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BS: Boeing Boing Gone

robomatic 14 Mar 19 - 01:45 PM
Joe Offer 14 Mar 19 - 02:37 PM
Mrrzy 14 Mar 19 - 02:51 PM
Donuel 14 Mar 19 - 04:01 PM
robomatic 14 Mar 19 - 08:51 PM
JennieG 16 Mar 19 - 12:44 AM
Mrrzy 16 Mar 19 - 10:42 AM
Mrrzy 17 Mar 19 - 01:57 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 17 Mar 19 - 02:40 PM
DaveRo 17 Mar 19 - 02:46 PM
Joe Offer 17 Mar 19 - 08:27 PM
Joe Offer 17 Mar 19 - 08:32 PM
robomatic 17 Mar 19 - 09:28 PM
Joe Offer 17 Mar 19 - 09:49 PM
Donuel 18 Mar 19 - 06:35 AM
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Subject: BS: BOEING BOING GONE
From: robomatic
Date: 14 Mar 19 - 01:45 PM

I heard Donald Trump say something right, and that was that Boeing 737 MAX 8s got to be grounded. I was surprised and disappointed that the NTSB hadn't already done it and I supposed it was because the President had told them not to.

The loss of one brand new aircraft due to designed-in-control behavior is already really really bad. That this happens again is horrific. This is not the first time that Boeing has screwed up big-time with their aircraft, but it is a sign of something rotten.

I hasten to add that in general I have a very positive feeling about Boeing aircraft. Alaska Airlines flies only 737s and they are the most iconic civilian transport aircraft of this period. They are quite simply the DC3s of the jet age. Deservedly so.

I expect more of the manufacturer, Boeing.

I have not forgotten the recent crash of a Boeing 767 which augured in just when it was expected to land. This crash got less publicity than it deserved because it was a cargo plane. Although it is unlikely to be caused by the same thing, I am paying attention to the news on the investigation in case it turns out that software was involved.

Now, stuff like this has happened to very good aircraft in the past. DC3s had some stupid accidents when they were new. The 727 had some as well. But I am afraid that in this case Boeing executives and maybe engineers took some short cuts they should not have.

Their products are still the best out there, but these accidents should not have happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: BOEING BOING GONE
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Mar 19 - 02:37 PM

Hi, Robomatic,

I like your reference to the 737-200, which carried parcels, livestock, and passengers all over Alaska. I think it was the last passenger aircraft built with hydraulic controls. Later planes have been "fly-by-wire." Back in about 2002, I got a ride out of Palmer in a small plane with a friend of a friend, Alaska Airlines Capt. Rex Gray, who flew a 737-200 "mud hen" in the state for 35 years.

Rex also tried his hand at radio. Here's his Alaska Public Radio tribute on the retirement of the 737-200:
Wikipedia says the 737 has been continuously manufactured since 1967. It is the best-selling jetliner in history, with over 10,000 aircraft produced.

My stepson was about 11 when we flew with Rex, and Rex let him take the controls. The following Christmas, my stepson got a present from Rex - some flight charts and a pilot's log, with two hours logged for that first flight. My stepson is now 29 and has logged hundreds of hours of flight. He's now a flight instructor, building up hours so he can become an airline pilot.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: BOEING BOING GONE
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Mar 19 - 02:51 PM

Remember Airbus' maiden flight?


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Subject: RE: BS: BOEING BOING GONE
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Mar 19 - 04:01 PM

its just a software and firmware problem.
FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS!      that they knew about.
If they let the cat out of the bag, then they would have had to pay for new training world wide

they tried to save a $$$


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Subject: RE: BS: BOEING BOING GONE
From: robomatic
Date: 14 Mar 19 - 08:51 PM

Joe:

Very cool:

Some 737-200 memories: The jets, to supply the (Alaska) interior with goods and people, had a cargo section up front; a bulkhead in the middle behind which passengers sat in the rear. Out on the engines were solid metal pipe-like channels mounted from the lower lip of the jet engine intakes. They were about an inch and a half in diameter and three feet long. They fed pressurized air from the engine compressors to a downward spray of air to keep pebbles and loose gravel from getting sucked into the engines on the unimproved strips at St. Mary's and Aniak.

I was in the back passenger sections of one of these shortly after the unhappy* incident where a 737 in Hawaii had lost not just cabin pressure but a substantial piece of cabin roof. As we were taxiing out the young male attendant was briefing us on the seatbelts and emergency oxygen and some wiseacre asked "what do we do when the roof comes off?" and the kid immediately stuck out a foot and said: "Velcro sneakers!"



*The attendant had been sucked out of the plane and lost, the belted passengers all survived.


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: JennieG
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 12:44 AM

Anyone else remember a song - could be from the 60s? or early 70s - sung by Roger Miller "Boeing Boeing"? "Going, going, skywardly heavenly"......

I could google it, but I'm feeling lazy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 10:42 AM

I remember Aloha Airlines. That copilot had ice in her veins. Great piloting, getting that plane down.

The nose of this latest flight was set on Dive, I read.


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 01:57 PM

Hey, you pilots, would turning the autopilot off help, or was it not yet on?


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 02:40 PM

Alaska Airlines was my go-to transport between Seattle & San Francisco, back in the day. I totally second what Robo said. I took a small harp (without a case, for some reason) on there once. The crew never even blinked (I suppose they'd seen everything by that time), just showed me a nifty little stow-hole behind the last row of seats where it fitted perfectly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: DaveRo
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 02:46 PM

I was taken to see a play called Boeing-Boeing in the '60s. Starred Patrick Cargill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 08:27 PM

The technology behind the problem is interesting. To save the cost of building an entirely new airliner, Boeing took the tried-and-true 737 and updated it. It's amazing to me that they can take such an old design and still make it do wonderful things. Boeing added bigger engines, and that changed the center of gravity on the aircraft and made the nose tend to tip upward. Boeing then did a software design to make the plane stay level - but that made the plane perform unusually in some circumstances.

I've ridden the 737-800 and 737-900, and they were a lot more comfortable than the earlier 737s. I don't think I've been on a MAX. I think the MAX will prove to be an excellent aircraft once the glitches are ironed out - I just hope no more lives are lost before that happens.

Here's an interesting article:


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 08:32 PM

Another thing that's amazing to me, is how long airplanes last. My kid is flying Cessnas built in the 1970s every day, and he thinks of them as fairly new. Some of the planes he flies are from the 1950s. But he thinks his (my) 2006 Honda Civic is too old....
I'm going to have to raise his rent. He's getting away with $600 a month for car, insurance, food, and housing - and whatever else his mother buys for him.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: robomatic
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 09:28 PM

One argument is that the realities of physics regarding air resistance and lift haven't changed, hence aerodynamic designs haven't been updated much. There are some legendary airplanes which date from the 30s, such as the Monocoupe, whose performance within horsepower limits have not been improved upon. On the other hand, there are new developments such as electrically powered airplanes, that could in theory increase efficiency and performance 'envelopes'.
However, many of the new changes involve increased complexity. One of the oldest improvements was variable pitch propellors. These have been around since the 30s but they cost money require maintenance, and I believe that each one has its own log book. Small airplane engines are built first for reliability, second for lightness, hence they have not changed much in sixty years. Any change for efficiency probably requires electricity, whereas an existing small engine will run by itself with no battery. It gets its spark from dual magnetos.

The commercial aircraft world has long since taken the complexity plunge, ergo the autopilots, dual energy sources, backup systems, etc. But that world was originally an analog world, and the electronics and pneumatics and hydraulics that made things work were inherently built and understood in a more intuitive way. You can visualize the routes and connections of various tubes and hoses and get an idea of what's going on, sort of like looking at an animal skeleton and following the tendons and ligaments. There were certainly 'black boxes' in the analog control world, but they were far simpler than the new digital world. This is not only true of aircraft, but of the industrial world in general. When you go digital you have to think differently, and a whole host of issues open up that were not there before.

Consider your car's automatic speed control. When they first appeared in the higher end vehicles in the 50s and 60s, they were analog- pneumatically controlled. You set them for a speed, and they maintained that speed as a minimum. But if you headed downhill, your car's speed went up. The automatic controller was there to do a single thing, not protect you from a speeding ticket. Today's car takes a precise speed setting and monitors it with far greater precision, if you go over the speed limit, it can hit the brakes for you and stay right on target. But every part of that control has to be designed in by a programmer.

In the analog days you decided when your headlights went on. Today there is a standard setting in my Chevy which I leave on and the car puts on the headlights for me. But, as happened with a friend, he took his car in for service and someone in the shop turned his lights full off. Until he figured out what was happening he was driving around with no lights at all, and unaware of it because the street lights in town do a good illumination job. And I have seen cars in town with no lights on and quite possibly unaware of it.

The situation is far more complex and ingrained with large commercial aircraft, and there is no doubt in my mind that aviation company %ies are well aware of it. What a button means now can be variable. If you push it multiple times, does it go on/off; function a function b function a recycle; function a, function b function c etc? Or even a new function depending on the situation?

I've talked with a cargo pilot who described that not understanding how the computer 'thinks' you can get in trouble, and this does happen in real flying situations.

99+ percent of the time this sophistication makes aviation more reliable and safe, but I believe that Boeing got sucked into some bad design decisions and is now facing the consequences. I trust that they will study the causes and learn from them, but I also think these two 737 MAX crashes were avoidable and are a crying shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 09:49 PM

Robomatic, I didn't know you knew all this stuff. This is fun! Are you a pilot yourself? Or the stepfather of a pilot, like I am?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Boeing Boing Gone
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 06:35 AM

The 737 is practically a sports car of the sky. I've been in 60 degree banks and quick landings aboard 737s.


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Mudcat time: 18 March 8:35 PM EDT

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