Since the MAX is banned from flying, the tasks for Boeing’s engineering department are piling up.
There is of course the recertification of the MAX and its infamous MCAS which poses more problems than expected. All indications are that it will be difficult to get a return in service before the second quarter of 2020.
In order to validate the modifications of the MCAS, Boeing uses a MAX7 whereas this variant is still not certified. It will only take Boeing a few weeks to deliver its first MAX7 after the ban is lifted. Ryanair is looking forward to its first MAX200, so it will be necessary to get it certified as soon as possible. Then there is also the MAX10 whose first aircraft for the flight testing is assembled. In addition to these efforts, it will be necessary to dedicate resources to hundreds of MAX out of storage, the task will be enormous.
The engineering department is also responsible for the certification of the B777X with a tight schedule; the problems with the GENX engine took away all theestra time avsailable. It will be very difficult to achieve the certification of the 777X in the expected timeframe in early 2021.
There is also the problem of the B737NG pickle fork that takes away resources and time from the engineering division. As if that was not enough, the NTSB recommended to modify the engine nacelles of the B737NG. For now, Boeing does not have to apply this recommendation, but the FAA could issue an AD. Boeing must therefore convince the FAA that it is not necessary to modify the nacelles of the 4,000 B737NGs currently in service.
All signals coming from Boeing tell us that management continues to put pressure to speed up the certifications that are due. Obviously, Boeing’s management did not learn anything about MAX’s fast certification.
The flight test team will end up with a lot of pressure; they will be told that the fate of Boeing depends on their ability to quickly certify all aircraft. The elements of a dangerous cocktail will be gathered and that does not tell us anything good. At best, the flight test department will only manage a portion of the certifications planned for 2020. Boeing will not be able to do it in 2020 and not even in 2021.>>> Follow us on Facebook and Twitter