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tifosi77
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Postby tifosi77 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:56 am

It's funny, if you go to Google Maps satellite view and look at that area, there is exactly one aircraft parked on that ramp.

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Postby dodint » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:48 pm

Neat:


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Postby Shyster » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:52 pm

Boeing slowed MAX production due to the grounding, but it hasn't stopped. There are also a bunch of 737s parked at Everett and at some other airports in the Seattle area. The grounding means that commercial flights cannot be done, but ferry flights are permitted.


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Postby Shyster » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:20 pm

In other news, it looks like Bombardier is finishing up the process of getting rid of its commercial-aircraft business. A couple years ago, Bombardier sold all of the type certificates and production rights for it the older Canadair and De Havilland Canada aircraft—such as the DHC-5 Buffalo, DHC-6 Twin Otter, and CL-415 "Superscooper" amphibious firefighter—to Canada's Viking Air. Last year Bombardier announced it was also selling all of the "Dash" aircraft to Viking Air, including the in-production Q400 turboprop aircraft. Viking Air recently announced that it also bought the "De Havilland Canada" name and trademarks and will be bringing back that vintage name for all of those aircraft. That deal closed earlier this week.

Today, rumors are out that Bombardier is talking to Mitsubishi about selling the CRJ jets and their associated factories and facilities. I doubt that Mitsubishi really wants to manufacture the CRJs. That's the same size of aircraft as Mitsubishi's long-delayed MRJ aircraft. But buying the CRJ would give Mitsubishi immediate access to a worldwide network of support and maintenance faculties that could be used for its own aircraft, and the considering the North American market is the biggest market for regional jets, having maintenance and production facilities here would likely be a big advantage. It would also give Mitsubishi insider ability to pitch new MRJs to all of the current CRJ owners and operators.

If Mitsubishi can pull its thumb out of its butt and actually get the MRJ into production, it could have a big advantage over Embraer. The union agreements that US airlines have with their pilots have "scope clauses" that limit the airline's ability to contract out to regional airlines, and two of those restrictions are that regional jets cannot carry more than 76 passengers and cannot be above a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 86,000 lbs. Embraer's updated E175-E2 is over that MTOW, which means that the US regionals basically cannot buy it because they cannot fly it for the mainlines. Embraer was betting that the MTOW limit would increase, but that bet appears to have been wrong. Embraer has had to keep the old "E1" version of the E175 in production for the US market. But Mitsubishi is going to introduce a reworked MRJ70 (which it is calling the " Space Jet") at this month's Paris Air Show that will supposedly carry 76 passengers and squeak in under the MTOW limit. If Mitsubishi can meet those limits and get those aircraft into production, it would end up dominating the US market for regional jets.

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Postby NTP66 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:52 pm

Airbus is launching the longest single-aisle airliner, the A321XLR
  • The latest evolution of the A321neo with 4,700nm range
  • Bringing 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation aircraft
  • Combining single-aisle economics with long-haul widebody cabin comfort
Image

Image

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Postby Shyster » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:11 pm

Industry watchers have been anticipating the A321XLR for a while now as a preemptive strike against Boeing's upcoming 797 "middle of the market" aircraft. There are hundreds of aging 757s that will be to be replaced in the next 5–10 years. United, Delta, and American together operate more than 230 of them. Airbus is hoping to get out in front of Boeing and get those 757 operators signed up for A321 replacements before Boeing can get the 797 into production, which probably wouldn't be before 2025 at the earliest.

The downside of the A321XLR—which is already present to a lesser extent on the A321LR—will be cargo capacity. There's no free lunch, and with the same engines and the same levels of efficiency, the extra range of the LR and XLR models comes at the expense of substituting extra fuel tanks and extra fuel for payload. An A321XLR might be able to cover the same routes (or even longer routes) than a 757, but it won't be able to carry the same amount of baggage and cargo, and a lot of airlines make extra money hauling freight along with the passengers. Boeing's counter pitch to the airlines is going to be if they wait for the 797, they'll get an aircraft that will have both the range and the cargo capacity they're looking for.

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Postby Shyster » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:24 pm

The A321XLR appears to be taking off nicely. So far at the Paris Air Show, Airbus has 132 new orders for the type and 74 orders for other variants of the A321 that are being converted to the A321XLR. Among those orders is an order from American Airlines that orders 20 new A321XLR frames and converts 30 existing A321 orders into A321XLR orders. American is clearly going with the A321 as a 757 replacement. Regular A321neos will be used to replace domestic 757s, and the XLRs will be used to replace 757s on international routes to Europe and South America. Qantas, Wizz Air, Cebu Pacific, and Saudia have also ordered the A321XLR. Delta added five more aircraft to its A220 order, and Virgin Atlantic and Cebu Pacific ordered A330-900neos.

Boeing has also scored some orders at Paris. International Airlines Group (IAG), which is the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, LEVEL, and Vueling, placed an order for 200 MAX8 and 10 aircraft. It looks like they will primarily go to LEVEL and Vueling, although British Airways said it might take a few of them for operations out of London Gatwick. Boeing also got a big 787 order from Korean Airlines for 30 aircraft, and a number of companies placed orders for 777F freighters. Also, KLM ordered 20 Embraer E195 E2s, which will become Boeing products once the merger is approved and complete.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:32 pm

Mitsubishi and Bombardier have now confirmed the rumored deal for the CRJ series of aircraft. For $500 million in cash and the assumption of $200 million in debt, Mitsubishi is buying the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ series of aircraft. Mitsubishi is not buying the production lines for facilties for the CRJ, however. Rather, Mitsubishi will subcontract with Bombardier for the production of the aircraft remaining on the order books. The last CRJs should be built in 2020.

Much like car dealerships make a lot of their money from the repair shop, there is a lot of money to be made in aircraft maintenance and support. But even more importantly, Mitsubishi is buying an essentially "turnkey" global maintenance and sales network that it can repurpose for the sales and support of its own upcoming MRJ aircraft. It also takes a competitor out of the regional-jet market. There are over 800 CRJs currently flying, and those aircraft will eventually need to be replaced.

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Postby NTP66 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:54 pm

A new flaw has been discovered in the computer system for the Boeing 737 Max that could push the plane downward, according to two sources familiar with the testing, an issue that is expected to further delay the aircraft's return to service.

A series of simulator flights to test new software developed by Boeing revealed the flaw, according to one of the sources.
This is some scary ****.

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Postby Shyster » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:27 pm

I've tried to find more information. The articles mention a "microprocessor" issue, but it's not clear whether the issue arises when the processor suffers a failure, arises due to the software running on that processor, or arises from some other factor. There are some posts over on airliners.net saying that the issue is that the embedded processor in question is underpowered and gets bogged down when trying to respond to control inputs. If that's the case, Boeing may need to redesign that part of the control systems to incorporate a more powerful unit.

Boeing has already told airlines with stored MAXes that reentry into service will be treated the same as a new delivery. So the 375-odd aircraft that are currently stored will all be flown back to Seattle for all modifications/upgrades and then re-delivered to each of the customers in question.

Once the 737 MAX gets back to flying, it's probably going to be the most-tested aircraft in history, at least as to the flight-control systems. Every part of the controls for those aircraft is being gone over in exacting detail.

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Postby NTP66 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:25 am

And I would still have reservations about ever flying on one, to be honest.

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Postby tifosi77 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:44 pm

Once the 737 MAX gets back to flying, it's probably going to be the most-tested aircraft in history, at least as to the flight-control systems. Every part of the controls for those aircraft is being gone over in exacting detail.
And they're still finding surprises.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:20 pm

And they're still finding surprises.

That's what testing is for.

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Postby NTP66 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:23 pm

That should have been what testing was for years ago, before numerous And unnecessary crashes resulting in the loss of life. The fact that they’re only just now finding NEW issues BECAUSE of those crashes is a serious problem. You make it seem like this is perfectly fine.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:24 pm

The failure to catch and address the rather open and obvious flaws with the way MCAS was first implemented was horrible and inexcusable. But at the same time, we are also talking about highly complicated pieces of machinery and technology. Unexpected stuff always comes up. Even with the best, most diligent engineers and technicians in the world, airplanes still crash, rockets still explode, bridges and buildings still collapse, etc. I'm never going to fault anyone for finding a problem on the test bench rather than in actual use.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:35 pm

Commentary from Juan Brown on the news reports for the 737 MAX. Mr. Brown is a longtime Boeing 777 captain with a lot of contacts in the aviation industry who comments on aircraft-related stuff on his YouTube channel. According to Mr. Brown, the issue is that the FAA personnel testing the MAX are not happy with how quickly the manual trim switch on the column will respond when the pilots are testing the recovery steps for a runaway-trim scenario. It takes several seconds for the manual trim switch to respond, and that response time appears to be related somehow to the functioning of a specific microprocessor in the aircraft's flight-management computers. Contrary to news reports from places like CNN, it does not appear to be an issue that would "push the plane downward." The issue is that if the aircraft is already being pushed downward by whatever malfunction is otherwise causing a runaway trim, it takes longer than the FAA likes for the manual-trim switch to trim the aircraft back up.


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Postby Shyster » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:56 pm

Mentour pilot gives a tour of the nooks and crannies of a 737NG cockpit:



At 2:50, Mentour mentions the embarrassment of mixing up a PA announcement with an ATC call. This is what that sounds like, with the famous (and, alas, retired) Kennedy Steve being the one calling for the abuse:


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Postby NTP66 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:50 am

Federal prosecutors have expanded their probe beyond the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, The Seattle Times reported Friday, citing two sources familiar with the investigation.
The Department of Justice subpoenaed Boeing for records pertaining to the Dreamliner's production in South Carolina amid claims of subpar work, the sources told the Times.
A third source told the Times that several individual employees at the Dreamliner production plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, had received subpoenas in early June from the "same group" of prosecutors working on the 737 Max investigation.

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Postby tifosi77 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:22 am

I remember the 7-8 had issues with its batteries when the type first launched, but have their been any other critical safety issues reported?

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Postby NTP66 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:17 pm

Nope, which is why I’m going to be following this story.

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Postby Shyster » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:00 am

There have been some reports recently that a 787 delivered to Air Canada had falsified paperwork as to something done to a wing fuel tank. I'm not aware of what the exact issue was, but it's something like the paperwork certified that certain inspection checks or certain manufacturing steps had been done, but in fact they had not been done, and the aircraft developed a fuel leak after it was delivered to Air Canada. I'm guessing that the investigation as to the 787 is probably investigating whether any other shortcuts or false documentation has been going on. The South Carolina plant in question was constructed by Boeing specifically to build the 787 and accordingly is a fairly new plant. I know there have been stories for a while about Boeing having greater quality-control issues with the SC plant than the other 787 plant in Everett. I don't think the issue is going to be anything related to the inherent design of the 787. I think it will be related to quality and production control.

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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:28 am

'You have built a wonky aircraft' v 'you have designed a wonky aircraft' is sort of a distinction without difference to the end operator imo.

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Postby Shyster » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:41 pm

At the point of delivery, maybe yes. But an aircraft with construction defects can be fixed, either by the manufacturer or by the operator. If a manufacturing defect results in a fuel leak, the operator can remedy that fuel leak. If one of the bolts is missing from the landing gear because the Boeing plant worker who was on duty that day forgot to install it, that's the sort of thing that will almost certainly be caught during an A check, which occurs at least every month or so, if not more often. Commercial aircraft are regularly and repeatedly checked for broken/missing/defective parts. An aircraft with a fundamental design defect, however, cannot be remedied by the operator, and the operator won't even know that anything is wrong. I'd much rather have a broken aircraft than an aircraft with a hidden design flaw.

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Postby NTP66 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:31 pm

About that emergency landing the other day in Newark...

Image

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:16 pm

American Airlines has announced the final flight schedules for its remaining MD-82 series aircraft. All of them will be gone by the first week of September. That ends the mainline passenger service of the MD-81, 82, and 83 in the US and the end of Mad Dog service for American, which had operated MD aircraft since 1971. Delta will be the only remaining US mainline passenger operator of MD aircraft.

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