Boeing Announces Completely New Software for 737 MAX Aircraft
The company said the software would be completely overhauled after the Boeing 737 MAX was banned from service.
What Is a New Software Like?
According to ABC News , citing its sources, the aircraft software requires not just revision, but a complete update. Although it was previously planned to finalize the program for the system responsible for maneuvering the aircraft. Due to errors in its program, two 737 MAXs crashed and killed a total of 346 people.
Earlier, the American concern Boeing Co reported that it had fixed the software for the 737 MAX liners, due to the imperfection of which disasters took place in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The aircraft has passed factory tests with the new software and are awaiting government certification. Boeing also unblocked sales of MAX aircraft that had been stopped after crashes.
Moreover, Boeing has announced that it has discovered two new software issues for the 737 MAX that it intends to fix soon. The report says that the first problem is related to "hypothetical failures" in the microprocessor of the flight control computer. Because of it, the plane can lose control, starting to gain or lose altitude spontaneously. A second error can cause the autopilot function to be disabled during the approach. The company said both issues would be addressed with a software update.
Not Allowed to Fly
The operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has been banned since March last year around the world after two disasters of this liner in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Then a total of 346 people became their victims.
After a series of catastrophes, the company admitted that the cause of the incidents was a malfunction in the software of the MCAS system, which regulates the angle of the aircraft's nose in flight. At the same time, Boeing announced that it had completely updated the software and fixed the problems.
However, several new problems were soon discovered. The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States found a problem in the Boeing 737 MAX related to the processing of data by the on-board computer. It affected the pilots' ability to quickly and easily deal with stabilizer drift.
Earlier this week, Boeing admitted that it found new flaws affecting flight safety. During a technical check, it turned out that the 737 MAX aircraft did not work correctly with a system that was designed to check the performance of some units before the flight.
The 737 MAX has faced several problems that cannot be solved with only minor modifications, but the corporation is trying to shade them with all its might and release the plane into the sky to somehow reduce its costs and get out of debt. This makes sense since Boeing has a huge credit of trust and airlines will still line up for the 737 MAX, despite its tarnished reputation.
Meanwhile, while Boeing is trying to get out of debt by taking new loans. Boeing launched talks this week for a $ 10 billion loan.
Boeing 737 Max: Key Characteristics
The Boeing 737 Max is a representative of the new generation of passenger aircraft Boeing 737 MAX developed by the American corporation Boeing. The airliner is the same size and passenger capacity as the Boeing 737-900 but has a much better economic performance. The improvements were achieved through the installation of new CFM International LEAP-1B engines, as well as several innovations in the wing and fuselage design.
After the first catastrophe, there were reports about a certain automatic system in the plane, about which the pilots allegedly did not report anything.
This is a program that is a great example of software engineering . It helped the pilots to "steer" the aircraft, correcting its position in the air and pointing it slightly downward. This system is called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
The introduction of such a system was necessary due to the design features of the new Boeing. The 737 Max received new engines that turned out to be slightly larger in diameter and more power than on the predecessor 737-800 NG. They had to be brought forward and slightly raised, which changed the behavior of the aircraft in the air, and it had a tendency to "pitch up" ⏤ it began to "turn up its nose" a little.
This behavior of the aircraft in the air had to be somehow corrected because uncontrolled pitching can lead to a loss of speed, and this is fraught with a stall. Therefore, the MCAS system appeared on the new Boeings. It triggered when the autopilot was disabled (the autopilot does not need help, it monitors everything), when the flaps and slats were retracted (they create additional lift that prevents the plane from falling even at relatively low speed), and, most importantly, when it increased attack angle. This is the name of the angle between the direction of movement of the aircraft and its longitudinal axis ⏤ that is, if the nose of the aircraft is lifted up, and it flies forward.
Each time, when, with manual control, the angle of attack increased above a certain one, the system was triggered, slightly deflecting the elevators, directing the nose of the aircraft slightly down.
Already after the first catastrophe, rumors appeared that this system could allegedly work incorrectly due to a faulty sensor that transmitted incorrect information about the angle of attack to it.
After the second disaster, despite the almost complete absence of information about the progress of the investigation in open sources, they began to talk about a possible similarity of reasons. By the way, if you want to find out a professional opinion you should appeal to international engineering marketplaces. You can find a professional team, experienced workers as well as a wide range of professional services. As an example, global engineering services at Engre could be one of the most high-quality services with easу access and attractive prices.