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Lion Air crash: 189 people presumed dead
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mindwaves
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Oct 30, 2018, 08:30 PM
 
I fly a lot so I am a bit obsessed with plane crashes and this was a brand new 737-8 aircraft also.

Most curious as to why the plane has not been found yet (2 days plus). The plane crash 13 minutes after takeoff and crashed in an area very close (relatively speaking) to the shore of the same country in water that is only 115 feet deep (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Air_Flight_610). I would think that the black box would be perfectly functioning especially in such shallow waters that some type of signal would be picked up quickly.

Very odd (as are most air plane crashes).
( Last edited by mindwaves; Oct 30, 2018 at 08:41 PM. )
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Oct 30, 2018, 10:24 PM
 
Hmmm, I hadn't caught that bit, on the news they just said a 737, and I assumed that it was an older 737 that Lion Air had bought second-hand.
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subego
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Oct 31, 2018, 12:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
I fly a lot so I am a bit obsessed with plane crashes and this was a brand new 737-8 aircraft also.

Most curious as to why the plane has not been found yet (2 days plus). The plane crash 13 minutes after takeoff and crashed in an area very close (relatively speaking) to the shore of the same country in water that is only 115 feet deep (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Air_Flight_610). I would think that the black box would be perfectly functioning especially in such shallow waters that some type of signal would be picked up quickly.

Very odd (as are most air plane crashes).
No bad weather either.

I saw video of the debris, amazing haven’t found it yet.

I also saw a graph of telemetry being broadcast by the plane. According to that the ****er just fell out of the sky.
     
subego
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Oct 31, 2018, 12:28 AM
 
     
mindwaves  (op)
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Oct 31, 2018, 03:50 AM
 
Crazy graph above. There are unconfirmed reports that the fuselage has been discovered.

There is an iPhone case that has been recovered, which has a very interesting story attached to it. Quite sad. That impact must have been huge as it takes me quite a bit of force when I'm trying to remove my own iPhone from its case and I'm directly applying force at the proper angle.
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reader50
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Oct 31, 2018, 03:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Very odd (as are most air plane crashes).
We've had a century to fix all the common causes of crashes. I expect crashes today to have oddball reasons.
     
Laminar
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Oct 31, 2018, 10:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Crazy graph above.
Super crazy. Who the **** charts ground speed on the same axis as altitude?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 31, 2018, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Super crazy. Who the **** charts ground speed on the same axis as altitude?
Anybody who needs to plot several critical data sets against time?
     
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Oct 31, 2018, 10:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Anybody who needs to plot several critical data sets against time?
Use a secondary Y-axis for one of the data sets.
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Thorzdad
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Oct 31, 2018, 11:34 AM
 
That list (per Wikipedia) of notable passengers lost sure is the thing conspiracy theories are borne of...
Twenty Ministry of Finance employees, ten Audit Board of Indonesia employees, two auditors from the Finance and Development Inspection Agency, seven Bangka Belitung Regional People's Representative Council members, three public attorneys, and three judges of Indonesia's High Court and National Court were among the passengers.
     
subego
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Nov 1, 2018, 04:20 AM
 
Looks like they found the data recorder. Apparently buried under debris.
     
mindwaves  (op)
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Nov 5, 2018, 09:22 AM
 
Due to the lack of airplane debris, they are saying that the airplane was intact just before it hit the water....but the airplane body has yet to be found.
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Spheric Harlot
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Nov 13, 2018, 02:52 PM
 
So, apparently, it was a malfunctioning automatic stall protection, which is installed in the new 737 MAX, but which is so new that Boeing hadn't actually got around to telling anybody it existed, or what to do when it breaks…

https://arstechnica.com/information-...erent-told-of/

This is kind of terrible.
     
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Nov 13, 2018, 05:31 PM
 
I expect Boeing to get sued for this. The new system interferes with pilot controls, and Boeing didn't tell the pilots about it.

As I see it, Boeing was primarily responsible for the crash. It would not surprise me if the first lawsuit were filed today.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 13, 2018, 05:46 PM
 
Yep.

I despise the American predisposition toward suing anyone over anything, but in this case, it seems absolutely a given.
     
mindwaves  (op)
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Nov 13, 2018, 07:51 PM
 
Yes, Boeing is guilty, but the airline itself is also guilty. The plane has had false readings the last 4 days and the plane should have been pulled and tested very throughly. Instead, it flew each and every day.
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subego
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Nov 13, 2018, 08:31 PM
 
Am I getting this right? The autopilot “failed” by throwing the plane into an unrecoverable stall?
     
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Nov 14, 2018, 02:23 AM
 
Wow, that sucks. And it gives non-pilots a hint of how complex flying still is despite (and in part because of) the automation. Everybody who claims pilots are glorified bus drivers should have a look at how difficult a job this is.

I reckon this will bring some solace to the family of the crew: it seems it wasn't their fault and they couldn't have anticipated this behavior. They no longer have to worry that actions of their loved ones caused the death of so many people.
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mindwaves  (op)
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Jan 14, 2019, 12:49 AM
 
Black box has been found, but main body of plane still missing!!!

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46860074



Weird that it crashed so very close to land that the plane body has yet to be found and the black box has just been found months after, in not deep water, so close to land.
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mindwaves  (op)
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Mar 11, 2019, 03:13 AM
 
Another crash and involves the exact same airplane model as the Lion Air crash:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47519467

Both planes went down minutes after takeoff (around 8 mins), and this airplane went down in clear skies also.

Although too early to call fault with the airplane, it is eerily coincidental.

I plan on flying soon (mid April) and I have 4 flights planned and 2 involve 787s, 1 Airbus S321, and a 737-800 (same model that crashed). I might me tempted to fly another airline if Boeing doesn't come out with something.

edit: Never mind. Apparently, the two crashed airplanes are 737 MAX 8 and mine is a 737-800 (subtle differences). Of note, China has grounded all 737 MAX 8 in wake of this news.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 11, 2019, 08:59 AM
 
When brand new planes of the same model crash, it is prudent to be conservative and prioritize safety. Let's see whether the cause is related to that that brought the Lion Air machine down. If that turns out to be the case, Boeing is in big trouble.
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mindwaves  (op)
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Mar 11, 2019, 10:08 PM
 
Yes, although I totally agree, I was happy to see BA's stock being punished today. To be fair, it previously had a seriously high valuation so the drop today was OK. Nevertheless, I will fly on a 787, a composite material airplane. My first time flying this plane despite it being several years old. Can't wait to see how it functions and if my ears pop less and if I can actually sleep on it (basically impossible for me to sleep on flights, maybe due to the airplanes).
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subego
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Mar 11, 2019, 11:21 PM
 
Dvorak predicted this is happening because some engineer “fixed” something which wasn’t broken in the first place.

Seems a relatively safe bet.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 12, 2019, 02:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Yes, although I totally agree, I was happy to see BA's stock being punished today. To be fair, it previously had a seriously high valuation so the drop today was OK. Nevertheless, I will fly on a 787, a composite material airplane. My first time flying this plane despite it being several years old. Can't wait to see how it functions and if my ears pop less and if I can actually sleep on it (basically impossible for me to sleep on flights, maybe due to the airplanes).
The 787 is quite nice, provided you get one with a decent pitch in coach. (When I fly to Chile, I often fly LATAM and the pitch is ludicrous. Even Japanese airlines give you more leg room. If I don't have an emergency exit seat, my legs will touch the seat in front of me.)

One huge improvement of newer cabins is the lighting system: they got a whole lot smarter about using changes in the light temperature to manipulate your circadian rhythm. And the latest generation of entertainment systems is quite good, too.

But still, to me the king of silent air travel is the A380. It is so quiet, the noise of the passengers in other parts of the plane becomes annoying Boarding takes forever, though.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Mar 12, 2019 at 02:14 AM. )
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Mar 12, 2019, 02:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Dvorak predicted this is happening because some engineer “fixed” something which wasn’t broken in the first place.
We should wait a little before rushing to conclusions. The Lion Air crash was caused (as pretty much all air plane crashes) but multiple problems that compounded (probably faulty sensor(s), improper decisions by maintenance personnel, lack of proper training with new systems and inadequate design of the new MCAS). And even if it were as simple as making a software update, it takes a while to get those certified and rolled out.
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subego
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Mar 12, 2019, 02:19 AM
 
Eh. Rushing to conclusions is his job.

It’s not really a conclusion though. It’s a prediction. He wants “I ****ing called it points”.
     
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Mar 12, 2019, 09:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The 787 is quite nice, provided you get one with a decent pitch in coach.
Or just fly business class. We took a 787 LA to Sydney business class, my wife's first time. It was...nice.
     
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Mar 12, 2019, 02:30 PM
 
Interesting take on the potential
combination of system improvements and the unintended consequences of pilot’s trained / memorized behavior that could have led to this issue.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/boeing-...ligence-event/

As long as intelligent systems can not provide 120% autonomy, the issue is going to remain the interaction between the system and the human monitoring the system.

Sort of the same issue as Tesla “Autopilot” limitations.

-t
     
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Mar 12, 2019, 07:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Or just fly business class. We took a 787 LA to Sydney business class, my wife's first time. It was...nice.
Most of my flights are work-related trips, so I have to fly coach. My boss on the other hand …
I have flown business class once (an upgrade was cheaper than paying for the extra luggage), and it was indeed great. One time, I flew First Class/Economy, first class seat with economy service (the airline changed from an A380 to a 747), and the seats were amazing. It was the only time I really slept, slept on a flight.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 12, 2019, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Interesting take on the potential
combination of system improvements and the unintended consequences of pilot’s trained / memorized behavior that could have led to this issue.
I wouldn't call it an “artificial intelligence event”, air plane incidents due to lack of training on the subtle differences between an older and a newer generation airplane of the same type isn't new. I remember one incidence where pilots shut down the wrong engine because in an older generation of the 737 (I believe) the air conditioning was run off of one engine while the newer version ran off of both engines. So this isn't as much related to automation and more about updating checklists and improving pilot training.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
As long as intelligent systems can not provide 120% autonomy, the issue is going to remain the interaction between the system and the human monitoring the system.

Sort of the same issue as Tesla “Autopilot” limitations.
Despite all the horror stories of outliers, automation has made airline travel much, much safer overall. But overall you have a point: how much safer do you have to prove an auto pilot to be for it to be acceptable to the population? There is a lot of press on every single auto pilot-related accident involving a Tesla. Most of them are driver error (no, you should not watch a movie while driving). And none of the stories are counterbalanced by all the accidents driving aids have prevented (such as this one).
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Mar 13, 2019, 08:07 PM
 
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And.reg
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Mar 13, 2019, 09:01 PM
 
And other countries.

Jeez... what is the exact problem with this particular model's electronics?
     
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Mar 13, 2019, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
And other countries.

Jeez... what is the exact problem with this particular model's electronics?
We don't know yet what caused the latest crash. But in the Lion Air crash one main contributing factor was that Boeing made significant changes to the so-called MCAS, maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, which is designed to help pilots prevent stalls because they are flying too slowly and do not generate enough lift. To do that the plane pushes down the nose so the aircraft gains speed. However, these changes were not reflected in the checklists nor in the pilot training, which is necessary for pilots to e. g. be certified on a new plane type. (This is so that pilots of older models of the 737 need minimal training to be allowed to fly newer models.)

On the Lion Air machine there was a faulty sensor which feed inaccurate data that suggested to the flight computer the plane was stalling. Because the pilots did not manage to disable the system in time, the plane crashed. The day before the accident, the same plane also exhibited problems with its automated systems, but that time the pilots managed to turn it off in time.

Now there are reports by several pilots that they reported loss of flight controls on the 737 Max (the newest model), but evidently not enough was done about that to handle the problem. I don't know whether the other cases also involve faulty sensors, but apparently something is wrong with Boeing's updated flight control systems.

IMHO to label that as an AI problem both overestimates what the system can do and underestimates other factors. Airbus has had for a long time a different philosophy to how pilot input should be handled: there, the flight computer interprets the pilots's control inputs and deduces what he or she wants while still staying within safe operating parameters. While this sounds kinda sketchy, keep in mind that fighter jets have operated according to that same philosophy for many decades now. Boeing has tried to stick closer to a taking control input “literally” approach where the computer has less power to override pilot input. Now Boeing is moving more in the direction Airbus has pioneered, and that causes problems because pilots have different expectations. This is because the increased automation has made air travel safer overall.
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subego
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Mar 19, 2019, 12:17 AM
 
Where I go for all my aviation news...

     
OreoCookie
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Mar 19, 2019, 01:06 AM
 
The more I read about this, the more this is really a problem of Boeing having designed itself into a corner: Boeing wanted to compete with the A320neo, but didn't have the money or time to develop a plane from the ground up (the 737's basic designs dates back to the early 1960s, i. e. is 60 years old). So they stuck larger engines under the wings, which were too large for the existing design. So Boeing did some changes to the air frame. But that resulted in instability in certain situations. So Boeing put in the MCAS system, which like analogous systems runs only on a single sensor. To avoid having its customers retrain its pilots ($$$$) and allow them to carry over their type certification, they designed MCAS in such a way that it is least obtrusive. Also, they wanted to milk their customers a bit with options, so the angle of attack sensor mismatch warning system is not included by default, which would warn pilots and give them hints as to why the plane is misbehaving. Lastly, the angle of attack sensors seem slightly less reliable than anticipated.

Add all of that together, and you get a giant mess. At the very least Boeing should redesign the MCAS system so that it runs on two sensors and include the AoA mismatch warning system for free. (And if there are similar safety-related options, perhaps it is a good idea to throw them in for free, too.) Older planes should be retrofitted free of charge. The B737 is Boeing's cash cow and it relies on it to fund its other projects.
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subego
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Mar 19, 2019, 02:42 AM
 
Pitches from Boeing 737 Max design meeting

Coin-operated warning system
Warning system DLC
Two words... “loot crate”
     
mindwaves  (op)
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Mar 26, 2019, 10:31 PM
 
Boeing 737 Max 8 makes emergency landing after engine overheating .... 11 minutes in the air

https://apple.news/AWpU91a19T72cwryra865Jg
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Mar 26, 2019, 10:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Pitches from Boeing 737 Max design meeting

Coin-operated warning system
Warning system DLC
Two words... “loot crate”

(Payable in Boeing Coins)
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Mar 27, 2019, 11:29 AM
 
The basic story that I have been told is that Boeing had the 737, 757, 767 and 747 in four size classes, with 757 and 767 similar enough that you could have one group of pilots flying both. When renewing the range, Boeing wanted to move to three planes instead of four. The 747 was replaced by the 777, which was slightly smaller (or at least had smaller variants), so it could stretch below the old 747 range. The 787 replaced the 767, again covering part of the 757 range as well. This left a gap between 737 and 787, with Boeing's plan being to basically cede that specific market (single-aisle planes with a long range). At some point, Boeing realized that this was a terrible idea, because the Airbus 320neo had this market segment locked up and was good enough that customers were turning 737 orders into 320 orders (again, the 320 and 320neo being similar enough that they could have a single population of pilots), so they had to scramble. There was going to be a narrower version of the 787, replicating the old 757/767 split, but that project was scrapped (the 787 was apparently a disaster of project management failures).

So what to do? The only real option was to copy Airbus and make a longer range version of the 737. Except Boeing had lost lots of time faffing about with a narrower 787, so this had to be a crash project (pun very much intended). Boeing put newer, bigger engines on the 737, and realized in testing that the new engines could lead to a high-speed stall. Remember that the key thing here was that the new 737 had to behave like the old one, so they could have the same pilots. Boeing then made a system with purpose of making the new plane behave like the old one - MCAS. From everything I have read, MCAS was the rushiest of rush jobs, and then self-certified by Boeing.

To say that Boeing didn't have enough money to make a "797" to replace the 737 isn't entirely true. They planned to do that, and could have done that, but it would have unlocked all those locked-in customers who had lots of 737s in their fleet. Boeing didn't want to take the risk of all those customers going to Airbus instead. Much safer to keep updating the 737. I could even have gone well, if they hadn't rushed the MCAS certification.
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Mar 27, 2019, 12:34 PM
 
Boeing also ignored internal engineering warnings about MCAS relying on a single sensor. Proceeding with the self-cert anyway. Then the extra cockpit safety monitors that would clearly reveal an MCAS malfunction - were made optional upgrades. Gotta collect the extra cash for upgrades - that not everyone would go for. Our two 737 Max crashes had not paid for the optional safety upgrades.
     
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Mar 27, 2019, 02:02 PM
 
Yup. All planes had two AoA sensors, it only one was used. The warning light would have lit up if the two sensors were showing different values while flat, which would mean that take-off could be interrupted.
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Mar 27, 2019, 08:47 PM
 
@P
Good analysis, but I have one minor nitpick: I think you are mixing two separate stories here: as far as I understand Boeing could not compete with the A320neo in terms of efficiency, the long-range aspect is a separate story about Airbus's A321 (X)LR models which are also carry more passengers. These have about 1,300 km and 2,200 km more range than the largest 737 Max 10, respectively, and 2,000 km and 2,900 km more reach than the 737 NG 900ER. Of course, these also use the same new engines, but I think this is a separate story, namely that Airbus is creating new markets of cheap intercontinental flights.

But as far as I understand the competition between the A320neo series and the 737 Max is mostly about the bulk of the air travel market covered by existing 737 NGs and A320ceos.
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Mar 28, 2019, 06:20 AM
 
I am not an air travel expert, so I'm mostly putting together what I have heard from other sources, but basically it goes like this: The 737 is a very popular airplane in various corners of the world because it is so low. It can have - at least on the older models - a staircase on the inside the front door so the passengers can enter and exit without any equipment on the ground. The luggage compartment can be loaded and unloaded without equipment - basically one guy in the compartment and one guy on the ground passing the bags. This is a big advantage if your airport is packed dirt in the middle of nowhere, so the plane is popular in places where that is an issue. As those airports get upgraded to better standards, airlines keep using the 737 because they have pilots who are already trained on them and the they have service crews who know how to service the 737 and have spare parts lying around. This gives Boeing a lock-in, where they can keep selling the 737 despite Airbus offering alternatives that are better in many cases.

Boeing's original plan was to just leave a gap between the 737 (NG) and the 787 - in effect, not replacing the 757. The 757 was effectively cancelled because the volumes were too low. The range was longer than the 737, but not long enough to reliably cross the Atlantic (although people did, by exploiting the ETOPS rules and making unscheduled landings in Newfoundland about once every 10 trips). Sales in the US and in Europe had been turned into more of the smaller aircrafts, the 737 and 320 line (the 320 line stretches from 318 through 321, but I will just call them the 320 for now), so Boeing figured that it could cancel the 757 without a replacement and just let Airbus cover the demand for the longer range narrow airliners.

Note: It isn't really about intercontinental travel. It is about flying between islands in the South Pacific, across South America and Africa. Distances are larger than in Europe or the US, but the volumes of people flying aren't that huge, so it doesn't make sense to fly a 787 or Airbus 330.

This is their main mistake. If airlines who wanted a longer-range aircraft were to start buying Airbus 320s, they would have to hire pilots who can fly them and set up maintenance operations for them. This would then release those carriers from the 737 lock-in, and they could start buying regular 320s for the trips where they would usually buy a 737. Boeing could afford to cede the small 757 market, but they did not want competition for the 737 in East Asia, Africa, South America.

When Boeing realized this, they had already stopped the 757 production lines. They could facilitate the sale of used 757s for a while, but that couldn't go on forever. Furthermore, Airbus had the 320neo project moving along. If the 320neo would launch while Boeing didn't have a response in this market, they would be screwed. This is why they had to scramble to get the 737 Max done so quickly.
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Mar 28, 2019, 10:32 AM
 
You bring up quite a few nuggets I wasn‘t aware of (e. g. that the low height of the 737 gives you advantages on smaller airfields). But I think you underestimate transatlantic flights, which are brought up with low-cost airlines. These can‘t or don‘t want to afford larger planes and already have all the infrastructure in place for A320s. The longer range would allow them to service certain transatlantic routes, which are out of reach due to ETOPS regulations. But I am sure this Euro-centric point of view gives me only part of the picture — funnily enough coming from someone who no longer lives in Europe (When I fly to Chile from Japan, that‘s as long-distance as you can get. But then I usually travel on 787s and 777s. By the way, LATAM has the worst seat pitch in my experience. I know Chileans are smaller on average, but if my knees touch the seat in front of me, the pitch is too narrow.)
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Mar 31, 2019, 06:12 PM
 
I know that people use smaller planes on Transatlantic trips. Even with the basic ETOPS rating (2 hours), it is doable if you take a path where you stay within reach of the British Isles, go far enough north to be close enough to Iceland, and then back down within reach of a couple of airports in Newfoundland. It is possible to certify a plane for longer ETOPS ranges, and the 737 has an 180 minute rating, which makes transatlantic flights easy.

The key reason to use a smaller plane is if you’re flying direct between cities where the traffic volume is not enough to fill a bigger plane (A330/350 or 787). Using a bigger plane is more economical if it is reasonably full. The 737 makes as much sense as the A320 there - there are long versions, short versions, extended range versions. I don’t see why Boeing would be worried about competition there.
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Mar 31, 2019, 10:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The 737 makes as much sense as the A320 there - there are long versions, short versions, extended range versions. I don’t see why Boeing would be worried about competition there.
Basically, the A321LR is being used as a replacement for the 757, both in terms of number of seats and range. In fact, the A321LR has slightly longer range than the 757 at (not surprisingly) much lower cost per seat. The range of the neo variant is significantly larger than that of the 737 Max — 6,100 km for the Max 10 vs. 7,400 km for the A321LR. Both companies plan to release even longer range versions, but the Max 8ERX is smaller than the A321XLR and still has shorter range, 7,400 km vs. 8,300 km.

And hence there are a lot companies putting A321LR into service for medium haul routes. Add to that the convenience (for the airlines) that this is still a member of the A320 family.
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Apr 1, 2019, 11:42 AM
 
What I'm getting at is that Boeing must have realized that they would lose some business when they elected to not replace the 757. If they don't make a 757-sized plane, airlines will go elsewhere. Boeing judged the size of that market - the hole between 787 and 737 - and the cost it would take to develop another plane and decided to allocate its resources elsewhere. Not a big deal. The problem that occurred to them later was that by letting the A321 open the door, they stood to lose sales of the very profitable 737 to plain ol' A320 (and A319, A318).
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Apr 1, 2019, 08:17 PM
 
You are right, and just to bracket our whole subthread: your initial summary and your later posts are spot on, Boeing thought they didn't have to replace the 757 and Airbus offered a replacement with essentially the same range and capacity.

What is interesting now is to see what Boeing's and Airbus's next new planes* will be. At least on the Airbus side we know we will have to wait for 7-10 years. Some think that for short haul routes jet engines should be replaced by modern turbo prop engines, which are more efficient and for 1~1.5-hour flights the difference in speed is not really significant.


* I mean new as in a completely new air frame.
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Apr 2, 2019, 08:20 AM
 
I haven't heard anything about new planes from either Boeing or Airbus. There are a few new engine options coming (A330 seems to be the next up), but nothing major.
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Apr 4, 2019, 06:17 PM
 
Good to see Boeing accept responsibility for both of these tragedies and not hide behind "We have no comment due to pending litigation .... " type statements.

Boeing CEO accepts blame for two plane crashes, apologizes to families of victims: 'We own it' | USA Today

OAW
     
 
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