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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:27 pm

Opus99 wrote:
zeke wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
Does this just not confirm what Boeing said about 2023 EIS. This just tells us why it’s taking so long really


The interesting part of that I found was the delays to the software releases. Almost like the hardware is mature and the software is stumbling getting tested and certified.

Boeing seems to have problem with software development and implementation. When we look at even starliner, MAX etc


Yeah, ya' think.

I missed this news when it came out in November.

Boeing Names New Software Chief
November 6, 2020 by George Leopold

Boeing (NYSE: BA) on Friday (Nov. 6) named Jinnah Hosein its vice president for software engineering, reporting to the aerospace company’s chief engineer.
...
Jinnah previously served as Google’s director of software engineering for cloud networking. He also was a member of its Site Reliability Engineering team.

At SpaceX, Jinnah headed software development teams for the commercial space pioneer’s Falcon and Falcon Heavy boosters, Dragon cargo ship and the Crew Dragon. In May, Crew Dragon delivered astronauts to the space station in an American-built spacecraft for the first time in nearly a decade.

Most recently, Hosein served as vice president of software engineering for Aurora, a self-driving vehicle developer based in Palo Alto, Calif. That work drew on previous experience at Tesla, where Hosein helped develop autopilot software.

Boeing said Jinnah would lead its engineering teams developing software embedded into its commercial aircraft and aerospace systems.
...

https://www.enterpriseai.news/2020/11/06/boeing-names-new-software-chief/
 
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keesje
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:32 pm

Lots of good information / considerations on the page, thnx. The 4 second rule, 787 software application, all point towards an overambitious acceptance of the changed product rule and a cost / time driven practice of qualifying changes, systems interactions and the required way of certification (identicality, calculation, testing).

While using this approach for the MAX made sense (90+ % identical to certification base), only the execution lacked coordination and execution. For the 777X it highly amazed me the FAA agreed to this certification strategy in 2014 (while Boeing was working it already for a few years!). When the JATR (incl. FAA) exposed the risks in 2019 & published its recommendations, for Boeing it was basically to late to turn the ship. Now FAA has begun shaking the x-mas tree at its roots, all kind of stuff falls out.

It would be interesting to see the 777x fuselage rupture root cause analyses. Investigators probably looking at 77W documents with hundreds of amendments clipped to them.

The 777X development period coincided with the post 787 frustration of all new design, the unexpected NEO success. This translated in Boeing successfully pushing congress for FAA "streamlining" and increased self certification via several well documented re-authorizations.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:59 pm

Revelation wrote:

In turn the reason Boeing got penalized for fraud was because of the gyrations it took to get the no sim time requirement past the FAA which in then end cost Boeing millions of dollars in fines and in the end even more in damage to its reputation and its relationship with FAA. This seems to be creating knock on effects in the 777x program.



Comments like this have been deleted by moderators in the past, but I need to say it again.

Boeing was only criminally prosecuted for failure to inform the FAA's Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG) of the changes to the MCAS system which occurred late in the program in flight test. Specifically, Boeing did not follow the regulations here which is why they were held criminally accountable. The decision as to whether simulator training was required was made while MCAS was configured when it used two dissimilar sensors and would only operate under a corner point of the flight envelope, which was before findings in flight test where it was expanded into low speed flight envelope.

I have thought about it a lot and I can't think of a situation of why any unique training would be required for MCAS. There is nothing that a pilot would do any differently knowing about the system. I'd be willing to hear competing opinions.

The debate about whether simulator time was needed was about two enhancements made to the 737 Max for safety improvements--the Roll Command Alerting System (RCAS) and the Runway Situation Awareness Tool (RSAT). This is the opposite of the narrative in the press, which wants everyone to think that Boeing was cutting corners on safety.

The RCAS system is an intuitive enhancement to the flight displays to assist pilot situational awareness in high roll upset conditions. RSAT is a feature to provide situational awareness and guide decision-making to avert runway overruns.

The way that the software was designed on the 737 Max is what caused it to be so deadly. The pilots were able to maintain control should MCAS had triggered once. It was the re-firing of MCAS without any conditional checks that the stabilizer had returned to a trimmed condition which put the pilots into an uncontrollable situation.

This is a software requirements problem.

And the issues with Starliner would indicate a systemic issue within the company.

The 777X program certainly would be affected by findings from both programs, which would have at minimum dictated a deep dive into the processes and development.
 
Chemist
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jul 06, 2021 8:53 pm

It's amazing that even from outside, the problems are so apparent but the solutions seem to not be happening. I'm sure it's a terribly complex and difficult thing to fix, but let's hope it's got more attention and fixes happening internally than we're seeing. I'm quite astonished that *apparently*, they seem to be continuing to have repetitive problems that indicate a still disastrous lack of process, controls, and quality.
 
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zeke
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jul 06, 2021 9:32 pm

Chemist wrote:
It's amazing that even from outside, the problems are so apparent but the solutions seem to not be happening. I'm sure it's a terribly complex and difficult thing to fix, but let's hope it's got more attention and fixes happening internally than we're seeing. I'm quite astonished that *apparently*, they seem to be continuing to have repetitive problems that indicate a still disastrous lack of process, controls, and quality.


I think this is unfair, I don’t think the problems are either obvious or simple, all we see is some symptoms. Boeing is the lead integrator and it’s their brand that is getting damaged, however I think this issue is far deeper with different suppliers all slipping a little which just cascades.

In that letter from the FAA, I did not recall any aspect in there which Boeing actually develops/builds, it’s subcontractors. I don’t even know if Boeing developed the flight control system or if that is an application running on the common core.
 
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BoeingVista
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 1:27 am

This seems like something us A.netters would do but a quick scan of the thread doesn't look like we have done it yet, has anybody looked back at the 8/12/20 test flight to look at the flight profile that has gotten the FAA so upset?
 
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CCA
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:04 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if the “pitch event” was deduced incorrectly from flight radar by the news, they only need to find the flight and find a rapid climb or descent and then make the assumption that was it. A little more investigation would no doubt show many of the flight test aircraft FR plots are all over the place as they should be during flight test.
 
CanukinUSA
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:10 am

The data you see for aircraft accidents does not need to be at the rates that you need to see when testing Aircraft Flight Control Systems, Aircraft Stability and Control and. Aircraft structural issues on the aircraft such as flutter, loads, etc.
 
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BoeingVista
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:24 am

CanukinUSA wrote:
The data you see for aircraft accidents does not need to be at the rates that you need to see when testing Aircraft Flight Control Systems, Aircraft Stability and Control and. Aircraft structural issues on the aircraft such as flutter, loads, etc.


Interestingly... 2 flights 8th December BFI-GEG-BFI and on the source I checked the 2nd flight has ASDB data is missing for the end of the flight. This is the the sort of thing that starts conspiracy theories.
 
CanukinUSA
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:54 am

It is most likely due to the issue that there was not an ADS-B receiver location on the ground within line of sight of the aircraft. The radio frequencies used for ADS-B are typically Line of sight limited.
 
Chemist
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 5:13 am

zeke wrote:
Chemist wrote:
It's amazing that even from outside, the problems are so apparent but the solutions seem to not be happening. I'm sure it's a terribly complex and difficult thing to fix, but let's hope it's got more attention and fixes happening internally than we're seeing. I'm quite astonished that *apparently*, they seem to be continuing to have repetitive problems that indicate a still disastrous lack of process, controls, and quality.


I think this is unfair, I don’t think the problems are either obvious or simple, all we see is some symptoms. Boeing is the lead integrator and it’s their brand that is getting damaged, however I think this issue is far deeper with different suppliers all slipping a little which just cascades.

In that letter from the FAA, I did not recall any aspect in there which Boeing actually develops/builds, it’s subcontractors. I don’t even know if Boeing developed the flight control system or if that is an application running on the common core.


Boeing's the prime contractor and has ultimate responsibility. They have decades of experience with this. They should have a highly effective QA unit that audits and monitors suppliers. They had subcontractor problems 15 years ago with the 787 and they've had plenty of time to solve them. I don't cut Boeing any slack at all for their repeated screwups, endemic across multiple divisions.
 
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BoeingVista
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 5:38 am

CanukinUSA wrote:
It is most likely due to the issue that there was not an ADS-B receiver location on the ground within line of sight of the aircraft. The radio frequencies used for ADS-B are typically Line of sight limited.


Ridiculous suggestion, it went dark over Oregon hundreds of ADS traces over that area from the 777x test fleet
 
EK7777
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 2:57 pm

BoeingVista wrote:
CanukinUSA wrote:
The data you see for aircraft accidents does not need to be at the rates that you need to see when testing Aircraft Flight Control Systems, Aircraft Stability and Control and. Aircraft structural issues on the aircraft such as flutter, loads, etc.


Interestingly... 2 flights 8th December BFI-GEG-BFI and on the source I checked the 2nd flight has ASDB data is missing for the end of the flight. This is the the sort of thing that starts conspiracy theories.
What source did you check?

Data for both flights on 8th December is available on FR24.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:02 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
In turn the reason Boeing got penalized for fraud was because of the gyrations it took to get the no sim time requirement past the FAA which in then end cost Boeing millions of dollars in fines and in the end even more in damage to its reputation and its relationship with FAA. This seems to be creating knock on effects in the 777x program.

Boeing was only criminally prosecuted for failure to inform the FAA's Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG) of the changes to the MCAS system which occurred late in the program in flight test. Specifically, Boeing did not follow the regulations here which is why they were held criminally accountable. The decision as to whether simulator training was required was made while MCAS was configured when it used two dissimilar sensors and would only operate under a corner point of the flight envelope, which was before findings in flight test where it was expanded into low speed flight envelope.

I think your rendering of the detail is accurate but in the end it's pretty clear from Boeings "pattern of behavior" it was all done to prevent FAA from asking more questions that could lead to more training requirements.

Ref: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/boeing-c ... 25-billion
Ref: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... r-737-max/

Pythagoras wrote:
I have thought about it a lot and I can't think of a situation of why any unique training would be required for MCAS. There is nothing that a pilot would do any differently knowing about the system. I'd be willing to hear competing opinions.

Do we need any more opinion that FAA and EASA accepting Boeing's (changed) opinion that sim time is needed?

Ref: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/07/boeing- ... elays.html
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:56 pm

Revelation wrote:
I think your rendering of the detail is accurate but in the end it's pretty clear from Boeings "pattern of behavior" it was all done to prevent FAA from asking more questions that could lead to more training requirements.

Ref: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/boeing-c ... 25-billion
Ref: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... r-737-max/

Do we need any more opinion that FAA and EASA accepting Boeing's (changed) opinion that sim time is needed?

Ref: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/07/boeing- ... elays.html


My previous post which the Mods just deleted answered your first question, even though I spent a lot of effort making the commentary germane to this thread. Specifically by explaining why item 11 in the FAA letter directly relates to the issue of insufficient guidance for human factors in crew alerting as identified by the Joint Authorities Technical Review.

<sigh>

The "pattern of behavior" which you describe begins November 2016, which is after all the training requirements had been established. It is also a factual statement that the Technical Pilots were unaware of the changes to MCAS during flight test. I would refer you to the timeline as listed in the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General Report.

As to the question of additional simulator training, the recommendations cover all 737 models as the events indicated that crews were unprepared for the complex and dynamic situation that unfolded. The recommendation was not unique to the Max.

No further comments on the Max. Learned my lesson that the Mods would prefer people to be less educated. Not going to waste my time in the future.
 
Chemist
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:15 pm

zeke wrote:
Chemist wrote:
It's amazing that even from outside, the problems are so apparent but the solutions seem to not be happening. I'm sure it's a terribly complex and difficult thing to fix, but let's hope it's got more attention and fixes happening internally than we're seeing. I'm quite astonished that *apparently*, they seem to be continuing to have repetitive problems that indicate a still disastrous lack of process, controls, and quality.


I think this is unfair, I don’t think the problems are either obvious or simple, all we see is some symptoms. Boeing is the lead integrator and it’s their brand that is getting damaged, however I think this issue is far deeper with different suppliers all slipping a little which just cascades.

In that letter from the FAA, I did not recall any aspect in there which Boeing actually develops/builds, it’s subcontractors. I don’t even know if Boeing developed the flight control system or if that is an application running on the common core.


Yet Boeing is ultimately responsible for their suppliers as the prime contractor, no?
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:26 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
No further comments on the Max. Learned my lesson that the Mods would prefer people to be less educated. Not going to waste my time in the future.

Yes, it's time to move on, but as I wrote in #536:

Revelation wrote:
Thank you for the history lesson and your other posts too. Despite some of my push back I find your input valuable.

As for moderation, don't take offense if a post or more than one post is deleted. It's often due to things other people have said that are problematic. If you want an explanation, email to [email protected] and in my experience you get one pretty quickly. You can ask for the text back and either edit it and repost to the same thread or if it is too far off topic you can find another thread to post to or start a new one. In the cases where I've done so the explanations made sense and the text was still available so they mailed it back to me along with the explanation. The thing to not to is complain about moderation on the public forum, it isn't helpful to anybody.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:25 pm

BoeingVista wrote:
CanukinUSA wrote:
It is most likely due to the issue that there was not an ADS-B receiver location on the ground within line of sight of the aircraft. The radio frequencies used for ADS-B are typically Line of sight limited.


Ridiculous suggestion, it went dark over Oregon hundreds of ADS traces over that area from the 777x test fleet


I haven't tried to look up the data, but am curious if it was at a lower altitude when the data dropped out compared to the other traces.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:16 am

I'm starting to see a realistic path for this program to get canned against all odds.

OK, we know that the demand for VLA has fallen off and that the recovery is going to be slow. While videoconferencing cannot replace all business travel, that's likely to have a lasting impact, too.

With that happening in the background, we also know how Boeing's new aircraft/derivative aircraft projects have been going since the 777: EIS isn't going to be in 2023. It's maybe going to be in 2025.

Meanwhile, Airbus is churning out their very successful A350 and then they are considering re-engining it. It's possible that airlines will throw their hands up and order A350s. 777X already has a slim order book. If the book gets too thin and Boeing can't sell any frames, then why continue with the program?
 
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zeke
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:41 am

Chemist wrote:

Yet Boeing is ultimately responsible for their suppliers as the prime contractor, no?


I see Boeing as the Principal/Owner of the project, not as a contractor, as such they have a lot more visibility and responsibility for delays.

However I see it as far too much of a coincidence the downward spiral GE has been in over the last 10 years and their name being associated with large 777-X setbacks, for example the engine issues last year and the common core in this FAA letter.

It’s always easy to blame people in Boeing with hindsight, I’m sure the people 10+ years ago looking at GE for the common core and engines for the 787/77X saw the highly successful company GE was at the time, there was a perfect storm of items from under funding pension contributions, large 9-11 insurance payments etc which resulted in around 1:4 of the staff being let go, and I saw that as the beginning of the downward spiral.

To me it looks like they took money from profitable parts of the company to prop up less successful parts, and this resulted in less funds available for R&D.

All of the above is my opinion only, I could be totally wrong.
 
JohanTally
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:16 am

DocLightning wrote:
I'm starting to see a realistic path for this program to get canned against all odds.

OK, we know that the demand for VLA has fallen off and that the recovery is going to be slow. While videoconferencing cannot replace all business travel, that's likely to have a lasting impact, too.

With that happening in the background, we also know how Boeing's new aircraft/derivative aircraft projects have been going since the 777: EIS isn't going to be in 2023. It's maybe going to be in 2025.

Meanwhile, Airbus is churning out their very successful A350 and then they are considering re-engining it. It's possible that airlines will throw their hands up and order A350s. 777X already has a slim order book. If the book gets too thin and Boeing can't sell any frames, then why continue with the program?

Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:52 am

BoeingVista wrote:
This seems like something us A.netters would do but a quick scan of the thread doesn't look like we have done it yet, has anybody looked back at the 8/12/20 test flight to look at the flight profile that has gotten the FAA so upset?


From what little I understand of the event it isn’t as big of a deal as made out to be. Apparently the flight control software latched a previous trim speed value, so when the pilots disconnected the autopilot the airplane was out of trim and they had to hold extra force on the control column while they trimmed out the forces.

The problem was identified and fixed, as I understand it. That’s what flight test is for.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 5:44 am

DocLightning wrote:
If the book gets too thin and Boeing can't sell any frames, then why continue with the program?

I've been a part of some of the tangential discussions on this testing/production thread with regard to the regulatory climate, but IMO discussing the impact of the regulatory climate on the flight test effort feels on topic to me.

IMO asking if the program is viable feels more like a sales/finance/strategic tangent and not really on topic. It feels like a.net testing/production threads start with the assumption that the program is viable thus will be tested then produced.

We had a pretty vigorous discussion of viability in the thread discussing Sir Tim Clark's statements recently. Maybe that is a better place to restart that discussion?
 
Chemist
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 6:17 am

zeke wrote:
Chemist wrote:

Yet Boeing is ultimately responsible for their suppliers as the prime contractor, no?


I see Boeing as the Principal/Owner of the project, not as a contractor, as such they have a lot more visibility and responsibility for delays.

However I see it as far too much of a coincidence the downward spiral GE has been in over the last 10 years and their name being associated with large 777-X setbacks, for example the engine issues last year and the common core in this FAA letter.

It’s always easy to blame people in Boeing with hindsight, I’m sure the people 10+ years ago looking at GE for the common core and engines for the 787/77X saw the highly successful company GE was at the time, there was a perfect storm of items from under funding pension contributions, large 9-11 insurance payments etc which resulted in around 1:4 of the staff being let go, and I saw that as the beginning of the downward spiral.

To me it looks like they took money from profitable parts of the company to prop up less successful parts, and this resulted in less funds available for R&D.

All of the above is my opinion only, I could be totally wrong.


Appreciate your thoughts.
I guess my many years in and around QA functions in a non-aircraft capacity has me sensitized to what I see: lack of quality focus, lots of excuses, lack of rapid responses to problems, trying to fool regulators, lack of following procedures. Those aren't anywhere near all related to suppliers only. And it's endemic: 777X, MAX, 787, Starliner. To name a few. It's a pattern.
 
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BoeingVista
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:32 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
BoeingVista wrote:
This seems like something us A.netters would do but a quick scan of the thread doesn't look like we have done it yet, has anybody looked back at the 8/12/20 test flight to look at the flight profile that has gotten the FAA so upset?


From what little I understand of the event it isn’t as big of a deal as made out to be. Apparently the flight control software latched a previous trim speed value, so when the pilots disconnected the autopilot the airplane was out of trim and they had to hold extra force on the control column while they trimmed out the forces.


Ok, thanks for the info. Not sure I'd say this wasn't a big deal as the autopilot handing back an out of configuration aircraft is suspected as a contributing factor in the SJ182 crash; also speed trim problems are going to give the FAA and EASA MAX flashbacks, this is not one they are going to let slide.

BoeingGuy wrote:
The problem was identified and fixed, as I understand it. That’s what flight test is for.


FAA do not seem convinced its fixed.
 
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keesje
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:44 pm

I'm afraid this is a bit more than a list of isolated problems to be fixed. That approach might be one one of the root problems (Ref. JATR).

Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.

The biggest 777X customer is taking Boeing’s latest timeline for entry into service with a pinch or two of salt. https://simpleflying.com/emirates-777x-delivery-2025/
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:46 pm

JohanTally wrote:
Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.


No, it's my guess based on the ultimate results of the 787, 747-8, and MAX programs. The MAX was the only one that was on time and then...
 
JohanTally
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:21 pm

keesje wrote:
I'm afraid this is a bit more than a list of isolated problems to be fixed. That approach might be one one of the root problems (Ref. JATR).

Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.

The biggest 777X customer is taking Boeing’s latest timeline for entry into service with a pinch or two of salt. https://simpleflying.com/emirates-777x-delivery-2025/

Obviously the program has significant issues to resolve but Boeing and LH still aim for 2023 deliveries which is referenced in the simple flying article. STC and AAB are often overly critical of the aircraft manufacturers so I can't tell if STC is making these statements because he hasn't seen performance data regarding the especially difficult environment the ME3 face vs an airline such as LH that bases their aircraft in more favorable aviation climates.

The timeline originally was 2020 then moved up to possibly late 2019 and then has been sliding back ever since but the FAA, EASA, and Boeing at this point would be the most accurate source and they have alluded to a 2023 EIS.
 
Opus99
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:19 pm

Don’t the FAA themselves say 2023?
 
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keesje
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:56 pm

Amazes me people take Boeing EIS 2023 as the most reliable prediction. A flat learning curve after watching 15 years of corporate communication vs reality.
 
tomcat
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:13 pm

DocLightning wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.


No, it's my guess based on the ultimate results of the 787, 747-8, and MAX programs. The MAX was the only one that was on time and then...


The track record of Boeing over the last 15 years isn't brilliant but regarding the 777X, what can still go wrong at this stage? The plane has been flying for a while, it remains in production (I mean, there was so far no technical issue forcing Boeing to put the production on hold pending some major structural redesign) and the expectations of the FAA for the certification of the aircraft are now pretty clear. What are the residual risks that could still significantly delay the program? I agree that if there is still more than 2 years of work for Boeing to obtain the certification, there is still room for delay but at the same time the outstanding reworks are focused on a few (complex) items only.
 
JohanTally
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:51 pm

keesje wrote:
Amazes me people take Boeing EIS 2023 as the most reliable prediction. A flat learning curve after watching 15 years of corporate communication vs reality.

I believe the Boeing guidance to be more reliable than simpleflying historically speaking. Boeing deserves plenty of skepticism with their execution over the last 15 years but what was stated by the FAA last week seems like the most accurate timeframe available to the public.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:51 pm

tomcat wrote:
The track record of Boeing over the last 15 years isn't brilliant but regarding the 777X, what can still go wrong at this stage? The plane has been flying for a while, it remains in production (I mean, there was so far no technical issue forcing Boeing to put the production on hold pending some major structural redesign) and the expectations of the FAA for the certification of the aircraft are now pretty clear. What are the residual risks that could still significantly delay the program? I agree that if there is still more than 2 years of work for Boeing to obtain the certification, there is still room for delay but at the same time the outstanding reworks are focused on a few (complex) items only.

I would suggest that if the regulator is calling Boeing out for not following their own procedures, there cannot be much confidence in the scheduled dates. Beyond that, the comments on the software load dates should give everyone grounds for concern. Another area of concern is the statement that EASA still was not in agreement on some of the technical approaches yet. In short, lots could still go wrong.
 
miegapele
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:24 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 08, 2021 11:05 pm

JohanTally wrote:
I believe the Boeing guidance to be more reliable than simpleflying historically speaking. Boeing deserves plenty of skepticism with their execution over the last 15 years but what was stated by the FAA last week seems like the most accurate timeframe available to the public.

Didn't FAA implied the best case would be 2023 end, and also that boing is failing to follow it's own procedures? That to me is very strong guidance that 2023 is pipe dream. And furthermore that about EASA, have they seen any Boeing's work yet?
 
2175301
Posts: 2105
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 3:20 am

I've been dealing with long term Covid-19 health effects and have not commented much in a while. I've had a chance to catch up and have read the FAA letter to Boeing and all the various comments over the last 2 months.

I have 2 comments:

1) I largely agree with Pythagoras as to the meaning of the letter and all the things that are really at play. Boeing stated this program under a defined expectation and inspection program that got upended by the 787Max situation. The rules have changed dramatically - and the goalposts moved. Aircraft are always tested prior to full completion (in parallel with development) as there are things that can be tested while other things are being worked on. If you did everything linearly - a development and test program would likely take 15 years or so.

Boeing asked to start TIA testing of what was ready to test because that is how they have always developed airplanes in the last several decades and about where they would have started if the 737Max issues had not occurred.

However, the FAA is being more critical and wants things more mature before they start testing of anything - even if all the initial test items are considered in final configuration and ready to be tested. I also think that their biggest issue is the reliability of the data as Pythagoras suggests.

2) I agree that the "Safety & Excellence" culture at Boeing has deteriorated. I've been in a similar organization who was caught by the regulator and forced to change.

Within the Nuclear Power industry in the USA the NRC rates plants on various Nuclear Safety & Security factors on a "no-finding" which means that they looked at the area and had no questions. Green which means they had questions in an area; but, upon analysis how the plant was handling it was acceptable. Yellow, Orange, and Red. Red being that there were significant shortcomings that could significantly affect nuclear safety or plant security. I believe that there have only been 4 red findings since they adopted this system in I believe the early 1990's. The first two were shortly after they adopted this rating method and at different plants.

I was at the plant that more than a decade later got 2 consecutive Red findings - and they were both related to engineering; and I was in engineering. I'm surprised that the NRC did not shut us down after the 2nd one. Now I was a bit fortunate as I was new there and had always asked more questions and taken more time than others. I had more experienced engineers at that plant commenting that I was a busybody and wasting time. A couple years later a couple of the most experienced "Principal" engineers complemented me and thanked me that I had always done things right, that reviews of my work showed I was one of the best before the red findings and that they had personally learned some lessons the hard way as their work had not passed muster as well as my work had.

The Plant Manager was replaced and all Engineering managers were replaced, and a bunch of the engineers were too over the next year or two. The NRC was very clear to our new plant management - the plant staff could adapt to doing it right, or they were to be gone. The engineering culture was changed back towards the concept of excellence and safety. I'm not going to try to describe how intense the situation and working conditions were because not only did we have to change our processes and a lot of people had to learn to actually pay attention to details and question assumption; but that people were routinely being called into the office and offered the opportunity to resign for over a year. I have no adequate words.

I can only hope that the FAA effectively forces a similar change at Boeing. The NRC forced that change at our plant. Even though I always did it right... it was painful for me as well because there just was no room for anything other than simple human errors and we had to review and rework almost a decade of work in a few years along with our current projects and routine work.
 
JohanTally
Posts: 361
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 3:49 am

miegapele wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
I believe the Boeing guidance to be more reliable than simpleflying historically speaking. Boeing deserves plenty of skepticism with their execution over the last 15 years but what was stated by the FAA last week seems like the most accurate timeframe available to the public.

Didn't FAA implied the best case would be 2023 end, and also that boing is failing to follow it's own procedures? That to me is very strong guidance that 2023 is pipe dream. And furthermore that about EASA, have they seen any Boeing's work yet?

I have seen mid to late 2023 referenced on numerous websites as well as just late 2023.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-06-27/
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 4:24 am

tomcat wrote:
The track record of Boeing over the last 15 years isn't brilliant but regarding the 777X, what can still go wrong at this stage?


Well I don't know. I'd never in a million years have guessed at the MCAS issue with the MAX or the battery issue with the 787, but this is a mosty new aircraft with only the fuselage mold lines and cockpit layout of the original 777 in common with its predecessor. We already had the fuselage fail its destructive load test. There are a great many things that can go terribly, horribly wrong.

But consider the implications of a 2025 EIS. This aircraft was supposed to have EIS in 2020. The typical major aircraft program lasts 15-20 years. This is a delay of 1/3 to 1/2 of the lifetime of the program. Such a delay can have major knock-on effects, such as impacting depreciation and resale value. This also makes it very difficult to plan. Consider that five years ago, most Americans thought it absurd that Donald Trump could be the President and nobody had ever heard of COVID (the virus hadn't even spilled over into humans yet). We have no idea what the world will look like in another five years.
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:08 am

To be fair the fact that during flight tests and certification major hick ups can turn up is not concerning but the reason why all the testing is done. The 777 has a history how things can finally be fixed to become quite well running and successful.
It still might be a difficult market for very big aircraft at this time but looking ahead it will be the only very big one so there must be demand.
 
Scotron12
Posts: 572
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:13 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:49 am

DocLightning wrote:
tomcat wrote:
The track record of Boeing over the last 15 years isn't brilliant but regarding the 777X, what can still go wrong at this stage?


Well I don't know. I'd never in a million years have guessed at the MCAS issue with the MAX or the battery issue with the 787, but this is a mosty new aircraft with only the fuselage mold lines and cockpit layout of the original 777 in common with its predecessor. We already had the fuselage fail its destructive load test. There are a great many things that can go terribly, horribly wrong.

But consider the implications of a 2025 EIS. This aircraft was supposed to have EIS in 2020. The typical major aircraft program lasts 15-20 years. This is a delay of 1/3 to 1/2 of the lifetime of the program. Such a delay can have major knock-on effects, such as impacting depreciation and resale value. This also makes it very difficult to plan. Consider that five years ago, most Americans thought it absurd that Donald Trump could be the President and nobody had ever heard of COVID (the virus hadn't even spilled over into humans yet). We have no idea what the world will look like in another five years.


Nor improvements to the 787 and 350. Not sure if Airbus will re-engine the 350 by 2025. But by then QF will have decided if they are going ahead with PS which should bolster that program.

Also remains to be known what EK decide. Some comments suggest they're looking to reduce their 777X committments by another 40 frames. Crazy days to be in the airline business!!
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:54 am

If there is one airline that needs big aircraft to feed their single hub it is Emirates.
 
Scotron12
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:13 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:17 am

Noshow wrote:
If there is one airline that needs big aircraft to feed their single hub it is Emirates.


Totally agree! Just seems they cannot decide on the number. Right now they have 126 orders of the type, including some 778s. Boeing shelved development on the 778 pax version. Remains to be seen if they go ahead with it or just produce as a freighter.
 
sharles
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:29 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:46 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
BoeingVista wrote:
This seems like something us A.netters would do but a quick scan of the thread doesn't look like we have done it yet, has anybody looked back at the 8/12/20 test flight to look at the flight profile that has gotten the FAA so upset?


From what little I understand of the event it isn’t as big of a deal as made out to be. Apparently the flight control software latched a previous trim speed value, so when the pilots disconnected the autopilot the airplane was out of trim and they had to hold extra force on the control column while they trimmed out the forces.

The problem was identified and fixed, as I understand it. That’s what flight test is for.

The specific problem is identified and fixed.
But that's not the real problem.
The real problem is that some kind of problem made it through software certification and testing in simulation (I'm not from aviation so my terminology is off, but you hopefully get the idea). It's kind of "Starliner all over again" (I might be exaggerating just a bit, I'm just trying to explain my point).
Boeing doesn't need to just fix the specific issue. Boeing needs to prove that there are no other slightly different issues with the same root cause of some possible "fault paths" not being covered by software certification/verification.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 8:09 am

Good to see you return, always good information.

I've been in the same situation as your #2, but #2 also is part of #1. "Verbatim compliance" is a term I heard often but this is something that is almost impossible to achieve. The only way to comply without exception is to have rigorous calculations backed up by ample test data. It may not require the most rigorous analysis (straight linear elastic finite element modelling is quite fine), often classical physics approaches were more than sufficient, but one must show a valid reasoning to justify that such that the classical method may be off by 5% and the safety factor gets adjusted to address.

Evaluating old structures for seismic performance is a whole bunch of these: what is the ductility of this material, what is the effect if this part fails in a redundant structure, etc. Progressive collapses are even more fun - what happens if I take out this column, that column, oh this beam is gone. The surfside condo could have really benefited from a PC analysis, if followed correctly every building over 3 stories occupied by a US Federal work force (even if a rented building) is to have that. Many are not worth the paper they were on, some are vital. To follow ASCE 41-17 properly, every rebar in the building must be checked. Designing to the new building code IBC18 with its supporting ASCE 7-16 never requires to this level, in particular with existing buildings. The existing often comes down to "It's been here a long time and seems to be fine, even if we really don't know what the rebar or concrete strength is." I saw up thread a reference to a "certification file with 100 amendments", does the actual performance of that part really match what was said in the 100th amendment that it would be. Questions need to be asked like "does the in rush current at 300 volts, 400 hertz really match the tested article at 240V 60 hz.?" or Do we need to use silver wire to gain that couple percent speed increase so the big safety valve closes before the explosive wave hits the valve, or is it ok to let that wave go through - do we really need that valve anyway -its so expensive.

How can one actually model a control system properly if half of the elements are black boxes rather than a valid model. One must prove that the pilot can fix the problem in 4 seconds without looking at what happens if it takes 10 seconds (or 2 minutes). If disaster doesn't befall at 5 seconds one has more leeway. What happens with that failure - 'delayed beverage service' is more acceptable than the engine bearings fail

MHI got bit in the Space Jet certification because each package didn't have a nice bow, Boeing had to prove the Max from its basics up, do they have enough dedicated engineers that understand Verbatim Compliance to get the aircraft through the program? Who knows.


2175301 wrote:
I've been dealing with long term Covid-19 health effects and have not commented much in a while. I've had a chance to catch up and have read the FAA letter to Boeing and all the various comments over the last 2 months.

I have 2 comments:

1) I largely agree with Pythagoras as to the meaning of the letter and all the things that are really at play. Boeing stated this program under a defined expectation and inspection program that got upended by the 787Max situation. The rules have changed dramatically - and the goalposts moved. Aircraft are always tested prior to full completion (in parallel with development) as there are things that can be tested while other things are being worked on. If you did everything linearly - a development and test program would likely take 15 years or so.

Boeing asked to start TIA testing of what was ready to test because that is how they have always developed airplanes in the last several decades and about where they would have started if the 737Max issues had not occurred.

However, the FAA is being more critical and wants things more mature before they start testing of anything - even if all the initial test items are considered in final configuration and ready to be tested. I also think that their biggest issue is the reliability of the data as Pythagoras suggests.

2) I agree that the "Safety & Excellence" culture at Boeing has deteriorated. I've been in a similar organization who was caught by the regulator and forced to change.

Within the Nuclear Power industry in the USA the NRC rates plants on various Nuclear Safety & Security factors on a "no-finding" which means that they looked at the area and had no questions. Green which means they had questions in an area; but, upon analysis how the plant was handling it was acceptable. Yellow, Orange, and Red. Red being that there were significant shortcomings that could significantly affect nuclear safety or plant security. I believe that there have only been 4 red findings since they adopted this system in I believe the early 1990's. The first two were shortly after they adopted this rating method and at different plants.

I was at the plant that more than a decade later got 2 consecutive Red findings - and they were both related to engineering; and I was in engineering. I'm surprised that the NRC did not shut us down after the 2nd one. Now I was a bit fortunate as I was new there and had always asked more questions and taken more time than others. I had more experienced engineers at that plant commenting that I was a busybody and wasting time. A couple years later a couple of the most experienced "Principal" engineers complemented me and thanked me that I had always done things right, that reviews of my work showed I was one of the best before the red findings and that they had personally learned some lessons the hard way as their work had not passed muster as well as my work had.

The Plant Manager was replaced and all Engineering managers were replaced, and a bunch of the engineers were too over the next year or two. The NRC was very clear to our new plant management - the plant staff could adapt to doing it right, or they were to be gone. The engineering culture was changed back towards the concept of excellence and safety. I'm not going to try to describe how intense the situation and working conditions were because not only did we have to change our processes and a lot of people had to learn to actually pay attention to details and question assumption; but that people were routinely being called into the office and offered the opportunity to resign for over a year. I have no adequate words.

I can only hope that the FAA effectively forces a similar change at Boeing. The NRC forced that change at our plant. Even though I always did it right... it was painful for me as well because there just was no room for anything other than simple human errors and we had to review and rework almost a decade of work in a few years along with our current projects and routine work.
 
tomcat
Posts: 767
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2000 4:14 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:26 am

DocLightning wrote:
tomcat wrote:
The track record of Boeing over the last 15 years isn't brilliant but regarding the 777X, what can still go wrong at this stage?


Well I don't know. I'd never in a million years have guessed at the MCAS issue with the MAX or the battery issue with the 787, but this is a mosty new aircraft with only the fuselage mold lines and cockpit layout of the original 777 in common with its predecessor. We already had the fuselage fail its destructive load test. There are a great many things that can go terribly, horribly wrong.

But consider the implications of a 2025 EIS. This aircraft was supposed to have EIS in 2020. The typical major aircraft program lasts 15-20 years. This is a delay of 1/3 to 1/2 of the lifetime of the program. Such a delay can have major knock-on effects, such as impacting depreciation and resale value. This also makes it very difficult to plan. Consider that five years ago, most Americans thought it absurd that Donald Trump could be the President and nobody had ever heard of COVID (the virus hadn't even spilled over into humans yet). We have no idea what the world will look like in another five years.


I agree that there are still things that can go wrong but there have been a few significant test findings so far and at this point the FAA has already made a deep dive into the 777X and has highlighted additional issues including in the way Boeing is handling this project. Yes, these issues are complex and could take longer to be fixed than currently planned but I would say that if it's Boeing's ambition to remain in the business of making airliners, they'll need to get their acts together at some point but rather sooner than later. To me, an EIS beyond 2024 would in first instance raise the question of Boeing's ability to design new planes and get them certified.
 
JonesNL
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:33 pm

tomcat wrote:
To me, an EIS beyond 2024 would in first instance raise the question of Boeing's ability to design new planes and get them certified.


To me, that question is already on the table. How can you keep asking for a TIA at several meetings while the FAA is just requesting a proper fix… :banghead:
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 26566
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 3:10 pm

sharles wrote:
Boeing doesn't need to just fix the specific issue. Boeing needs to prove that there are no other slightly different issues with the same root cause of some possible "fault paths" not being covered by software certification/verification.

Root cause analysis can have different results than finding other slightly different issues, it could be finding a pattern of behavior (or lack of behavior) that leads to very different downstream issues. I don't have the infamous letter handy (did we ever get a PDF of it rather than photos?) but it seemed to be complaining that while root cause analysis was done and the core issue was fixed, other findings from the analysis were not yet resolved.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 4:06 pm

Noshow wrote:
To be fair the fact that during flight tests and certification major hick ups can turn up is not concerning but the reason why all the testing is done. The 777 has a history how things can finally be fixed to become quite well running and successful.
It still might be a difficult market for very big aircraft at this time but looking ahead it will be the only very big one so there must be demand.


My thoughts exactly. These "glitches" that have been discovered is the very reason flight and ground testing takes place - to identify and fix flaws so that by the time the plane enters service, it does so safely and reliably. If the aircraft is has a delayed EIS, it's usually for a pretty good reason, whether the issue(s) were discovered by Boeing and/or the FAA.
 
DenverTed
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Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:12 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:04 pm

The earliest the RR ultrafan is going to EIS is 2030, but I'm thinking 2035 is more realistic the way things move. If Boeing can get a 2025 EIS on the 777x they should be fine.
 
iamlucky13
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:35 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sat Jul 10, 2021 1:47 am

JonesNL wrote:
tomcat wrote:
To me, an EIS beyond 2024 would in first instance raise the question of Boeing's ability to design new planes and get them certified.


To me, that question is already on the table. How can you keep asking for a TIA at several meetings while the FAA is just requesting a proper fix… :banghead:


Zeke posted a link to a copy of the FAA letter here:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1455929&start=500#p22856885

It reads differently from how the Seattle Times reported it. The Times says "sternly worded" and that the FAA hints at "a degree of exasperation." The real letter is factual and neutral toned (almost like it was written by engineers at the FAA, interested in communicating clearly, rather than by journalists interested in controversy).

The letter does not indicate Boeing has been ignoring the FAA's requests. Rather, it mentions a long period of discussion over the TIA request, and appears to conclude that discussion for the present time. Boeing requested on May 7 to conduct the TIA in phases (2175301 suggested further upthread that this has been done in the past when there are some items ready for certification and others not). The letter in question is the FAA's formal response the following week to notify Boeing that they do not consider such a phased TIA to be a realistic option this time.

The FAA then goes on to list the reasons for their position. The fact that the Common Core System affects so many of the other systems involved in the certification appears to be a significant part of the reason, as it is called out in several of the reasons in the list. They need to know that the CCS is mature enough to certify the systems it interacts with, and that it will provide accurate data.

DocLightning wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.


No, it's my guess based on the ultimate results of the 787, 747-8, and MAX programs. The MAX was the only one that was on time and then...


Those programs would suggest an EIS later this year. They all entered service within 2 years of the start of flight testing; even the 787, which was still validating the fix for the wing static test failure far below ultimate load, was working on significant design changes to remove literal tons of excess weight, and would during the time of the flight test programs have an engine failure (during ground testing) and an electrical fire. The 777X is now 18 months after the start of flight testing and expecting at least 2 more years. That is unprecedented.

Obviously, that's because the circumstances are different this time.

I do not know how much the difference in the magnitude of post-first flight slides is the FAA being more conservative to be certain nothing is missed this time, and how much is Boeing actually being less prepared. Frankly, considering the mess that the 787 program was, and how differently the 777X seemed to be run from the start (eg - over 6 years planned development time for a derivative compared to less than 5 years for a fairly radical clean sheet, with much more work done in-house for the 777X), I am strongly inclined to expect the 777X is actually more ready than the 787 was, and it is mainly the FAA is being more conservative - presumably as conservative as they should have been before, plus a little extra to re-establish their own reputation. The letter suggests they want to know very precisely how the aircraft they will be testing compares to what is expected to be certified, and can be certain the analysis that drives the test plans is properly documented before the testing starts.

keesje wrote:
Do you have a source for the EIS of 2025? All I have seen is certification in mid to late 2023.


The biggest 777X customer is taking Boeing’s latest timeline for entry into service with a pinch or two of salt. https://simpleflying.com/emirates-777x-delivery-2025/


The last time Clark commented on the timeframe, he clearly had inside information. Emirate's marketing department even leaked the 2023 date in an advertisement for fancy new seats on their A380's. A few weeks later, Boeing confirmed this time line in the earnings report.

This time, Clark is quoted as basically saying he has no idea: "we don’t have any visibility as to when the first one will arrive. It’s either the back end of 2023, 2024 or possibly even 2025."

keesje wrote:
It would be interesting to see the 777x fuselage rupture root cause analyses.


It would be interesting, but I doubt we will see it. The FAA expressed no concern of any kind in the letter about the fuselage rupture during the static test. That was a very high profile event, which I suspect led to Boeing being very thorough about it. It is possible that the static test is evaluated by the FAA as a distinct enough topic from the flight testing that concerns still could exist but are irrelevant to the TIA. Therefore, I won't dismiss it entirely even though the FAA so far seems unconcerned, but unless and until the FAA or Boeing indicates there is some remaining concern about the static test failure, there's not much reason to be suspicious.

keesje wrote:
The 777X development period coincided with the post 787 frustration of all new design, the unexpected NEO success. This translated in Boeing successfully pushing congress for FAA "streamlining" and increased self certification via several well documented re-authorizations.


The decision to streamline significant portions of the certification processes was made by Congress in 2003 and implemented as the ODA program in 2005. Although the process continued to evolve after that time, the big step was taken long before the 777X program began, and even before the MAX program began.
 
Opus99
Posts: 2364
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 10:51 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:09 am

Did the FAA write that Boeing was pressuring them?
Or is that what Seattle times wants to believe for a juicy story?

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