Boeing has today issued a press release addressing the progress of the 737 MAX’s return to service. The aircraft has now been grounded for over half a year following a second fatal accident of the type in March. So far, more than 800 test flights of the 737 MAX fix have been flown.
The Boeing 737 MAX has been the centre of attention in the aviation world this year. Almost a year ago, an aircraft being operated by Lion Air crashed shortly after takeoff resulting in significant loss of life. When an almost identical accident affected an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX in March, the aircraft was progressively grounded around the world. Since then, Boeing has been working tirelessly to get the 737 MAX back into the skies.
Today Boeing issued a press release entitled “Boeing Progress on 737 MAX Safe Return to Service”. In this, the aircraft manufacturer used the opportunity to address the progress it is making on returning the Boeing 737 MAX to service.
Two main topics were addressed by the company. These were entitled “What we are doing”, in addition to “What we have changed”. Various things from assisting the families of the families affected to changes in governance were discussed by the manufacturer. However, Boeing also went into detail about the progress of flight testing for the type.
Test flight progress
According to Boeing, progress is being made with testing the software fix which could unground the 737 MAX. The manufacturer says that so far more than 800 flights have been flown utilising the new software. This equates to around 1,500 flight hours, giving an average flight time of around 1.9 hours.
In addition, a huge number of people have been involved in simulator trials of the updated software. Just under 450 people have flown the new Boeing 737 MAX software in the simulator. The manufacturer says that these individuals come from 140 entities around the globe including Boeing customers in addition to regulators.
The American manufacturing giant goes on to say “Just last week the company successfully conducted a dry-run of a certification flight test.”
What else has been happening?
Boeing has also been engaging in other tasks related to the 737’s grounding. Firstly, the manufacturer established a fund to help those affected by the 737 MAX crashes, which has already been accepting applications.
Boeing has held 20 conferences around the globe. At these, more than 1,100 individuals have been in attendance learning about how the huge task of a return to service will be accomplished. Additionally, Boeing has continued to provide 24/7 support to customers with the aircraft sitting around, in addition to those due to receive the aircraft.
Additionally, the company goes on to talk about separating the role of CEO and Chairman. While Dennis Muilenburg remains Boeing’s CEO, he has lost his position as Chairman. Along with forming a Product and Services Safety organization, the manufacturer has also been investing in encouraging the future workers of the aviation industry.
Commenting on the progress update, Dennis Muilenburg said,
“We continue to make steady progress in safely returning the 737 MAX to service. Our Boeing teams are unwavering in their commitment to our customers and our values, and the changes we’re implementing now will further strengthen our approach to safety across our company and the aerospace community.”
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