Denis Muilenburg, Boeing Chairman, CEO and President, has confirmed that steady progress is being made towards certification for a new software upgrade for the troubled 737 MAX single-aisle jet. Tuesday saw an official engineering test flight that Muilenburg described as the “final test flight prior to the certification flight.” Boeing has been working frantically to develop new software for the 737 MAX which has been involved in what have been described as two ‘similar’ fatal nose-down crashes. The new software has been designed to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system that is suspected as being the reason for the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX on October 29 last year, and the recent crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX on March 10.
According to Reuters, it is likely to take a further 90 days from the date of delivery of the software upgrade to the FAA before certification is likely to be obtained. To date, 120 737 MAX test flights have been carried out with more than 230 hours of air time with the new software. In addition to the software certification, decisions have yet to be made with regard to the nature of pilot training for the new software. Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau told Reuters on Wednesday that he thought pilots should receive simulator training rather than computer courses.
While Boeing has back orders for 4,600 of the fuel-efficient jet, currently all 737 MAX aircraft are grounded worldwide and have been since shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines’ crash, while sales of the jet have also been suspended until further notice; Boeing’s share value has fallen by roughly 11 percent since then.Email Post to a Friend