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Sundevil Scoop

Inside Boeing’s 737 Max 8


Boeing’s 737 Max 8 had a rough start to sales due to many ignorant mistakes the engineering team made during production. The Max 8 was involved in two crashes within 5 months,  Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash on March 10th, 2019, and the Lion Air Flight JT 610 crash on Oct. 29, 2018, leading the fleet to be grounded by the FAA. Despite the rough start for Boeing’s new plane, the 737 Max 8 has had major advancements in the technology on board. Boeing started the 787 Max 8 project in 2012 to compete with Airbus’ A320neo, a more fuel-efficient plane compared to Boeing’s 737s. 

Airbus, Boeing’s biggest competitor, has been making improvements in their A320 line-up. With new talks about making a more fuel-efficient A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world, Boeing needed to make their dated 737s more appealing to customers. 

Southwest, the biggest carrier of the 737 Line-up, reportedly pressured Boeing to deceive the FAA during testing and certification of the aircraft, supposedly to lower pilot training costs investigators said. The pilot training costs the investigators mentioned, refers to the fact that Boeing’s engineers decided to have the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) rely on only one of the two Angle Of Attack (AOA) sensors, causing the MCAS to receive false information. Boeing’s engineers also added a “safety feature” that makes adjustments in the AOA when critical. Since this system receives false information, the system can make the plane go into an unrecoverable dive.

The FAA has since required Boeing to fix the AOA sensor issue, requiring both sensors be used for operations, and requiring extra training for pilots to account for the new safety feature. The 737 Max 8 has since been recertified for operations and is now safe to fly on. Despite this, Boeing, by 2020, had an estimated loss of $18.4 billion for 2019 and has reported 183 canceled MAX orders for the year.

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About the Contributor
Burton Henry
Burton Henry, Author
Hi, my name is Burton Henry, I am an 8th grader. This is my first year writing for the Sun Devil Scoop! In my free time, I enjoy flying remote control planes at my local park, I am currently enrolled in flight school at a local airport and have started the ground school portion of my private pilot's license. Some of the stories I like to write/read about are world news, local news (such as in our school), and political news.

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