protection of the fuselage against external pool fire effects for a fuselage structural centre tank installation may be demonstrated to be at least as safe as the previous design of the basic aircraft, for which the burnthrough protection was found compliant with CS 25.856(b).
        2. The demonstration can be achieved either through the design features of the RCT itself, or through additional design features.
        3. The demonstration can be based on tests, analysis supported by test evidence, or design similarity.
        4. When flame penetration testing is performed on materials other than insulation blankets that would be compliant to 25.856(b), the test should be carried out in accordance with the test conditions prescribed in
        Appendix F Part VII with regards to the fire threat with an exposure time of 5 minutes to the flame. There should be no flame penetration during these 5 minutes.”

        https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/dfu/sc-d25.856-01_issue-01_-_for_consultation.pdf

        I think that EASA’s response to Airbus, if enforced, is reasonable.

        I also think that Boeing’s comments in response to EASA’s proposal were technically sound and reasonable. For those who believe otherwise, I am curious what you object to in the following?

        “The special condition should also consider the
        possibility of tank internal volume heating from
        the external pool-fed fire threat resulting in
        explosion or ignition of flammable vapors, as
        heat transfer characteristics will be affected by
        the absence of a conventional configuration
        featuring insulation against the fuselage
        external skin, and the potential presence of fuel
        in direct contact with the fuselage external
        skin.”

        “The Boeing recommendation is to ensure that
        means of compliance advisory material be
        documented that provides an equivalent level
        of safety for an integral fuselage fuel tank to
        the level of safety provided by the advisory
        material in FAA Advisory Circular 25-8.”

        Whatever EASA, or I, or any reader here may think, the day will come when the FAA itself will have to decided whether to waive portions of AC 25-8, if necessary, for whatever design Airbus comes up with.

        • Thanks again AP. EASA has also said that Airbus must demonstrate equivalent levels of safety to aircraft not equipped with the fuselage structural fuel space. That is a perfectly sound and reasonable expectation, that I’m sure all passengers and airlines will support.

          If the roles were reversed and Boeing had proposed a new structural fuel tank beneath the passengers, I’m sure Airbus would have expressed an opinion on certification in EU airspace. Airbus would not be wrong to do so, any more than Boeing is. It’s only the perceived favoritism of one or the other, that creates an issue for the pundits and the media. Fortunately the engineering and analysis will prevail, rather than the nonsense.

          • For the record, Boeing opposed inerting the fuel tank on 757s.

          • Scott, in fairness the resistance to commercial passenger aircraft fuel tank inverting, at that time, was industry-wide. Boeing was by no means alone in that stance.

            In 2005 as the FAA began rulemaking, EASA did their own study, consulting with both Boeing and Airbus, that found cut-in of FRS to production would be very expensive, but justified, in concurrence with FAA. But not justified for retrofit.

            Since then, things have moved forward and FAA, along with EASA, has pushed for retrofit as well. Today there is no argument that all new aircraft must have FRS, and the lingering arguments over retrofit are for very old aircraft.

            Just as today there is no argument over airbags or energy-absorbing designs in automobiles, although at first these things were resisted. Progress is made over time. What was once seen as a cost, becomes valued as an asset.

            If Airbus can prove the safety of the fuselage structural fuel space, that too will become valued as an asset, regardless of any comments one way or the other.

  22. Boeing : “a novel type of fuel tank could pose fire risks”

    I think the public should welcome any founded concern on the design or safety of any aircraft. I will feel safer if seasoned Boeing specialists took a close look at safety challenges on any Airbus design. And the other way around.

    If it is really a political “America First” move, I would be really worried from an safety culture standpoint..

    • The FAA seems to have gone over Airbus products with a fine comb all the time. ( Time they should on occasion have spent on the B product portfolio 🙂
      IMHO to the benefit of Airbus in the long run.

      Boeing going the direct way to EASA seems to indicate a new turn in re(tala/i)tions.

      Desperation.

    • @ Pedro
      Another bombshell revelation.
      Does this mean that every 787 ever produced is ultimately going to have to spend a few months in a hangar undergoing “open heart surgery” (to use a phrase from a recent article)?
      I wonder should Airbus file a “technical observation” on this point with the FAA…or will the FAA issue an AD of its own volition?
      I’m not aware of any situation in which an entire fleet had to return to a hangar for major and protracted revision work…apart from Concorde, though that was just a handful of planes. What about the pickle fork revisions, which sort-of fall into this category…any news on that front?

    • Boeing and FAA are saying that the 787 fuselage issues are not a safety problem. But because of the gaps in the fuselage joint, the load calculations for the joints are not valid anymore. If the joints can’t be repaired and stay “as-is”, load can’t be carried through the joints.
      For safety reasons, the fuselage is designed and tested with 150% load. Because of the gaps in the joints only 130% load could be left for saftey, which is only 13% less.
      100% MZFW for the 787-9 is 181436kg or 400000LB.
      130% would be 235867kg. If this 130% safety load is the NEW 150% safety load, needed by regulations, the NEW 100% MZFW would be only 157245kg. This is 24191kg less payload than the original payload.
      But the FAA says that the 787 is safe and the FAA does nothing. They only reduced the safety from 150% to 130% or even less, nobody tested it.

      • The statements by FAA and Boeing are correct. The combination of the fuselage gap and roughness problems reduce the ultimate load rating of the join below the required 150%. Those aircraft were grounded and repaired.

        Aircraft with one problem or the other still meet the 150% requirement, but potentially the aircraft fatigue life is reduced, due to flexure of the join over a large number flight cycles.

        Boeing is inspecting and reworking those joins that did not meet all the specifications in production. At some point that work will be extended into the existing fleet. Most likely at a scheduled heavy maintenance check. But as stated, it does not constitute a safety of flight issue.

        • If the issues didn’t “constitute a safety of flight issue”, they wouldn’t have been the subject of history’s first “manufacturing-process-related” grounding order.

        • “”Aircraft with one problem or the other still meet the 150% requirement””

          Nobody knows that. 150% load testing is done for a reason and the wider gaps are not tested.
          As if Boeing would design 160% safety, nobody would do that, it would be a poor design.
          So if the calculations are not valid anymore the safety can be expected to be less than 150%.
          If the safety would still be 150% nobody would do anything.
          FAA is waiting here for another crash same as before.

          • @ Leon
            Correct.
            Re-capping what CEO John Plueger of ALC said last week:

            “It’s clear that the production issues that have arisen on the 787’s seemed to have mushroomed, and there’s just greater and greater levels of inspection going on due to the non-conformity findings.”

            The issue, he said, is not so much that the 787 is undergoing inspections which are impacting operations and deliveries of the type, but that there seems to be no clear path out of the situation. He continued: “It is difficult to see a definitive fix that is agreeable by the aviation authorities going forward.”

            Re-visiting (i.e. “cooking”) the certification requirements so as to try to put Boeing back in some sort of “sweet spot” will not be tolerated by customers — many of whom are now almost in the advantageous situation of being able to cancel without penalty because of the ongoing production delays.

          • Boeing is very specifically not attempting to cook the certification, they are repairing the aircraft to meet the original specifications.

            The suggestion to the contrary was made by the lessor that is quoted here, that the flaws be accepted as-is. A statement that was ignored by Boeing and the industry at large.

            Amusing that the lessor’s comments are used on both sides of the criticism here. Used against Boeing in the sense of there being no resolution in sight (false), then again with regard to allegations of Boeing accepting the flaws (again false).

            But consistent with the commentary here, unfortunately.

          • “”Amusing that the lessor’s comments are used on both sides of the criticism here. Used against Boeing in the sense of there being no resolution in sight (false), then again with regard to allegations of Boeing accepting the flaws (again false).””

            The gaps are not mentioned anywhere anymore, swept under the rug. How can gaps be repaired and then new calculated?
            The load calulations for the joints might not be true from day one. We know why, correct calculations were not needed because politicians were paid.
            Nobody has these calculations. If I were a regulator I would ask for these documents and till then restrict the payload to 50% of all 787, that would make the 787 useless and airlines would ground it themselves. No problem, Boeing would have to pay for it.

            Amusing is that Boeing offered cheap 787 as compensation for the MAX drama, but the 787 is an even bigger drama.

          • @ Rob

            Boeing is very definitely hoping for “re-visited” certification requirements, they are fruitlesslty trying to repair the aircraft to meet the original specifications.

            This valid point was made by the lessor that is quoted here, that the only way out of this quagmire is that the flaws be accepted as-is. A statement that touched a nerve within Boeing and the industry at large.

            Fascinating that the lessor’s comments unmask the un-resolvable quandary here. Bad news for Boeing in the sense of there being no resolution in sight (true), then again with regard to the seeming necessity of accepting the flaws (again true).

            But consistent with the commentary here, as one would expect.

        • “But as stated, it does not constitute a safety of flight issue.”

          Those are not the Droids you are looking for.

          Do you actually believe what you wrote?

      • @ Leon
        I wonder at what point the CAAC will pick up on this. I’m sure that the Chinese are aware of the angry reaction/reprimand from lessor ALC last week, so they know how serious and stubborn the issues are.

        The CAAC is being far more rigorous than the FAA/EASA with the MAX, so China can potentially have a field day with the 787. A problem, however, is that the 787 is widely used by Chinese carriers, so increased scrutiny will result in pain for airlines. The CR929 isn’t as far along as the C919, so a domestic offering can’t be “advantaged” in this case; hence, the only other new widebody choices that Chinese carriers have is from Airbus (which already has many A330s at Chinese carriers, and also 68 A350s).
        It will be interesting to see where this goes.

  23. On SF (and other sites):
    “Norwegian Won’t Fly The Boeing 737 MAX Again”

    “Just last month, it was revealed that Norwegian would say goodbye to 12 of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. However, the airline’s chief financial officer, Geir Karlsen, has now shared that his company will let go of all of its units of the model.”

    https://simpleflying.com/norwegian-drops-737-max/

  24. A new report from respected analyst Dhierin Bechai on the 777

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4411120-boeing-not-buy-boeing-777-hyperbole

    « What will be interesting at this point is to see whether any airline will be accelerating the retirement of their Boeing 777 aircraft following the grounding. Obviously, the aircraft age and turbofan age do not necessarily need to match but data from the World Fleet Monitorshows that out of the 128 aircraft that are now grounded there were plans to phase out or repurpose 24 aircraft and I would not be surprised if the phase outs will be accelerated by the grounding. »

    • And on a sort-of-related note (dispensing with older planes), a Dutch aviation website is reporting that Lufthansa has definitive plans to dump *all* of its (remaining) A340s, A380s, 747-400s and MD-11Fs.
      No point in posting a link here: it’s in Dutch and behind a paywall.

      • @Bryce

        Thanks for this alert – I looked around for something in English, and found this

        https://www.aerotime.aero/27395-lufthansa-2020-results

        “The German airline group, which includes such airlines as Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), and Swiss International Air Lines among others, reported that it finished 2020 with a net loss of €6.7 billion ($8.07 billion). Revenue at the group dropped from €36.4 billion ($43.8 billion) from a year prior to €13.6 billion ($16.3 billion). By Q4 2020, the Lufthansa Group burned through €300 million ($361.6 million) of cash per month. A quarter prior, the group used €206 million ($248.2 million) of its cash reserves monthly.”

        “In terms of new aircraft coming into the airlines, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) had 177 firm orders and 102 options. In 2021, 12 aircraft (one Airbus A220 and 11 of the Airbus A320neo family) will be delivered to the Lufthansa Group. Starting by 2022, Boeing will deliver the 787 Dreamliner to the company – starting a year later, additional Airbus A350 aircraft and its first Boeing 777X are scheduled to join Lufthansa’s (LHAB) (LHA) fleet. The group also highlighted the fact that by no later than 2025, the number of different cockpit types in the long-haul fleet will go from 14 to eight, including the disposal of such aircraft as the Airbus A340, A380, or the Boeing 747.”

      • @Bryce

        Further to last

        https://www.aerotime.aero/27046-Lufthansa-Group-recovery-passenger-demand

        LH expect ‘sharp recovery’ in pax traffic around this summer –

        « “I think it will give us a clear recovery around summertime. […] We don’t know if this will increase to 40, 50, or 60 percent [of 2019 levels] overall for the year [2021]. In our case, the group has planned for all three percentages to play out. I hope, at least, we won’t be much off either way “, said Spohr. »

        « In total, the group cut 29,000 jobs, leaving the company with 106,000 out of 135,000 employees compared to the pre-pandemic levels. Under the program, Lufthansa Group also plans to permanently reduce its fleet by at least 100 aircraft. Sphor outlined that the group has already grounded the whole Airbus A380 fleet. »

        « According to Spohr, despite experiencing continuous losses of up to €1 million every two hours, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) has “just taken” a €3 billion in the government-backed loan to stabilize its liquidity position. The CEO outlined that despite the government was able to support the group with an additional €6 billion in loans, the company might not need the injection “depending on how the year plays out”. «

    • The affected 777’s with PW engines are about 10% of the established worldwide fleet, as the article notes. Many of those aircraft are already in storage. The fate of those that were in active service depends on the results of the inspections. It would be plausible to swap them out for others already in storage, retire them, or repair them. Airlines will decide this based on the economics.

      We will see what happens, but this doesn’t significantly impact the global 777 fleet. That was the titular reference to hyperbole.

      • @Rob

        Thanks for the gloss in very simple english on Mr Bechai’s report, mucho helpful indeed

      • UA’s Hawaii bound B777 have different seatings from its B777 for international flights.

  25. Hope this will be allowed: it relates to the C919 aircraft.
    Two developments on Reuters this morning, in line with expectation. The second one, in particular, is very interesting, and potentially prompted by the recent moved by the US to put COMAC on a blacklist.

    “China’s home-built C919 aircraft on path to be certified by year-end”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-parliament-c919/chinas-home-built-c919-aircraft-on-path-to-be-certified-by-year-end-designer-says-idUSKBN2AX0FV

    “China outlines push to develop domestic engine for C919 jet in five-year plan”
    “It also aims to achieve breakthrough in engine technology for widebody jets, the government said.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-parliament-aviation-engines/china-outlines-push-to-develop-domestic-engine-for-c919-jet-in-five-year-plan-idUSKBN2AX0OZ

  26. Somewhat off topic — though it relates to Boeing finances:
    “Boeing looking for new $4 billion revolving credit facility”

    “Boeing Co has approached a group of banks for a new $4 billion revolving credit facility, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the planemaker battles a prolonged slowdown in commercial air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    “Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith had discussed raising more debt at the company’s quarterly earnings call in January. Smith said Boeing has “sufficient liquidity” currently, but it continues to consider all options to strengthen its balance sheet.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-debt/boeing-looking-for-new-4-billion-revolving-credit-facility-source-idUSKBN2AW2UX

  27. Off-topic, but relating to aviation:
    Iceland is expecting the (imminent) eruption of a volcano (Mount Keilir) near Keflavik airport, after a dormancy of 800 years.
    The constitution of the magma in this area is such as to (tend to) produce relatively “calm” lava flows rather than ash-producing explosive eruptions, so disruption to transatlantic air traffic is not expected (to the extent that there is any transatlantic air traffic at present).

    https://news.yahoo.com/iceland-volcano-thats-dormant-800-013100728.html

    2021 is the year that just keeps on giving 😉

  28. This is on the LNA Twitter feed here on the site.
    More dirty laundry being revealed about Boeing’s “handling” of the initial MAX crash, revealed from documents dredged up in pre-trial discovery procedures in ongoing lawsuits:
    Bloomberg – “Boeing Reeled From ‘Terrible’ Press After First Max Crash”

    “The inaction amounts to an “epochal corporate governance catastrophe,” the New York and Colorado funds said in an amended Delaware Chancery Court complaint that was made public Feb. 5.”

    “In the text of the 2018 communique, sent weeks after the initial crash, Muilenburg strongly pushed back on a Wall Street Journal story quoting U.S. pilot union officials, who had said that they weren’t aware that the so-called MCAS had been added to the Max, or provided instructions on how to respond when it was activated until after the crash in Indonesia.
    “These statements, along with the article’s references to us ‘withholding information,’ are categorically false,” the Boeing chief told directors.
    Disclosures months later would show that Boeing officials successfully lobbied the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to remove MCAS from the flight crew operating manuals.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-04/boeing-board-reeled-from-terrible-press-after-first-max-crash

    • ” … Boeing officials successfully lobbied the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to remove MCAS from the flight crew operating manuals.”

      Thanks to Corp. BA’s notable late stage capitalist style intervention, 346 fatalities. Now BA is eager to look into possible safety “concerns” of others and point finger at political moves. Did Boeing disclose (or hide) MCAS in 737 MAX’s certification??

      • Pedro, you already know the answer to that is no, it’s been discussed endlessly here, was stated explicitly both in the IG report and the DoJ settlement with Boeing.

        Further the removal of MCAS from the flight materials was done in concurrence with the FAA. The sole criminal charge was related to the Boeing employee statement that he had unknowingly lied to the FAA, but then failed to disclose this to the FAA in the months following, before the materials were removed.

        All kinds of things can and are being implied here, but without truth, they haven’t gone anywhere, and won’t go anywhere. But they can sustain the noise, which is the true purpose. Keep-alive of disproved theories..

        We will see what happens with the investor and derivative lawsuits. But since their allegations have been formally investigated many times now, it’s unlikely they will succeed at anything beyond a nuisance settlement.

        • These anti-media remarks are fascinating…very like a certain politician we all know.

          Why don’t you contact Bloomberg and ask them why they are “keeping alive the disproved theories”?

          Hint: you’re confusing “keeping alive” by them and “trying to suppress” by you.

        • “removal of MCAS from the flight materials was done in concurrence with the FAA.”

          Thats very misleading….
          “the FAA had inadequate awareness of the MCAS function which, coupled with limited involvement,
          resulted in an inability of the FAA to provide an independent assessment of the adequacy of the Boeing proposed certification activities associated with MCAS. In addition, signs were reported
          of undue pressures on Boeing ODA engineering unit members (E-UMs) performing certification activities on the B737 MAX program, which further erodes the level of assurance in this system of delegation”
          https://www.faa.gov/news/media/attachments/Final_JATR_Submittal_to_FAA_Oct_2019.pdf

          Boeing pulled the wool over JATR eyes in order to get the MCAS passed as a ‘nothing really’
          You know this , why push an inaccurate narrative ?

          • @DoU

            You should not be too hard on @Rob, he’s just doing his job

        • “Further the removal of MCAS from the flight materials was done in concurrence with the FAA”

          Takes two to tango. .. with Boeing in the leading role.

          It has been long established that the FAA was a pushover for Boeing and their wishes.
          So now you try to foist off responsibility to the FAA
          a submissive to Boeing’s wishes? Outsch!

    • To clarify, Calhoun gave up his $1.4M base annual salary, as well as $3.6M in annual bonuses. But he was awarded $10M in stock options to give up his lucrative position at Blackstone. As well as $3.5M in long-term incentives for retention, that have not yet vested.

      Further he was given a goal-based long-term incentive package of around $11M for the MAX recertification. 777X certification, and other business goals. That package won’t be vested for some time yet.

      In Mullenberg’s tenure as CEO, his long-term incentive packages constituted about 700% of his base pay, spread out over multiple years. In Calhoun’s first year, it’s about 500%.

      So bottom line in terms of vested compensation, about $10M for Calhoun from Boeing in 2020. That will swell over time as incentive goals are met and the incentives become vested.

      • To clarify, Calhoun got $21 from Boeing in a year in which he achieved *very* little, despite Boeing being in dire financial straits.

        Before citing MAX re-cert as a stellar achievement, bear in mind that it’s only been re-certified in a handful of countries, that it won’t be certified in China any time soon, and that EASA’s modification demands essentially put the MAX-10 on ice. Apart from those “achievements”, 202o was predominantly marked by a ceaseless flow of bad PR for Boeing, a complete cessation of 787 deliveries, substantial further delay of the 777X, and worsening lemon status for the KC-46. And that’s worth a remuneration of $21 million?

        • The KC-46 has achieved limited non-combat ops, and is still regarded by the USAF as the most advanced tanker in the world, according to recent remarks from General Brown, who unlike the critics, has flown it himself. Orders continue to expand.

          The MAX has re-entered service with steadily growing flights and numbers, and that will continue around the world. China can continue to delay as long as it wishes, for the reasons it wishes, but that will have little impact elsewhere. Their true motivations will become more apparent as time goes on. None of which is in Boeing’s or Calhoun’s control. Orders continue to expand.

          The 777X continues regular certification & testing flights with all 4 test aircraft, as documented by numerous sites. Progress continues towards certification and entry into service.

          787 deliveries are temporarily halted while Boeing addresses manufacturing and assembly quality control issues. These will be rectified and all the delayed 787’s will be delivered over the next year or two. A significant additional factor is the ability of airlines to accept the aircraft at present. Apart from one lessor, there has not been substantial complaint because of the need to defer or store aircraft at present.

          As noted, $11M of the $21M Calhoun compensation is not yet vested, and will not be, until various goals, including as listed above, are met. But it is likely that these goals will be met over time, and the compensation eventually vested over future years.

          • “The KC-46 has achieved limited non-combat ops,..”
            Thats not an ‘achievement’, it can only do aircrew training and some ‘on the fly’ refueling for home based squadrons.
            Yes the KC-46 will be fine in USAF service…eventually but thats not what they paid for at this stage of the production.
            At the moment its still a lemon, its while yet before its lemonade

          • Duke, your opinion to which you are welcome. According to the USAF, the 40 KC-46’s fly 6 to 8 refueling missions per day, in addition to training missions. It’s restricted from fueling the A-10 until the boom is fixed, and the stealth F-22 and B-2 until the RVS 2.0 is ready.

            It can refuel the F-35, but on a limited ops basis in good visibility conditions. Most other aircraft are cleared for refueling, including trans-oceanic coronet missions. Also those missions involving cargo, medevac, or ABMS ops.

            It’s not cleared to fly in combat missions, or those restricted above. Right now, those are by far in the minority of missions, and other assets can handle them.

            The RVS system was an inadequate solution on Boeing’s part, not up to the performance desired by the USAF. But it will be fixed and it doesn’t diminish the potential of the platform overall. As the USAF has repetitively pointed out.

            This week we saw the same argument unfold again over the F-35. General Brown made comments about exploring fighter options, and some in the press (and POGO) immediately declared the F-35 a failure. Then he patiently walked them back, no that’s not what I said. He must just shake his head at that stuff. Very little relation to reality, mostly people wanting their beliefs to be vindicated.

          • @ Rob
            Evidently a big surprise for you, but company executives receive remuneration for what *has* been achieved, not for what *will* be achieved — unless, of course, the company is full of money-grabbing vultures that like to window-dress reality so as to fill their pockets.

            In 2020, Calhoun essentially achieve nothing positive, and oversaw a considerable worsening of the situation within the company. His remuneration should have reflected that.

          • @ Rob

            The KC-46 has achieved sub-standard ops, and is still regarded by the USAF as a lemon. Bad press continues to expand.

            The MAX has re-entered service with a trickle of flights and numbers, in very limited parts of the world. China can continue to delay as long as it wishes, for the reasons it wishes, and that will have huge impact in the Asia Pacific region. Their true motivations are protecting the safety of their airways. All of which is fully in Boeing’s or Calhoun’s control, since all they have to do is implement the changes demanded by China. Whitetails continue to sit in parking lots.

            The 777X is delayed by another 2-3 years, with rapidly decreasing customer interest, as documented by numerous sites. The 777-8 is dead. Continuing postponement of certification and entry into service.

            787 deliveries have been completely halted since October while Boeing addresses extremely serious and multitudinous manufacturing and assembly quality control issues. These are still not rectified and all the delayed 787’s are still in hangars, without light at the end of the tunnel. A significant additional factor is the ability of airlines to cancel the aircraft due to the incurred delays. Multiple customers have voiced substantial complaint because of the need to have reliable and safe aircraft in their fleets.

            As noted, Calhoun’s compensation is completely disproportionate to the various miseries, including as listed above. And it is unlikely that these miseries will be solved over time, but the compensation will continue to be bloated.

          • @Rob

            Do you read the newspapers ?

            US is going to war tomorrow with China, or perhaps it is Russia, or maybe both

            So the planes will need re fueling – um…er…..only there’s a problem – DoD can not hammer the point in too loudly otherwise when war is declared the other DoDs will just laugh and point to the flying duck BA call the DCK 76

            Read the article

            https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/admiral-touts-plan-to-defeat-china-in-the-indo-pacific/

            (do not forget to read the memos)

          • “Duke, your opinion to which you are welcome. According to the USAF, the 40 KC-46’s fly 6 to 8 refueling missions per day”

            It wasnt an opinion , the training crews and on the fly refueling missions- ie non scheduled, to free up their operational tankers- is exactly what the USAF says its doing
            “Van Ovost stressed that the KC-46 would only be permitted for limited operational use as long as efforts to fix remaining critical deficiencies do not slow down.”
            https://www.defensenews.com/smr/air-force-priorities/2021/02/24/despite-growing-pains-the-kc-46-will-begin-limited-operations-soon/

          • “The KC-46 has achieved limited non-combat ops,..”

            can it do anything beyond what the green airframe coming from the civil 767 line could? 🙂

  29. These anti-media remarks are fascinating…very like a certain politician we all know.

    Why don’t you contact Bloomberg and ask them why they are “keeping alive the disproved theories”?

    Hint: you’re confusing “keeping alive” by them and “trying to suppress” by you.

    • Bryce, the proof is in the pudding. Many allegations are made, few come to fruition as provable fact. The media reports on the allegations, that is their job. But notably they don’t imply the allegations are true, as is done here.

      • @Rob

        You are required to obey the memos Mr Calhoun has sent

        You must accept inclusive conversations and cease divisive exclusionary language – at all times

        The expression of white privilege monoculture is forbidden

      • @Rob

        Read the memo

        You do not understand the importance of diversity and the need to relinquish the white monoculture narrow minded perspective and perception of ‘facts’

        It is necessary to be inclusive, to observe a realistic wideranging panorama of reality : in which Calhoun and his $ can be appropriated as either

        1-egregious and excessive in light of his failure to stem the flow of failure and disaster at Boeing

        or

        2- his obeisance to WS has inveigled him and complicit BoD to conduct a destruction of jobs, knowledge and intellectual property, a destruction of value in tune with a firesale of assets, piling up unsustainable debt to benefit p&d ops and shorts

        • >You do not understand the importance of diversity and the need to relinquish the white monoculture narrow minded perspective and perception of ‘facts’<

          Please enlighten us regarding these all-important matters, in a time of looming resource
          scarcity.. Thank you!

          almost like.. no. 😉

      • @ Rob
        Another jaded monologue on “truth”, “proof” and “fact”.
        But such concepts only hold sway when there’s unfettered access to all the evidence…and, as we all know, Boeing and the FAA are withholding crucial evidence that has been requested in the lawsuit by the crash families (despite Calhoun’s hot-air proclamation in Jan. 2020 that Boeing was to be more open and transparent). Entities who withhold evidence generally have something to hide. So, until such time as Boeing and the FAA come clean (or are forced to do so), your strained references to “truth”, “proof” and “fact” are devoid of any weight.

        But we’ll just be patient. With all the ongoing lawsuits against Boeing, and all the dissatisfied customers voicing their vexation, and all the nasty news from entities like the IG and CAAC, 2021 is delivering the expected continuing avalanche of PR misery for Boeing. Little by little, more and more rot is being exposed.

        • This statement is equivalent to presumed guilty until proven otherwise. Not the way the law works in the US.

          • Your statement is equivalent to acquittal before the evidence has been gathered. Not the way the law works in the US.

      • Curious how that commenter speaks repeatedly of others making”allegations” and such, and implies that they are false; but oddly, never provides specifics as to the putative “falsehoods”. Almost like it’s more interested in setting a “narrative tone” that one™ is to adhere to than anything else..

        Cui bono

        “I’m not your friend.”

  30. Regarding the MAX: as predicted last year, every minor incident relating to a MAX is receiving media attention:

    “American Air 737 MAX declared emergency after engine shutdown, lands safely”

    Interestingly, there were only 95 passengers aboard a plane with 172 seats, on one of the USA’s busiest air routes (Miami to the NY area). That’s a 55% load factor. Passenger shunning? 😉

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-americanairlines-737-max/american-air-737-max-declared-emergency-after-engine-shutdown-lands-safely-idUSKBN2AX2I9

    • I knew this would be posted here. A non-event by any other standard. In Q1 2021, according to CAPA and Statistica, passenger load factor average for North American market is 50%. So no surprise for the 55% number, or indication of passenger “shunning”. As airlines have repeatedly said, there is no difference in load factors for MAX routes.

      • It was inevitable that this would be posted here: more unwanted attention for the hapless MAX. Average passenger load factor for North American market is 50%, so a very busy route should have (much) higher than a 55% number — possible indication of passenger “shunning”. As analysts have repeatedly said, they would not be surprised by a difference in load factors for MAX routes.

        • Bryce:

          The MAX is not hapless, come on man.

          Issues, yes, hapless? That is just nonsense.

          Is Boeing management hapless, clearly yes.

          A more interesting aspect is why was the engine shut down? I am still looking into it but usually you do’t go with an indicator unless it is back up by another signal.

          Idle yes, but shutdown?

          While its rare, a second engine shutdown or worse an outright failure means a scramble to start the first one as iffy is better than nothing as far as options go.

          • The 737MadMAX is an über-kludge, piled on top of same. Can it be made
            into an acceptable commercial passenger aircraft? I think so, potentially, but
            BCA and its deeply-financialized Priorities, and disaffected (rightly so!) workforce and suppliers make one less than confident.

            We’ll see how it goes.

            “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

            -Upton Sinclair, who also wrote the timely and pertinent ‘It Can’t Happen Here’.

      • >I knew this would be posted here.

        And why t.f. not?

        > A non-event by any other standard.

        Kind of a strange semantic construction, but
        please name your desired, BCA-approved “standard”, and we’ll get right on it.

        “Hop to it, Boys: there’s work to be done!”

        🙂

        [Edited]

    • Passengers shunning travel due to the panicdemic, you know that.

      Airlines caught between trying to provide service and costs.

      But hey! speculation is common from you.

    • Hello Bryce,

      Re: “Interestingly, there were only 95 passengers aboard a plane with 172 seats”

      This is about typical of what I have seen on my 4 trips on Delta since 12-30-20. I saw more passengers around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but load factors, at least on the flights I have been on, went back down after Christmas. Partly with your post in mind, I checked around on the boarding status screens for flights that were boarding near my 9:45 PM Delta flight from Salt Lake City to Seattle on 3-6-21. I also was coming off a 4.5 hour layover, and was pretty desperate for something to do to ward off boredom. Here is what I found.

      Delta 696 / 9:35 PM departure to Los Angeles / A321-211
      Physical Number of Seats: 191
      Minimum pandemic Seating capacity*: 123
      Passengers checked in at about: 9:15 PM: 119
      Passengers checked in /Physical seats = 119/191 = 0.62

      Delta 2263 / 9:35 PM departure to San Diego / A321-211
      Physical Number of Seats: 191
      Minimum pandemic Seating capacity*: 123
      Passengers checked in at about: 9:15 PM: 79
      Passengers checked in /Physical seats = 79/191 = 0.41

      Delta 2903 / 9:40 PM departure to Boise / 737-932ER
      Physical Number of Seats: 180
      Minimum pandemic Seating capacity*: 116
      Passengers checked in at about: 9:15 PM: 78
      Passengers checked in /Physical seats = 78/180 = 0.43

      Delta 2170 / 9:45 PM departure to Seattle (My Flight) / 737-932ER
      Physical Number of Seats: 180
      Minimum pandemic Seating capacity*: 116
      Passengers checked in at about: 9:15 PM: 58
      Passengers checked in /Physical seats = 58/180 = 0.32

      My flight into Salt Lake City from Idaho Falls earlier in the evening had 18 passengers on a 69 seat CRJ-700. Pre-pandemic, these flights from IDA to SLC were almost always pretty full, and I think I never saw one with less than 50 passengers. Before the pandemic, Delta mainline flights, except those at very odd hours, were almost always completely full. Any mainline flight that wasn’t consistently almost full, would soon change to a smaller mainline aircraft, or to a Delta regional partner flight using an even smaller regional jet.

      * Minimum pandemic seating capacity: Delta is still blocking middle seats in main cabin 3-aisle-3 seating, and only seating one passenger on each side of the aisle in first class, with the exception of people traveling together who allowed to occupy middle seats next to others in their party or first class seats next to others in their party. The minimum pandemic seating capacity that I have listed is my calculation of the number of passengers who could be accommodated under Delta’s current seat blocking policy if no one on the flight was traveling together with someone else. Even with Delta’s seat blocking policy, all of the above flights had seats still available.

      To hopefully head off any lectures on traveling during the pandemic, I will note that I am a semi-retired medical specialist, and work part time providing temporary coverage in hospitals and medical clinics. I have been traveling only for my medical work, and my own medical appointments.

      • @ AP
        Thanks for the details.
        However, the route in question for the AA flight (Miami – Newark) is one of the busiest in the US (a few years ago, it was *the* busiest), which is not really something that can convincingly be asserted for the routes that you’ve detailed.
        But, short of having specific load factor data for all airlines and plane types on the route(s) in question, we just won’t be able to determine for ourselves how the relative load factor of the MAX is shaping up. I don’t think (m)any readers attach much credence to what the airlines/OEMs themselves assert: they may be accurate, or they may be window-dressing.

        I certainly am not going to chide anyone for flying at the moment: if it’s not explicitly forbidden, then it’s allowed, and that’s that. If legislators aren’t happy with that, then they should legislate so as to change it. You don’t owe me or anyone else any explanation.

  31. Remarkably generous of that one commenter to
    “allow” others to share both opinions and demonstrable facts (for now!), whilst
    itself being little more than a Boing PR machine
    that spews falsehoods like “MCAS was approved
    by Boing and FAA concurrence™..”

    Thanks for DoU for doing that legwork.

    No fan of the tag-team two that opposes that entity either, via talk of “racism™” and “white privilege™”: they’re doing the same thing, apparently for other Interests, though by slightly different means.

    • MCAS was approved by Boeing with FAA concurrence. This is why the FAA did not take enforcement action against Boeing for MCAS. As mentioned, this is documented in the IG report and the DoJ DPA.

      The quote posted by Duke was a criticism of the FAA taken from the IG recommendations to the FAA. It’s true that they did not have sufficient understanding of MCAS, thus the recommendations to avoid that happening again.

      As documented, the fraud occurred from two employees who did not disclose that MCAS had changed in their request for removal of the training materials. Boeing was unaware of this due to the communications occurring in private texts. The engineering aspects of MCAS were fully disclosed by Boeing to the FAA. FAA test pilots certified both versions of MCAS.

      Nothing misleading about this, it’s just what happened as documented by multiple independent agencies. Pedro attempted to imply that Boeing hid or did not disclose MCAS to the FAA, which is false as established by those agencies.

      • Has to be a Bot-

        Given the readily available documentation, no human could make the above claims and still sleep at night. “Nobody reads these days.. who has time?” -Being There, with Peter Sellers (great movie)

        OTOH, maybe I overestimate the human spirit™ in its manifold glories, and like that.

        [Edited]

        gaslighters, gaah! .. (I voted for slick ol’Bubba™ in ’92.)

    • Bill7
      March 6, 2021
      “Remarkably generous of that one commenter to
      “allow” others to share both opinions and demonstrable facts (for now!), whilst
      itself being little more than a Boing PR machine
      that spews falsehoods like “MCAS was approved
      by Boing and FAA concurrence™..”

      Oh, another smear artist. Shame on you.

      I don’t see that as a falsehood, Boeing designed the airplane, some of its people used delegated authority from the FAA to approve aspects with concurrence from FAA.

      What happened was neither bunch did their job well, they let a small feature morph into aggressive without recognizing the impact on safety. Quite simple.

  32. Mmm. That one commenter continues to claim that >MCAS was approved by Boeing with FAA concurrence. As documented, the fraud occurred from two employees who did not disclose that MCAS had changed in their request for removal of the training materials.<

    Ah, yes, Ye Olde "Rogue Employees" argument;
    nothing to do with what their superiors (in the BCA food-chain, I mean; I don't believe in "superiors", only in qualities.)

    Shorter: You're bullshitting for a living, Man:
    why exactly *would* two employees do what you claim above, except to further BCA's interests?

    Maybe it's a bot, or just a human under *extreme* duress..
    (imagine the possibilities).

    What's funny is that
    it undercuts its own case with every [ineffectual, feeble-authoritarian] post. Who could believe its tripe: "We're Boing, and we're on better-than-ever Street, and if you disagree we'll have to silence you for your own good!"

    -737MadMAX
    -787 fuselage (heh, watch *this* one closely..)
    -777-X
    -KC-46
    -Nothing new for a Few Years, 'cuz we're Boing, and we're Awesome!

    Guessing it’s still stock price über-alles
    around those parts.. IBGYBG- until munny has no meaning, and only resources matter
    (munny’s a proxy *only*, dudes..)

    • Adding: note carefully this language from that commenter: >the fraud occurred from two employees who did not disclose that MCAS had changed in their request for removal of the training materials.<

      I guess that l'il ol' MCAS jus' changed isself from .6 degrees max deflection to 2.5, without anyone
      even noticing, except those two lowly "employees".. who took the fall (I do hope they were compensated).

      Can you imagine having to defend this tripe for a living? Must be a bot- no human could do it.

        • Afaics this source has grown a “backoffice” over time.
          compare early post ( back in 2020 ) and recent ones.
          tech language shows gains and the replies are longer but also faster.

    • Quite interesting to see these things built up by an army of ants with little knives.
      Individually none of the cuts look dangerous under a view contracting magnifying glass.

      As a whole it turns out to reach far beyond a chain of causes for an overall strong failure.
      It is a tightly woven network of “fail sure oversights”. Remove some and it still would have gone !bang! maybe in a slightly different way…

  33. >Bryce
    March 6, 2021

    Your statement is equivalent to acquittal before the evidence has been gathered. Not the way the law works in the US. <

    If you believe that, "Bryce", you're worse- quite a lot worse, IMO. The presumption of innocence is paramount in the world I choose to live in- but then, I'm not 'Woke' or a fan of or believer in 'Wokeness'. "Wokeness" serves only
    the ultra-rich, through its minions- like you?

    • Adding to my last sentence, which was unclear, I think:

      >”Wokeness” serves only
      the ultra-rich, through its minions- like you?

      Wokeness is a just a part- though a Major part!-
      of Divide et Impera, Inc., that
      has been/ is being inflicted on most all of us for Some Time Now, courtesy of our Friendly™
      Elites.

      not a fan of either

      “I’m not your friend..” – C. Walken, in King of New York.

    • I haven’t read your statement further up.
      BUT
      an unfounded complimentary acquittal
      has nothing to do with
      the presumption of innocence

      imho it is more like the obverse side of the coin “prejudice, guilty until proven innocent” another color of black.

    • Astonishing, alarming and disgusting.
      If Patrick Ky had a spine, he’d ground that monstrosity in the morning! The Chinese (and other countries in Asia Pacific, and elsewhere) are perfectly right to keep it on the ground for as long as it takes to get to the bottom of this rot. How telling that the reliable old BA monster — the autothrottle — rears its ugly head again.

      “[Edited]”: the details being withheld by Boeing and the FAA in the survivors’ families lawsuit are trickling out via other channels. How fortuitous for the flying public.

    • The ET302 interim report contains an extensive analysis of the auto-throttle. This is an attempt to explain why the pilots did not reduce speed. The AoA sensor failed at take-off, which meant the auto-throttle was not responsive during the flight. The failure mode in the absence of valid air data is to hold the last known good setting. I expect this will figure prominently in the final report. But ultimately the aircraft exceeded the maximum safe operating speed, in a climb, with no intervention by the pilots.

      The FAA reviewed the auto-throttle function and concluded there was not an issue in the behavior. The checklist for unreliable air data calls for not using the flight director on the affected side. Pilots had punched in the correct operating speed to the flight director on the affected left side. The checklist to disable stabilizer trim calls for not using auto-pilot or auto-throttle on either side, reverting to full manual control.

      • “The FAA reviewed the auto-throttle function and concluded there was not an issue in the behavior.”

        The whole thrust of the Gates article is that, when it comes to the MAX saga, FAA “reviews” are probably not worth the paper they’re printed on. But I guess you didn’t pick up on that 😉

        • Seattle Times: “The instructions Boeing and the FAA gave pilots immediately after the first crash — instructions the Ethiopian pilots tried to follow — have been heavily criticized.

          Boeing’s procedure failed to emphasize that pilots need to bring the nose of the jet back up electrically before hitting the cutoff switches to stop MCAS acting.

          Jacobsen’s letter adds something new about the inadequacy of those instructions: There was no mention of an issue with the autothrottle — the automated system controlling the thrust of the engines — that added to the jet’s excessive speed and made it impossible to manually bring the jet’s nose up.

          According to the interim investigation report released a year ago, the faulty Angle of Attack sensor on Flight ET302, even before it triggered MCAS to push the plane’s nose down, interfered with other sensor readings of altitude and airspeed.

          Registering the plane as still below 800 feet above the ground even after it passed that threshold, the jet’s computer had the autothrottle maintain full takeoff thrust for 16 seconds after it should have reduced the power for the climb phase.

          More significantly, seconds later the pilots set the jet’s speed target at 238 knots, but the autothrottle didn’t follow through.

          Again because of the faulty sensor on the left, the flight computer detected the discrepancy between the left and right airspeed values and flagged the data as invalid. Unable to validate the aircraft’s speed, the computer stopped sending thrust instructions to the autothrottle.

          As a result, the engines remained at maximum thrust for the rest of the fatal flight. […]

          Jacobsen recalls how he was angered listening to Rep. Sam Graves, R-Missouri, say during a May 2019 House hearing that U.S.-trained pilots would have been able to handle the emergency.

          The Ethiopian crew indeed should have throttled back the engines manually. But apparently they were confused by the cacophony of alerts going off. Those alerts did not include any autothrottle warning to indicate it had stopped responding to their speed setting.

          Boeing has said that for this kind of emergency it relies on pilots to execute a standard checklist from memory that includes an instruction to disengage the autothrottle.

          The FAA, in a statement, said this checklist tells pilots “to turn off all automatic systems, including autopilot and auto-throttle.”

          The ET302 pilots, however, jumped immediately to the step in the checklist that Boeing emphasized in its bulletin after the Lion Air crash: hitting the cutoff switches to stop MCAS from pushing the jet’s nose down. In their rush to do that, they didn’t first bring the nose back up with the electrical switches and didn’t disengage the autothrottle.

          And Jacobsen points out that the FAA’s emergency directive after the Lion Air crash lists the procedure pilots should follow — but omits the instruction on the autothrottle and fails to mention that it could malfunction.

          “I think it was just a miss,” said Jacobsen. “I don’t think anyone recognized the Angle of Attack malfunction would also mess with the autothrottle.”

          In an interview, Capt. John Cox, a veteran pilot and founder of Washington, D.C.-based aviation safety consultancy Safety Operating Systems, called this autothrottle behavior on ET 302 a “hard-to-detect failure.”

          • ‘ “I think it was just a miss,” said Jacobsen ‘

            in any system that has been reviewed/analyzed as to failure modes you have structured information available on secondary and tertiary … failures for all parts.

            i.e. here in this case
            “nobody made the effort to look that up”.
            this is not a “missed” thing, Boeing just could not be bothered.

        • Cont’d

          Seattle Times: ‘ “To fail this way and not tell the crew, that bothers me. Humans are not good at picking up omissions,” Cox said. “It’s a significant miss.”

          Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the celebrated pilot from the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” emergency, agreed that Boeing and the FAA provided pilots inadequate information after the Lion Air crash, including a lack of warning about the autothrottle issue.

          The ET302 crew “did take affirmative action to set a reasonable speed, but the system failed to command that speed and didn’t tell them,” Sullenberger said.

          In his letter, Jacobsen recommends that Boeing upgrade the MAX’s autothrottle logic to either disconnect or give the pilots a warning when the computer registers invalid data.

          In the upgrade to the MAX that allowed it to return to service, the FAA did not require any such change but did add an explicit instruction that pilots in this kind of emergency should “disengage the autothrottle.” […]

          Seattle Times: “Jacobsen’s letter lists additional steps he believes are still needed.

          He calls on Boeing to acknowledge the original design flaw in the MAX and the inadequacy of its interim pilot procedures following the Lion Air accident.

          He writes that while the FAA reform legislation passed in December is a good start, the “FAA leadership seems to be denying any wrongdoing.” To recover the agency’s safety culture, he says FAA leaders at high levels who for years have pushed for more delegation of oversight to industry should be cleaned out.

          Most controversially, he says that although he worked on the fix for MCAS and saw that it was very thoroughly tested, he believes the MAX would be safer if MCAS were simply removed.

          MCAS was added because, to meet FAA regulations, the plane has to handle very smoothly in certain extreme maneuvers. Without it, a pilot can still perform the maneuver but feels some slackness in the control column pulling through it.

          Since the FAA acknowledges that the 737 MAX “is stable both with and without MCAS operating,” Jacobsen thinks it should grant an exemption to the certification requirements that make MCAS necessary.”

          • Pedro, you’ve reposted the entire Seattle Times story here, so your copy & paste & linking skills remain exceptional.

            All the allegations that are made are answered in the FAA summary of the AD, they are not new. Dominic notably does not address that, nor do you. But it stands as the official record and analysis, for anyone to read. Has been accepted by the major world regulators as the MAX was returned to service. There is nothing brought forward here to contradict it.

            Ultimately pilots have the responsibility to fly the aircraft, even when the automation malfunctions. This is why pilots are now required to have upset training. I suspect we will see more of that going forward, to enhance manual flying skills.

          • @Rob

            Thanks for the simple english for beginners

            By the way, sarcasm does not suit you, try irony

          • Pedro, you’ve reposted most of the Seattle Times story here, so your point should be clear even to those whose denial skills remain exceptional.

            None of the new allegations that are made are addressed in the FAA summary of the AD, they are very new. Dominic admirably exposes the failings of the FAA, as do you. Now this Gates article stands in the public record, for anyone to read. Should raise some questions for some of the major world regulators, as the MAX is still on the ground in most countries. There is lots brought forward here to prolong that.

            Ultimately no pilot can be expected to fly an un-flyable aircraft, particularly when the automation malfunctions. This is why pilots are now being babysitted, chaperoned and drilled to “keep the finger on the pickle switch”. I suspect we will see more of that going forward, to enhance commercial chances of the MAX.

          • So Alaska ordered this [Edited] MAX.
            An autothrottle system that doesn’t work and of course the FAA did nothing again.
            Can Alaska be serious??? Only greedy.
            [Edited].
            [Edited] article from Bjorn that the MAX is safe. He should have known better, even I did.

            Waiting for the next crash.
            That will bury the MAX, Boeing, FAA and the whole US system. Nobody needs them and their [Edited].

    • F-35 won’t be scrapped. It might have acquisition numbers reduced in favor of a less-capable, less-expensive alternative, if one can be found.

      The main concern is the operational hourly cost, currently at $36K but needs to reach $25K by 2025. Debate exists over whether that can be done. The current breakout is:

      $17K – USAF: local maintenance facilities and staffing
      $12K – Lockheed: parts supply and major repair depots
      $ 7K – Pratt & Whitney: maintenance of F-135 engine

      Lockheed says they can reduce by 40%, Pratt & Whitney by 50%. So Lockheed is pitching a fixed-cost contract, $27K per hour with overage paid by Lockheed, underage kept as profit. Being reviewed by USAF.

      USAF wants to know all their options, so doing a TacAir study to identify possible alternatives. Might include modified F-16, F-15, a light combat version of T-7, or a new clean sheet design somewhere between F-16 and F-35. These could be purchased 2/3-for-1, so a reduction of 400 F-35 could produce a fleet of 800 to 1200 of the lesser aircraft. Still leaves 1200 F-35 in the fleet. But awhile before any decision is made.

    • @ Gerrard
      Just like the KC-46 lemon, the F35 has been plagued by sub-standard functionality and cost overruns from day one…and it’s still not up to spec.
      There are plenty of alternatives that actually work, and that cost a lot less — for example, companies in Europe have three different models on offer (Rafale, Gripen, Typhoon), Taiwan is developing its own fighter, and Japan has just started doing so. Air Forces realize that there’s no point in having an aircraft with fancy “paper” specs if it can’t be reliably dispatched and deployed when the need arises. Just like the KC-46 lemon!

  34. Alaska Airlines whacked in court over death of passenger in terminal.

    https://komonews.com/news/local/alaska-airlines-must-pay-over-3-million-to-family-of-woman-who-died

    Airline supposed to provide an escort, passenger in wheelchair unwisely tried to use escalator to get to her next flight, instead of finding elevator I presume, tumbled down it.

    (Reminds me of WestJet failing twice in less than a year to escort unaccompanied minors into the terminal to meet there pickup person, not nearly as bad an outcome but with risk of kidnapping for abuse.
    The solution of WestJet’s bureaucracy was to start charging $75. for the service, I didn’t learn how that would ensure F/A’s and terminal staff did their job.)

  35. Who needs the Max ?

    China expands high speed railway network, plans to invest $460B over the next five years : network upgrade to 450k, which renders a lot of plane journeys redundant, not to speak of the 650k maglev on the horizon

    Transport Infrastructure Report Card – is this an A+ ? …..or please comment

    « China Railway Corp is currently locked in a race against airlines to lure passengers on short-to-medium routes, including those commuting between major urban centers such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

    Travel time from Beijing to Shanghai’s city center to city center could be further trimmed to about 2.5 hours if the CR450 prototype can be commercialized within five years. That will roughly be the time needed to fly, but rail passengers are spared the prolonged security checks and trips to and from airports. «

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/china-revs-new-high-speed-train-building-spree/

    • Some of those China HSR lines already have 3 min between trains during peak.
      Japan shows that its going to be both mass transit- fast rail and widebody local
      air routes . Its going affect the single aisle 200 seaters the most

      • If I recall correctly, Airbus developed the A330 Regional model predominantly for Asian markets.

  36. Interesting MAX sales data for February:
    – 39 orders (wasn’t there a yard sale?)
    – 32 cancellations (ouch!) [15 Canada’s WestJet, 8 lessor Jackson Square, 7 Panama’s Copa Airlines, and 1 each for BOC Aviation and a business jet customer. The Norwegian cancellations for Feb. have yet to kick in, once Boeing has finished trying to legally impede them].

    • Bryce, where did you see WestJet canceled? 737-8s or 737-7s?

    • Hello Bryce,

      Re: “Interesting MAX sales data for February” (2021)

      Here is some interesting MAX sales data for March 2021, from the Southwest Airlines press release at the link below.

      “Mar 29, 2021
      Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced today the completion of its previously disclosed discussions with The Boeing Company (Boeing) regarding the restructuring of its delivery schedule for MAX aircraft. The Company has completed the multi-year evaluation of the successor aircraft to its Boeing 737-700 model, with the selection of the Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft. Southwest Airlines® and Boeing reached agreement on 100 firm orders for MAX 7 aircraft, with the first 30 scheduled to be delivered in 2022. This agreement underscores Southwest’s commitment to continued modernization of its fleet with more fuel-efficient and climate-friendly aircraft. It also positions Southwest to capitalize on growth opportunities, when they arise.

      As part of the agreement, the Company also converted 70 MAX 8 firm orders to MAX 7 firm orders and added 155 MAX options for MAX 7 or MAX 8 aircraft for years 2022 through 2029. These order book additions and revisions result in a new total of 349 MAX firm orders (200 MAX 7 and 149 MAX 8) and 270 MAX options for MAX 7 or MAX 8 aircraft for years 2021 through 2031. The Company’s previous order book consisted of 249 MAX firm orders (30 MAX 7 and 219 MAX 8) and 115 MAX options for MAX 7 or MAX 8 aircraft for years 2021 through 2026. The Company continues to expect delivery of 28 MAX 8 aircraft in total this year (19 from Boeing and 9 from third-party lessors), as well as 17 737-700 retirements, ending 2021 with 69 MAX 8 aircraft and 729 total aircraft.”

      https://www.swamedia.com/releases/release-82cbf944d0e782c7bbd20a72257499a3-southwest-airlines-adds-100-firm-orders-for-the-boeing-737-max-7

  37. A bit of needed humour for those unwise enough to spend time on FoubarBook social network site: https://www.facebook.com/glenn.burns.54/photos/a.233474576829814/1787135978130325/

    Perhaps too much for pax.

    (I was sitting in the back of a 737 at a station stop when Captain Russ Revel came walking down the aisle toward the back of the cabin and said “Has anyone seen my book on how to fly this thing?”
    I don’t know if any other pax hearing him were from the airline – protocol was to sit in the rear, he recognized me of course.

    Not much human from F/As on PW, unlike SWA. Captain Dick Skermer liked to say when turning onto the runway in Alberta “All right, let’s get this dogie into the air.” (A cow country term for a calf, I suppose the full-grown airplane was the 707 (or maybe the 727 or Herc which have about the same weight).

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