How Boeing Could Dominate In 2020

Boeing will surely be glad for some positive press when the new year comes around. It’s had a particularly harrowing 2019, but as the year draws to a close the airframer seems to be pulling out the stops for a positive 2020. We take a look at how 2020 could change the game for Boeing…

Will Boeing be able to claw back its game in 2020? Photo: Dave Sizer via Wikimedia Commons

A 2019 to forget

2019 hasn’t been Boeing’s best year by any stretch of the imagination. The airframer has lost significant revenue and customer trust over the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft. Whilst airlines weigh up what to do as more and more delays seem to hamper the return to service, Boeing is facing problems of its own.

Not only has it pushed back the deadline for the aircraft to return but it recently landed a hefty fine from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The body charged Boeing $3.9 million for faulty slat tracks in its 737 aircraft.

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But whilst Boeing’s blunders have been the focus of much media attention this year, 2020 might be looking up. Boeing could make next year one of its most successful, taking the aviation world by storm, and dealing itself a sizeable dose of amnesia when it comes to remembering 2019. Here’s why…

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The 737 MAX return

The 737 MAX is a story that has repeatedly hit headlines for the delays and financial implications on airlines. But we’re confident that 2020 will see the return of the 737 MAX. It’s been long enough and Boeing already has launch plans.

Could the 737 MAX make a comeback in 2020? Photo: Boeing

So what’s going on at the moment? Well, large international carriers like United Airlines have already extended their MAX groundings until March next year. By which point, Boeing will have marked one year since the initial grounding. But will the aircraft be ready by that point?

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In the latest MAX Progress Report, Boeing seemed confident in its ability to return the 737 MAX to service in the new year. The planemaker said:

“…it is possible that the resumption of MAX deliveries to airline customers could begin in December, after certification…we are working towards final validation of the updated training requirements, which must occur before the MAX returns to commercial service, and which we now expect to begin in January.”

It’s currently seeking FAA approval for the aircraft. If all goes well, the 737 MAX is likely to decorate our skies once more as 2020 gets underway.

The return to service of the 737 MAX will mean many things. It will allow Boeing to relieve itself from glowering scrutiny as well as prove to the world that it is confident once more in its manufacturing abilities. What’s more, it will be able to deliver on its pending orders and allow airlines to operate in line with their strategies, prior to the devastation of the MAX grounding. This certainly would be the cherry on the top of an extremely bitter 2019 cake.

The 777X

From one delay to another, let’s take a look at Boeing’s progress with its 777X. 2020 is the year for 777X flight testing, despite it previously being pinpointed as the year for deliveries. With what seemed like continual engine issues with the installation of the GE9X and a ruptured fuselage, the operational suitability of this aircraft has also been delayed in 2019.

However, Boeing plans to take the first test flight of the aircraft at the start of 2020. In addition to that, Middle Eastern carrier Emirates will rigorously test the aircraft in typical conditions to examine its durability. Providing all goes well, 2020 could be a pivotal year for the 777X, paving the way for deliveries in 2021.

If Boeing completes test flights, the 777X could be delivered in 2021. Photo: Dan Nevill via Wikimedia Commons

This is not just significant because aircraft orders will be fulfilled. The 777X is expected to heavily disrupt the industry with folding wingtips, powerful engines, and enhanced passenger experience as well as lower operating costs. The deliverance of the 777X really could be make or break for Boeing.

797/NMA

And there’s more (of course!). 2020 won’t be complete without knowing what Boeing has in store for the New Midsize Airplane or NMA, also termed the 797.

So far, major airlines like Qantas and United Airlines have expressed an interest in the aircraft. But Boeing has not let anyone in on the secret just yet. There is no production start date but there’s a lot of speculation.

If Boeing is able to get its plans out of the gate, then it will make 2020 an incredibly prominent year for the airframer. The 797 would be a rival for Airbus’ A321XLR which is already garnering a lot of interest. Just this week we saw United Airlines deprive Boeing of vital 797 orders when it went ahead and ordered with Boeing’s competition. It needs to look at getting this aircraft announced sharpish to secure customer orders.

Airbus managed to capture United’s custom despite the airline’s interest in Boeing 797. Photo: Airbus

Big potential in a small package

Boeing is also hiding a big secret that could gain traction in 2020. The Future Small Airplane, or FSA, could replace the 737 MAX. It’s just well-circulated speculation at the moment,, but with Boeing putting pressure on the FAA, it could be something that we see materialize in the new year.

This week, Boeing suggested that 737 MAX production might need to be put on pause or ceased entirely if the aircraft faced further regulatory checks. The grounding of the MAX has created significant stress on Boeing’s finances among other things but could the production of the FSA put Boeing back on track?

Staving off the competition in 2020

2020 is an excellent opportunity for Boeing to stave off its competition if it takes advantage. Airbus has already clinched a few orders from Boeing’s hand but there’s nothing to say that Boeing can’t bring it back. It’s got a lot of work to do to recover from the 737 MAX grounding in terms of customer and airline trust, but with the correct certification, there can be no doubt at the aircraft’s capabilities. And with the development of other aircraft to see in the new year, there’s plenty of opportunities for Boeing to dominate.

Do you think Boeing is looking at a better 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

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Marlon Gillette

They had a low key roll.out of the 737-MAX 10, that is also another positive going into 2020. They should be stretched to the limit between all max variants testing and delivery and the 777X testing…fun tines ahead..

phil

Another aerodynamically unstable aircraft to add to the fold. I would rather leave flying in one of these to fighter pilots – they are happy to die for their country, I just want to get from A to B.

Armand2REP

Nothing is going to happen with the MAX before EASA gets to test the corrected version and they will be rigorously testing far harder than the FAA.

K.P.

Correction to that statement, if the FAA clears the MAX, it can fly all over the USA and EASA can’t do jack about it except prevent it from flying in Europe. Then maybe the FAA will decide not to accept EASA certification on AIrbus jets and put them through “rigorous’ testing ourselves, especially if those EASA tests aren’t ones they put Airbus through as talk about having the safety team owned by the plane maker.

Armand2REP

Only 12% of MAX deliveries have been to US airlines, the future of this aircraft depends on a consensus of outside regulators deciding its fate. The FAA has proven it is just a rubber stamp for Boeing so the world is looking for confirmation from EASA that all is well.

MK Mnguni

Keep your flying coffin broer

British Airways

Precisely because it’s in vogue to be anti-American, and it’s petty and self serving like pseudo-sophisticated “Europeans.”

TonytTDK

BA, It’s not about being anti-American or pro-Airbus. It’s quite simply all about which manufacturer has the issues. If Airbus were having aircraft issues as opposed to Boeing, then we’d all be voicing our opinions about that, wouldn’t we.?
Airbus ARE having engine issues, but that’s not actually Airbus’s fault, is it.?

Gerry S

Boeing Aircraft will get this MAX problem behind them/. They/it will eventually turn out an a/c that is reliable and sound. And they/it will have learned a valuable lesson: haste makes waste. Restoring their/its reputation will be front and center. This giant hiccup will make it stronger, more careful and much more aware of public sentiment. They will thrive. One bad airplane does not a company break.

Eamon

Rather arrogant how you present your opinions as absolutisms…as if enlightenment was somehow presented to you in a burning bush, or was whispered into your ear by an oracle on Mount Olympus. How about trying some subjectifying phrases, such as “I think that”, “In my opinion”, “If you ask me”, etc.?
Remember that the Comet and the Concorde both faded into nothingness after they were ungrounded…

mileduets

Other postings here are written as well as if the authors could look into a crystal ball and see the future clearly. It’s all understood that way. No need to get your knickers in a knot. I personally don’t share the article’s optimism either though. With the delays we’ve seen with the launch of the Dreamliner and the repeated pushing back of dates, it would surprise me if Boeing could unground the Max according to their current schedule… and then launch the B777x within the next few months. What hasn’t been mentioned though is the takeover of the Embraer commercial… Read more »

Bryce

I’m not sure I’d qualify the article as “optimistic”: it’s more an “if, then, else” commentary, as I see it. I’ve seen similar opinion pieces on other sites.
As regards the Embraer takeover: that’s still being met with headwinds, seeing as a fresh anti-trust suit was filed against it in Brazil last week.

Andy

The A220 is so much more capable than the E2, and once Airbus ramps up production the E2 will have a small niche around 100 seats.

mileduets

The E-jets might be a bit smaller and less “capable” than the A220, but nevertheless they have raked up a few orders lately and these will be delivered after the take over, which will benefit Boeing. Plus they could be used as a base for future small regional jets models that might even extend into the size and range of the A220 models. That’s why I consider the take over significant.

UNCLEHUMMUS$

but the 220 is VERY expensive

TonytTDK

The 220 is a third more expensive than the Embarear……. BUT, if an operator is going to fill most of the seats & utilise the aircraft effectively, it’ll make them lots of money BECAUSE it’s that bit bigger, but every bit as cheap to fly as the Emberaer.

Dan Judge

Eamon, Boeing is a great American institution! A part of who we are as a people. I genuinely believe America (and perhaps the world) would be speaking Japanese and German were it not for great companies like Boeing. I have no direct financial interest in Boeing, but having toured their wide body plant at Paine field in Everett Washington, I know that Boeing is a great company and I KNOW they will rebound, not just because of the 100 year plus history, but because of American Capitalism, which ultimately motivates good companies to become better, and bad companies to fail.… Read more »

Eamon

@Dan Judge PanAm and Kodak were also “great American companies”…and, yet, they went into the dust. Everything in life is a bell curve. As regards the predominance of English in the world — and the fact that English is the main language in North America — you might want to check out the history of the British Empire 😉 Another example for you: Spanish is the main language in South America because the Spanish Conquistadors got there before the Brits. And Latin is so prevalent in science and law because of the influence of the Roman Empire. I suspect it… Read more »

Andy

When Boeing moved to Chicago and became more concerned about dividends and stock buybacks than engineering, a great company died. If you have lousy products delivered late, you will lose your customers and Boeing will soon be able to forget about their stock buyback schemes. You should visit Boeing headquarters in Chicago, it’s right across the river from the CME Group financial futures headquarters.

TonytTDK

“and bad companies to fail.…”……..
…….which is, of course, the Other possibility.???

JFP

@Dan Judge You left out one important factor. Right now, neither the U.S. Government nor President Trump been advocates for Boeing in this. If Boeing is as important to the U.S. economy as some claim, don’t you think the political and bureaucratic leadership of the U.S. would be doing everything possible to save it? Right now, I think the government wants to take Boeing “down a few notches”, although at the risk of killing it. The U.S. Government hates it when a business gets too big. And, if they can’t control it by regulation, they’ll manipulate the marketplace.

TonytTDK

“one bad airplane does not a company break”
Actually, yes it might.?
The B737 is Boeing’s bread & butter.
If there’s a real issue with a ‘software fix’, for the Rest of the World’s regulators, it could co.pletely destroy Boeing, simply because their income would massively slump, whilst their R&D bills would rocket.
Boeing is barely over the out-of-pocket costs of the B787 fiascoes. It has no money to cover anymore failures.!

k Liriano

Thank you, Zamundan Yoda, for your excellent waste of our time…

Bryce

If the MAX actually gets un-grounded worldwide in 2020, then that will be a very good year for Boeing in terms of turnover; after all, the planes are just sitting on the ground more-or-less waiting to be delivered. But we’ll still have to see if the flying public will willingly fly on it; if not, then the smiles at Boeing will be rather short-lived. And there’s still the possibility that regulators outside the US will be more stringent. I somehow doubt that the 777X will be flying in 2020, in view of that huge rip that we saw in the… Read more »

Niklas Andersson

please leave the 777x from your rhetoric… out of Subject…and try to be honest… Do you believe that the current 737 Max already build and in stock piled on the parking around USA… will be granted to fly without any modification or upgrade?

Jim

The subject is Boeing’s prospects in 2020, so the 777X, and the delay likely induced by its test failure just below target pressure, are surely germane. Modification to the MAX will surely be needed, but that’s a software upgrade (I understand that existing hardware will be used, but perhaps I’m wrong), so indeed the completed planes are more or less ready to be delivered. (I suspect that any fixes or maintenance due to the grounding may take longer than the software upload.) Boeing may survive this, but it’ll be a rocky road still, and it’s hard to see any model… Read more »

K.P.

Just the Airbus boys drinking their Kool-Aid and running off at the mouth, there are hundreds of engineers and safety people from all over the globe, poking and prodding the MAX and coming up with anything they think can go wrong including how will an idiot, ill-trained pilot handle an emergency in the plane. Would love to get an Airbus A320neo the same treatment.

Steve Pollard

Interesting comment, everything I’ve read suggests that AB have said nothing about the Max, they realised that this could happen to them too and have deliberately avoided comment. KoolAid? What?

TonytTDK

KP.
You’ve made the point very well….
People ARE now looking to find fault with the MAX9.
That’s simply because Boeing has lost the trust of the World’s regulators.
The FAA certified something that has been shown to have absolutely caused 2 crashes. It’s a danger to safe flight.
BOTH Boeing’s AND the FAA’s credibility is now in question.
It’s now up to both of those organizations, to show that the MAX9 is 100% safe. That’s now a real problem, as 99.9% simply isn’t good enough anymore.?

Niklas Andersson

KP, There are no Airbus or Boeing boy somehow…. just thoughts and concern… sorry if you felt hurts… maybe you should take your knowledge higher with expertise instead! knowledge doesn’t mean capabilities… MCAS?

Matt Ted

Typical American. Can’t stand the fact that a big powerful company like Boeing built a piece of crap flat out dangerous aircraft. You’d rather blame the pilots because they’re not Americans, so that means they can’t be as good cause we da best at everything. So arrogant it’s hilarious. No wonder so many people in the world can’t stand the USA and their moronic President. The pilots did nothing wrong. Greedy American Capitalism killed those people. Greedy Wall Street pond scum dictating stock prices trumped safety. The American way, totally flawed. I hope the countries of the world stop buying… Read more »

High Mile Club

Can you explain how the 777x is irrelevant when the topic is about Boeing’s possible prospects next year? Or were you too focused on the MAX to notice?

Eamon

He can’t explain it…he’s drunk (again)…

Bryce

@Niklas Andersson
The article itself has an entire paragraph dedicated to the 777X, with a header in bold font! Didn’t notice that?
As regards a mandated modification to the MAX:
– If it’s purely a software upgrade, it can be simply uploaded onto each grounded plane.
– If it’s a question of swapping out a circuit board on the flight computer, it will also be relatively easy.
– If a mechanical modification is required, the process will be more involved.
At present, from what we’ve heard here and there, the third option seems to be less likely in the USA.

TonytTDK

Bryce
I would have thought that putting a 2nd sensor into the loop is absolutely going to be a REQUIREMENT of the rest of the World’s regulators.?
I can’t see how Boeing can possibly get around the basic fault with only one sensor to reference.?

Bryce

The point is that three (or another odd number > 1) sensors is better, because you can’t have a tied vote. We’re talking BASIC control theory here!

TonytTDK

Bryce. No issues from me.! My point was that there MUST be more than 1 sensor, in order to generate a ‘discrepancy’ where necessary, so that the system can revert to manual control.!

Henning

How could they dominate in 2020?
The 777x will be in a testing/certification phase all that year.
If they decide to launch the NMA program in 2020, it will be at lest 5 years before we see any deliveries.
The 737max will probably not be in service before 2Q if they are lucky, and then the hard work start with getting people feel safe about the aircraft.

David C.

I doubt the NMA is coming from Boeing. The 757 sold just above 1000 airframes for its entire production run and now the A321XLR is pilfering potential buyers. Boeing will most likely have to choose between the NMA and the 737 replacement. Considering the 737 MAX is highly tainted (and really not that efficient in the grand scheme of things), my money is on a single isle 170-200 PAX modern aircraft next from Boeing. Or they can stick with the MAX production line and watch Airbus either develop a 320 replacement OR take the A220 to the 500 and 700… Read more »

Tony

If Boeing is to get back to the company it was then surely part of the reinvention will be to replace most of the people at the top. Dennis Muilenburg should resign for the sake of the company. While he is CEO many people will not believe Boeing is doing anything other then papering over the cracks. They need an Allan Mulally type person to take over. Hopefully they are actively working on this now. Time for a change!

Antz

I agree with this. Boeing hasn’t been as open with the FAA that it needed to be with their agreement to self certify. There do seem to be issues with compromised parts knowingly being instated that they have been fined for and process changes have occurred since the 787 ‘whistle-blower’ so it seems there is truth in his claims. Personally, I will find it hard to believe that Boeing have had an attitude/culture change without replacing those that run the company.

Niklas Andersson

Dominate in witch way ?

mileduets

Witches are flying on broomsticks – but perhaps you want to express that Boeing’s year was truly bewitched! 🙂

Niklas Andersson

well, opinion and thoughts are shared… NOT ?

Shapes

Is this article an April fools joke?

AsK

In this diatribe too many sentences start with if, should, could, maybe……..meanwhile Airbus has the order books full with A220s, A320 variants, and A350s. 2020 will most likely be a very mediocre year for Boeing

Andy Gold

Am I the only one who will not fly an airline who operates the Max? Maybe after a year of operations following every major CAA re approving it, will I even consider it. Until then, I will have to suffer on Frontier.

Gregg B

Andy, I was initially going to totally disagree with your comment but I think you are being completely reasonable. Like you, before I set foot on a MAX, knowing its horrible reputation, I wouldn’t get on one either until it has been in service for a while and public confidence has drastically improved. The similar thing happened with the DC-10 and it went on to be a very successful aircraft which I’m sure you know. Personally, I think Boeing will get this behind them and the MAX will hopefully go on the be the most picked apart aircraft in the… Read more »

Howard Podrasky

Any aviation crash is bad for the entire aviation industry, but it keeps everyone on their toes to put safety first. As long as planes are designed, manufactured, serviced, and flown by human beings, there will be more crashes. Companies can’t cut corners on any level.

Luis

I will fly any Boeing any time.

Niklas Andersson

Luis, Fly high

david C.

Luis, if its the MAX you will definitely have your choice of seat location without booking in advance..

Cameron Stone

I understand people’s concern, but at the same time I don’t. Another disaster would be on the hands of everyone involved and so, naturally, everyone involved is working as hard as they can to make sure that won’t happen. It will be the world’s most heavily criticized aircraft, essentially certified twice, so inconveniencing yourself just to avoid flying on it is quite frankly unjustified. Avoiding an entire airline isn’t a great idea either, because the fact that a MAX is in their fleet doesn’t change anything with the other planes. The MAX will be at the least as safe as… Read more »

Bryce

You certainly have a very simplistic world view 😉 You evidently have forgotten (or chosen to forget) that Boeing just got fined by the FAA for taking shortcuts with the slat tracks on the 737 NG. So there appears to be a sickened culture at that company…and that’s not always conducive to safety 😉 Despite the assertion that it’s “the world’s most heavily criticized aircraft”, I can still list some issues for which I haven’t yet heard any solution in the press. For example: – The physical strength required to turn the trim wheel when the plane is in a… Read more »

Andy Gold

Replace all the Max LEAPs back to 56’s and you again will have a good airplane. You can hold on to those LEAPS for the 797 or what ever other airplane they will properly fit on. Thats the solution to the problem caused by your own greed. Suck it up Boeing and do the right thing.

Steve Pollard

Uncomfortable with the comment “but with Boeing putting pressure on the FAA”.
Boeing should have no influence on the FAA at all.

Antz

I would have thought a possible tie up with Embraer would be one of the most positive and least speculative things we can talk about for Boeing in 2020?

mileduets

That’s the point I was also missing most in the article. If the take over is approved in March, as planned, This could be the second most significant event in 2020 besides the ungrounding of the Max.

Doris Dr.

That sounds a bit too optimistic to me. The max won’t fly before April (in the US) and then Boeing has to convince the costumers that it’s save (good luck with that). The 797/NMA is more or less dead, Airbus is too far away in that segment, Boeing was to slow/ busy with other problems to care for it. The FSA is a wet dream, but Boeing has not enough time and money to develop it. It seems more important for the CEO to pay for high dividends and own stocks with the the borrowed money. And Boeing is betting… Read more »

Jerry Newman

Until Boeing-and the other major aircraft manufacturers-stop seeking the short term gains created by taking shortcuts and not insisting on quality manufacturing, Boeing will be a bad investment. Management has to direct the company to produce quality products without hiding product defects or it will short change it’s investors. My very small Boeing stock portfolio has suffered because of the short term distorted sight of management and until we see that attitude change into long term quality goals, Boeing will be a questionable investment.

JJ Richardson

The Max selling point is fuel savings, and in my view once certified as safe it will be a good earner. The two accidents were preventable with well trained crews, and the airlines operating these aircraft did not take appropriate action when previous incidents occurred. I remember well the DC10 crises, but the problems were sorted and became a popular Aircraft. I am a retured Captain, with Boeing experience,

Tony

Really JJ Riichardson?! I would have thought by now the old boggy of blaming the two airlines was well and truely buried. If what you write was the case the 737Max’s would not have been grounded. When they are returned to flying I hope they will be safe and a good earner but it is now well documented that Boeing seriously dropped not just one ball but a whole heap of balls. I suggest you take time and read all the information over the last 9 months which clearly shows where the problem with the 737 Max has been.

High Mile Club

If Boeing were to dominate, something would have to plague Airbus first because they are well ahead in orders right now. Boeing will be wiping off the remains of egg on their faces next year and get two aircraft off the ground for service. Still disappointed in the 777x being delayed; I was planning on going to Seattle to witness its first flight.

Niklas Andersson

Wait Q3 2020 to get to Toulouse or Mobile instead, for the A360XLR

High Mile Club

I’m considering going to the Paris Airshow, which I’m glad i missed this year because it was abysmal. Otherwise, it’s wishful thinking on your end nick.

John Miller

Boeing has gotten too big for its corporate britches. It has no American competition. They’ve screwed up the 737Max, other versions of the 737 and apparently the 787 as well. And the KC-46 for the Air Force. It’s time to replace the 737. Even Volkswagon eventually realized it was time to replace the original bug. Revamp the 757 to replace the 737 or better yet, make the 797 the replacement.

Alex George

The Max can fly again, but not with me or my family. Airbus only!

Dennis E Sullens

The 737 Max will kill people in the future because the Anti-stall system MCAS has been watered down so much that it will not work when the 2 Angle of Attack sensors disagree, or may only work 1 time, when more was needed. With the very unreliable Angle of Attack sensors, it is only a matter of time before the Max crashes due to a stall. The MCAS software Solution is a Patch or Band Aid solution. It reminds me of the 1987 Baseball Comedy movie where the Team owner was trying to discourage her players by reducing comfort and… Read more »

Cameron Stone

Considering you are a proclaimed aviation expert, I’m surprised you got this wrong. MCAS is NOT an anti-stall system. It was implemented for certification reasons, not for safety reasons. It is not at risk of stalling, and MCAS practically never activates correctly under normal flight conditions. It corrected the stability during a flight envelope a competent flight crew will never find themselves in (I am not sure what the specifics of that envelope are). Other than that, the system does not do a thing.

mileduets

It was built in to counter the nose up tendency of the MAX (due to the new positioning of the engines) which can easily lead to a stall if not countered correctly. So it’s a system built in to prevent situations that could easily lead to a stall. Boeing could take it out, but then would have to make sure pilots are well trained enough to correct the nose-up tendency themselves.

High Mile Club

All Pilots are trained to recognize an impending stall when they see it. they don’t act when the aircraft is already in a stall, They asked before it gets to that point. MCAS was put in so the aircraft could have the same commonality as previous generations. Without it, the aircraft would have to get a new type certificate, which would take more time and include additional training. And that is something Boeing and Airlines wanted to avoid.

Bryce

@High Mile Club
Well if that’s the case, then Boeing should have no problem acceding to Transport Canada’s demand to remove MCAS altogether 🙂
Although, they’ll then have a problem with the FAA, which won’t re-certify the aircraft without MCAS.
It seems that the stall situation in the MAX is somewhat more convoluted than one might think 😉

mileduets

That’s what Mr. Sullens tries to express by calling the MCAS an “anti-stall system”. It might be called “Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System” by Boeing and being labeled not “security relevant”, but according to the JATR review commissioned by the FAA, MCAS is part of a “stall identification system or a stall protection system, depending on the natural (unaugmented) stall characteristics of the aircraft”.
No need to parrot Boeing euphemisms here. If it wouldn’t be a security relevant system, the FAA would have no problems having it removed, as suggested by the Canadian authority.

High Mile Club

Yes, but it would be wrong to say the plane literally can’t fly without it. It’s not like the MAX will point directly straight into the sky upon takeoff. The pitching of the airframe would be slow and deliberate, probably requiring the pilot to nose down a bit to keep a controlled climb. This could pose a problem at high and high airports though, because the less dense air would require the engines to operate at a higher setting at take off.

mileduets

Right. I never claimed the plane can’t fly without it (and neither did Mr. Sullens). Your description of the necessary pilot action “to nose down a bit to keep a controlled climb” is exactly what I meant with “Boeing could take it [MCAS] out, but then would have to make sure pilots are trained well enough to correct the nose-up tendency themselves”.

Paul Proctor

Correct description of MCAS.

Blair

“Major League” is the movie that you’re thinking about. As for the 737MAX, I won’t fly it. Period.

Rick

Boeing has for years wanted to dominate the civil aircraft market and has tried by building aircraft on the cheap to sell at a profit undercutting the competition. The philosophy has always been to build a market monopoly. Way back in the 70’s I was at a aerospace conference where European manufacturers were looking for a fair share of the market. The Boeing CEO stated that a fair share of the market for Boeing was 100% and Europe should stick to wine and cheese production.

Niklas Andersson

Like Armagnac…. it need time to get “mature”… and than everyone want it! The French Musketeer ( Airbus ) offers the right product to the country and the world, not monopoly… that everyone could and can enjoy the famous “eau de vie”… at a fair and safe price.

Karl

Yes, Boeing’s arrogance and sense of entitlement is mind-boggling. When their products are faltering in the marketplace, a typical Boeing complaint is that’s because the competition is subsidised and that the reason for that cannot be explained purely on the possibility that the competition actually are able to produce a technically superior product. Boeing actually seems to believe that if they are given a “level-playing field” against the “government-subsidised” Airbus — i.e. typical mentality of a sore-loser with a self-righteous defensiveness — Boeing will always be able to smash the competition, because they are the best. The World Trade Organization… Read more »

Mike

Both programs are doomed, bye bye Boeing, oh I forgot, government bailouts a plenty…Boeing is a perfect example of putting dollars above engineering integrity.

Paul Proctor

What government bailouts of Boeing? Citation please.

Andy

B17, B29, B47 should I continue, it isn’t even 1950 yet.

TonytTDK

The article reads like a Boeing press release, rewritten into the third person.! The optimism it carries, could easily be countered with the statement; But what if it doesn’t.? Boeing have been ‘talking-up’ the MoM airframe for years & years, to the point that even the concept has got ‘old’ & been renamed the NMA.!!! The 737 replacement has been talked about for over 10 years & has now morphed into the FSA.! But the core of this article assumes that the 777X engines will perform as promised, the wing tips won’t break off & the fuselage won’t split open… Read more »

mileduets

What if the author of the article was part of the invited few at the stakeholder invitation Boeing organized on Dec 3 and 4?

High Mile Club

Landing gear has been operated through hydraulic pumps for several decades. So it’s not really news.

TonytTDK

Landing gear has been operated…..

But it has never before been ‘pumped-up’ to make the aircraft taller on the runway.!!!
Adding another level of complexity & another thing to go wrong.?

High Mile Club

I don’t really see the difference because the landing gear for aircraft are by design meant to be tall these days, if the engine is umderwing that is. Pretty sure they just used lengthened gear for the MAX 10 to make it a little taller than usual.

Paul Proctor

US Navy carriers have used folding wings Successfully for decades. I think the 777X wingtips will be ok. No airplane ever is going to be in the conditions that fuselage split occurred at.

Bryce

@Paul Proctor : “No airplane ever is going to be in the conditions that fuselage split occurred at.”

You’d be surprised what multiple flight cycles can do to a fuselage skin that’s sub-optimal. Don’t forget Aloha 243…which ripped open like a tin can…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243

Reed

Bring back the Lockheed 188A Electra Jet.

Niklas Andersson

Reed… you Read it right… excellent aircraft indeed…
Siljansnäs/Leksand in Sweden still have one … what a aircraft.

Aaron Aaron

The problem with Boeing is the design philosophy that invented the “Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System”. Taking control from the pilot is an absolute no-no. A warning should be necessary and sufficient. Not letting the pilot easily turn off automation, including Auto-pilot, MCAS or whatever else is built into the planes “fly by wire” technology is literally committing murder, as the two 737max crashes demonstrated, as is not putting absolutely everything the aircraft will do into the documentation. And this applies to every aircraft ever made by anyone anywhere in the world.

Paul Proctor

Uh, Airbus jetliners are all fly-by- wire and do override the pilots in certain cases.

Andy

Airbus designed their entire fleet around fly by wire. Boeing’s MCAS is a Rube Goldberg fix on an ancient design with serious balance and structural issues.

TonytTDK

PP,
Yes, but the Airbus systems tell the flight crew why they’re being overridden & by which system…..
unlike MCAS, which was completely hidden from the pilots.?

Ananda

Boeing should begin the process of putting the lid on 737 MAX coffin. On the this days off social media, 737 MAX has simply got so much bad reputation that significant number of passangers simply won’t fly with it in future. This will put handicap for Airlines that operate them. Forget NMA, just begin FSA process. With 777X, 787, FSA, and E jet Series, Boeing will have complete line up for foreseable future. Stop production of 737 MAX, cut losses, negotiate with Airlines that still have MAX orders on FSA. It will take time for FSA to come out, but… Read more »

Paul Proctor

They’re flying on the 787 in droves, which also was grounded.

Bryce

Yeah, but that was a simple battery fire issue…not the multiple — and fatal — aerodynamic stability and control issues plaguing the MAX…

TonytTDK

“simple battery fire” which destroyed one aircraft & seriously damaged two others….. All of which were on the ground at the time.
Had any of them been in the air, they would very likely have been total losses.?

Eric Steiger

IIRC, there was no loss of life prior to the 787 grounding.

David C. Carroll

While the FAA and other international bodies may re-certify the MAX to fly again, this is not a political issue. Consumer confidence is severely hurt – possibly irreparably, so heralding the return of the jet disregards likely far broader consequences than getting the paperwork in order for the hardware. I fly the 737NG, myself, and I love the plane to bits, but the fact remains that, while true and tested in the past, the airframe is an ancient relic. It was never designed to carry the giant modern engines strapped to the MAX (or the NG, for that matter), and… Read more »

David N Boosalis

They want positive press then they can start by getting rid of that bozo CEO who so badly allowed the 737 max situation to happen He also allowed production and quality control issues to open the door wide for Airbus starting to win large orders both in and out of the US.

Zzzzz

Yup. Those CEOs are long gone. The CEO you speak of retired in 2015. Before that CEO the former CEO of McDonnell Douglas had the reigns of Boeing. It all goes back to McDonnell Douglas. Not too mention the last two CEOs were accolades of Jack Welsh. Read into that as much as you want and you won’t be wrong. The Boeing we all know ceased to exist after 1997.

Madox

Boeing is finished as a commercial aircraft manufacturer, after all the MAX accidents, Boeing management stays defiant and the CEO is still running tbe show instead of being in jail to pay for the crashes.
The only aitctaft that Boeing should be oroud of is the 777, while the others have design flaws, hence, concentration should be on military equipment manufacturing….drop the civilian aircraft libe and concede defeat to AIRBUS

mohave

The Max was one last manual control 737 before a clean sheet. Two or three U.S. airlines could be the only ones to operate it and the other customers could fly the 737s Southwest sells back to Boeing and Boeing substitutes for Max, with adjusted price, to customers like Lion Air The Max could be modified with fly by wire pitch, making it as easy to fly and as safe as the A320/321.

Boeing should announce it plans to replace the Max with a clean sheet.

TonytTDK

& exactly WHERE is the investment into this going to cone from.???
Boeing it up to its eyes in debt from the 787 problems, the 777X problems & the MAX9 problems. It’s spent $billions on getting the MAX9 to this point, only to have to walk away & spend still more money, retrofitting stuff to make the MAX9 flyable, but nothing like as efficient as its brochure promised.?

PETER LORENZONI

I couldn’t disagree more with this view of Boeing’s outlook for 2020. The MAX’s woes will continue well into 2020. If March (already 1/4 the way into 2020!) is the earliest prediction now for getting clearance you must also account for all the other preparations to have the plane back into regular service. No other regulator has given a timetable. The 777X timetable is very optimistic considering the issues with the static tests and the engines. The NMA business model is looking more challenging considering this latest United order for the A320NEO XLR. I think we are going to see… Read more »

Andy

Boeing continues to stonewall, insisting on delivering MAXs before recertified to meet fiscal year goals and denying that much additional pilot training is neccessary. The 797 prospects are bleak, it will not be available in quantity for at least 10 years, long after all passenger 757s and 767s have gone to Mojave. If Boeing attempts to launch a 797, Airbus can simply update the A321 with a new wing or even a wider fusalage, and beat Boeing to market by years. The killer is that whatever Airbus comes up with will be pilot compatible with existing Airbus models, that are… Read more »

Andy

Boeing squeals about Airbus recieving government funding, but what company has been getting billions of dollars a year in US government spending for over 75 years? Who made 20 year no compete deals with DL, AA and CO? Funny thing is all three just bought tons of A321s, and Boeing’s future is as bright as a burned out incandescent light bulb.

TamaMao'i

I agree with you. Let’s not forget Boeing’s effort to increase taxes on the sale of the CSeries in USA. Well that effort went down like a lead balloon, as it delivered the CSeries to Airbus on a plate. Airbus now has their FSA already in place, called the A220.

Paul Proctor

What government subsidies for Boeing? Citation please where Boeing received direct, huge grants of cash and huge soft and non-repayable loans? Plus any jetliners Boeing didn’t pay back the loans for, like Airbus and the A380.

Bryce

Paul Proctor, here’s a nice example of the fat tax breaks that Boeing has enjoyed…and they’re described in the Seattle Times from Boeing’s original home town:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/boeings-historic-tax-break-from-state-even-bigger-than-thought/

On a related note, Boeing makes extensive use of “program accounting” (which is unique to the US) as opposed to “unit accounting” (used by the rest of the world)…and has thus been able to conveniently build up a whopping $35 billion in deferred costs…

https://leehamnews.com/2019/11/05/boeing-charges-costs-nearly-35bn-since-1996/

Karl

@ Paul Proctor There you go again! That’s certainly a massive amount of hyperbole from the Trump administration, Boeing and their stooges in US Congress and most of the US-based press, pundits etc. (i.e. including AW&ST), typically repeating the USTR/Boeing talking points. What happened to independent thinking? Now, the U.S. Government, as well as state and local governments, never see their money back when they subsidise Boeing. That is the main difference between the U.S. and the E.U. Airbus’s accounting system records any loss in real time while Boeing likes to defer its losses, no matter how big they are.… Read more »

Karl

Overview of US subsidies to Boeing’s Large Commercial Aircraft division (USD millions)

https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2010/september/tradoc_146484.pdf

Bryce

@Karl
Paul Proctor is an ex-Boeing employee, whose job was to “support” Dennis Muilenburg (whatever that means); Paul has stated here on SF that he is convinced that Dennis is a very honest and diligent CEO! So you’re dealing here with a semi-official Boeing PR channel.

Andy

After the MAX disaster, the folding wingtips and ripped fuselage of the 777x will really enhance passenger confidence in Boeing aircraft. The 777x is also too large, the A321XLR is already creating further fragmentation of long haul routes.

Dave

This article looks more like a wishful thinking than prediction.
The Competition is dectated by airbus and the article is mostly detailing the Max problems

Paul Proctor

I think this was a good subject and article. Well done, Simple Flying. A few notes to stir the synapses: Boeing is a $100-billion company, a $3.9-million fine is not catastrophic. Also, it’s a proposed fine and Boeing typically negotiates them down. FAA is hyping this fine to make itself look tough on Boeing. I read the original details somewhere and not sure where FAA got the “knowingly installed” narrative totally correct. Also, Boeing is methodically working it’s way thru MAX return to flight. It will happen. And once it does the cash flow from the backlog of already built… Read more »

Eamon

Did Dennis ask you to come out of the cracks and try to do some urgent damage control for him?

Typical of a Boeing crony to see the $3.9 million fine purely as a financial matter rather than an engineering confidence/fraud issue…that really says a lot…

The derogatory reference to certification agencies is disgusting…and also very revealing of the underlying Boeing attitude…

Andy

The 777x was launched in 2013, and may enter service in 2021. How would an NMA enter service before 2028, even if it’s launched in Paris next year. Boeing continues to be reluctant to spend on product development, fearing the huge financial leverage next quarter might not be enough to meet analysts expectations of stock buybacks.

TonytTDK

Paul, that’s simply rubbish….. It’s your prerogative to cheerlead for Boeing if you want to.? It’s my prerogative to call it out for the ‘old-tale’ that you’re telling. If we optimistically assume the MAX9 is actually going to be certified by March, then we have to assume that all the built aircraft are going to be retrofitted with a 2nd angle of attack sensor.? & the associated wiring & the reprogramming of the MCAS system…….. Or they could retrofit the MAX10 undercarriage & fit new engine mountings & totally remove the MCAS.? Those seem like the only 2 viable options… Read more »

Oscar

Yes, but y’all missing 2 important details. It’s not the first time an aircraft fell from the heavens. Look at the DC-10. Incredible aircraft with a doomed reputation. MAX will be the same, however, today social media can screw any company’s plan for success. And don’t forget China is about to hit the aircraft market. If they find a weak Boeing Co, they can, and will, erase them from the market.

Bob Braan

Both Boeing and the FAA insisted the 737 Max was safe originally, safe after the first crash, even though they had started working on corrections to MCAS and the FAA knew there was a high risk of a second crash, and even initially insisted it was safe after the second crash when all other regulators had already grounded it.

Why would anyone believe anything they say about safety now?

FAA regulators knew of Boeing Max risk after first crash: WSJ
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/31/faa-regulators-knew-of-boeing-max-risk-after-first-crash—wsj.html

Ian MacFarlane

Boeing could make a comeback in 2020 but the course of the world economy is a big factor and that appears to likely be a big problem. Worsening world trade and arbitrary imposition of tariffs could bring on a new Great Recession. Both Boeing and Airbus could be seriously impacted because of the problems with the 737-Max as well as the A-380.

Henkel

Boeing is going to be a 500 in 2020. Eat your hearts out Airbus cheerleaders.

Andy

I like the Boeing 737 but can’t help thinking the design has run its course. Even Porsche designed an all-new 911 which looked very similar to the old one, but with modern materials and engineering. I’d suggest they look to the 787 for inspiration. The only issue is they have so much on their plate at the moment, they will be hard pressed to get an all-new design fully tested and certified within 5 years. And to outdo the Airbus A220 or A320 series it will need to be a game changer without a substantial cost increase. The airlines have… Read more »

Tim Ensor

I think Boeing could make a huge turn around in 2020 if :
1.They get the 737 right with no more issues.
2. They Manage to get the 777X scheduled right .
3. Hopefully they will get the Qantas “ Project Sunrise “ deal for 787’s or 777’s .
I think that will be a huge success for Boeing if it happens.

And I personally hope it does.

tony

Well your number 3 point has gone south Tim and as for 1. and 2, well yeah, nah!

John

“It’s been long enough and Boeing already has launch plans.” What a silly statement. Long enough is not determined by publications.

jason myers

Unfortunately, the laws of physics say you can’t put those engines on that airframe.
Everything being said IGNORES THAT THIS IS NOT AN AIRPLANE: THIS IS A SALES MARKETING PITCH being sold as engineering. It will only continue to kill passengers and Boeing itself, if the BASIC FLAW IS NOT ADMITTED, CORRECTED AND THE SOLUTION DECISION MADE TO START A NEW PLANE FOR THE NEW ENGINES.

Bernie

Delete 2020 in all comments and insert 2021.

Remind all airlines to follow the trend to remove the term ‘MAX’ from all aircraft.