1989worstyear
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:50 am

As was mentioned earlier - Boeing had to make some higher-level design choices to keep the NG (and to a lesser extent the MAX) similar enough to the older generations to keep the models on the same type certificate.

For example, the 757 had eicas and electronically signaled spoilers when certified in '82. These were purposely left off the NG's to provide enough commonalty with the older 737's though.
Stuck at age 15 thanks to the certification date of the A320-200 and my parents' decision to postpone having a kid by 3 years. At least there's Dignitas...
 
cschleic
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:59 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
cschleic wrote:
As was pointed out, the 737 has the same fuselage design as the 707. So when the last MAXs are still flying 40 years from now, it'll be using a fuselage design that's more than 100 years old. Reliable? Yes. But missing out on potential updates? Definitely.


I don’t believe that is true. The damage tolerant designs have changed the way structural components are designed and inspected. Fuselage skin thickness has changed. Widespread fatigue damage has led to design changes. Here is an example

Lap joint corrosion occurring in service was first reported in 1970. Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1017 was released later that year to seal the lap joints to prevent corrosion, but this was only partially effective (sealing was also done in production starting at line number 249).

The cold bond lap joint design was discontinued in production in 1972. A redesigned lap joint that had increased joint thickness, allowing the rivets to transfer the pressurization loads, was introduced at line number 292. The adhesive bond that was used for load transfer was eliminated.


http://lessonslearned.faa.gov/ll_main.c ... LLTypeID=2


Good points, and interesting details in the link. I was talking more about the general configuration and how features, such as the landing gear location, may have limited derivative opportunities.
 
barney captain
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:00 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
questions wrote:
N757ST wrote:
Ask a pilots which is better to fly... the bus or the 73... most that have flown both leans towards the bus for the room, the overhead panel, and greater automation. Plus, track up on the MFD is really strange IMO.


I heard one pilot describe it as “ball crushing.”

Seems to me if Boeing redesigned the cockpit for the 757, they could have redesigned the cockpit for the 737 at some point. And if in fact it is ball crushing, it seems the airlines would have pressured Boeing to make changes.


Boeing wanted to put the the 757 nose on the 737NG, because it is more aerodynamic, but WN wanted commonality of spares with the classic 737's. I'm pretty sure that WN used its influence to make the cockpit as similar to the classic 737's as possible to enable it to have one pilot pool.


Some myths will never die.......some of that may have been true for the 200>300, but Boeing politely reminded WN that the design of the NG had to consider the needs of a much bigger audience than that of the airline operating 250 of them.


Moving on;

From a pilot aspect the ancient nose and cockpit windows that were borrow from early design B707. The cockpit wind noise is defining.


Yet somehow the cockpit of the MAX is noticeably quieter.


The cockpit horns dragging through the air causes the air to still be tumbling at the tail - hence the
strakes by the vertical stab. And I don't believe the other explanations for those, it's the gawd awful cockpit angles.


Then how did they remove them from the MAX - and still manage to make the cockpit quieter?

Image

Believe me, no one wanted to see the cockpit fully modernized more than me. But to use words like "unsafe" and "ball-buster" is just ridiculous. And yes, I'm jealous every time I step into an airbus cockpit.
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BoeingGuy
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:06 am

barney captain wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
questions wrote:

I heard one pilot describe it as “ball crushing.”

Seems to me if Boeing redesigned the cockpit for the 757, they could have redesigned the cockpit for the 737 at some point. And if in fact it is ball crushing, it seems the airlines would have pressured Boeing to make changes.


Boeing wanted to put the the 757 nose on the 737NG, because it is more aerodynamic, but WN wanted commonality of spares with the classic 737's. I'm pretty sure that WN used its influence to make the cockpit as similar to the classic 737's as possible to enable it to have one pilot pool.


Some myths will never die.......some of that may have been true for the 200>300, but Boeing politely reminded WN that the design of the NG had to consider the needs of a much bigger audience than that of the airline operating 250 of them.


Moving on;

From a pilot aspect the ancient nose and cockpit windows that were borrow from early design B707. The cockpit wind noise is defining.


Yet somehow the cockpit of the MAX is noticeably quieter.


The cockpit horns dragging through the air causes the air to still be tumbling at the tail - hence the
strakes by the vertical stab. And I don't believe the other explanations for those, it's the gawd awful cockpit angles.


Then how did they remove them from the MAX - and still manage to make the cockpit quieter?

Image

Believe me, no one wanted to see the cockpit fully modernized more than me. But to use words like "unsafe" and "ball-buster" is just ridiculous. And yes, I'm jealous every time I step into an airbus cockpit.


You’d be more jealous if you stepped into a 787 flight deck.

BTW, I think the 737 Max does have FBW spoilers.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:07 am

Reliability and familiarity mean a lot in aviation. Type compatibility, number of trained pilots, well understood maintenance, parts, few computer glitches...gets you where you need to go 99.5 % of the time despite all the shortcoming mentioned above. Many airlines are very conservative, WN for example. I recently hesitated to get rid of my uncomfortable, noisy, 12 year-old Subaru that never broke down and never required maintenance other than brakes pads and oil.

- The 737 since the 1980's has always had pretty modern engines, albeit smaller fans. That is half the battle right there. The NG wing was a decent upgrade in the 1990's, but don't listen to anybody saying it is superior to the A320 wing...both are good.

- The original low to the ground design for ease of boarding on stairs at obsolete terminals...had an advantageous side effect of reducing weight of gear and engines...which rippled though the aircraft allowing other lighter components such as pylons, center box, etc....However, now this is a disadvantage -- bigger engine fans that don't fit under the wing produce more efficiency gains, so the 737-Max is doing kludges...raising nose gear and some kind of 10-Max main-gear trickery

- One more thing...Cheating !! ...CFM would rather not compete with IAE or Pratt on the A320...so I really think they offer engines to 737 customer with better terms. Some deny this...but I think it is true.
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zeke
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:09 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
Also it’s becoming more necessary in newer models because ADS-B-Out outputs traffic Track angle, not Heading. So ADS-B traffic will be in Track orientation on those models that display ADS-B traffic.


ADS-B outputs the heading, track, MCP selection, as well as FMS track. Does the same for speeds and altitudes.

Simple way to remember it is everything that it is doing, selected, and programmed is transmitted.

ATC use the extended information to make sure the pilot inputs reflect the clearances issued, that is if the ATC technology has that capability. Not all states have implemented this.
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barney captain
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:11 am

You’d be more jealous if you stepped into a 787 flight deck.


I have and I am. :biggrin:

BTW, I think the 737 Max does have FBW spoilers.


You are correct - with some fairly interesting design enhancements.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:15 am

zeke wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
Also it’s becoming more necessary in newer models because ADS-B-Out outputs traffic Track angle, not Heading. So ADS-B traffic will be in Track orientation on those models that display ADS-B traffic.


ADS-B outputs the heading, track, MCP selection, as well as FMS track. Does the same for speeds and altitudes.

Simple way to remember it is everything that it is doing, selected, and programmed is transmitted.

ATC use the extended information to make sure the pilot inputs reflect the clearances issued, that is if the ATC technology has that capability. Not all states have implemented this.


You are referring to Enhanced Surveillance. That’s for ATC. ADS-B-Out doesn’t output Heading. Just Track. That is used by other airplanes’ traffic displays if they are so equipped. What I said earlier is correct.
 
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:17 am

barney captain wrote:
You’d be more jealous if you stepped into a 787 flight deck.


I have and I am. :biggrin:

BTW, I think the 737 Max does have FBW spoilers.


You are correct - with some fairly interesting design enhancements.


Like Direct Lift Control if the elevators are jammed. Shades of the L-1011.
 
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zeke
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:30 am

strfyr51 wrote:
All the "outdated" talk is plain Bunk!! the B737 is glying to Hawaii from the west coast and Alaska and ws ETOPS certified before ANY Airbus.


Not sure what you are trying to claim here as it is poorly written. Ansett was flying PER-XMX ETOPS with the A320 in 1993, used to be a 727 route. I think that is well before a 737 started flying west coast to Hawaii.
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zeke
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:40 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
You are referring to Enhanced Surveillance. That’s for ATC. ADS-B-Out doesn’t output Heading. Just Track. That is used by other airplanes’ traffic displays if they are so equipped. What I said earlier is correct.


It does output track

http://mode-s.org/decode/ehs/bds50-track-n-turn.html

And heading

http://mode-s.org/decode/ehs/bds60-airspeed.html
http://mode-s.org/decode/adsb/airborne-velocity.html

It is a single data transmission, the receiver capabilities determine what they extract from the transmission.
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BoeingGuy
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:58 am

zeke wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
You are referring to Enhanced Surveillance. That’s for ATC. ADS-B-Out doesn’t output Heading. Just Track. That is used by other airplanes’ traffic displays if they are so equipped. What I said earlier is correct.


It does output track

http://mode-s.org/decode/ehs/bds50-track-n-turn.html

And heading

http://mode-s.org/decode/ehs/bds60-airspeed.html
http://mode-s.org/decode/adsb/airborne-velocity.html

It is a single data transmission, the receiver capabilities determine what they extract from the transmission.


Then all of our ADS-B experts and ADS-B Traffic Display designs are all wrong. I’ll check.

EHS in the files you linked stands for Enhanced Surveillance, as I indicated.
 
Alias1024
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:56 am

strfyr51 wrote:
for reliability?? the B737 is at the top of the heap! The A320,A319 AND A321 will have a damn LONG way to go to Equal the B737's reliability Record or standard.

That’s because the antiquated master caution system doesn’t tell you when something is broken!

:mrgreen:
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zeke
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:37 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
Then all of our ADS-B experts and ADS-B Traffic Display designs are all wrong. I’ll check.

EHS in the files you linked stands for Enhanced Surveillance, as I indicated.


Have a good look at the links I provided. The second link for heading is in the ADS velocity transmission. Track itself is not transmitted in ADS, the east/west and north/south velocities are, using pythagorean theorem hypotenuse track and ground speed is derived from the two transmitted velocities.
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BoeingGuy
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:48 am

zeke wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
Then all of our ADS-B experts and ADS-B Traffic Display designs are all wrong. I’ll check.

EHS in the files you linked stands for Enhanced Surveillance, as I indicated.


Have a good look at the links I provided. The second link for heading is in the ADS velocity transmission. Track itself is not transmitted in ADS, the east/west and north/south velocities are, using pythagorean theorem hypotenuse track and ground speed is derived from the two transmitted velocities.


That makes sense. It also makes what I said earlier correct. :) ADS-B Traffic can only be displayed in Track Angle, not Heading on the ND.

It’s not relevant to this thread since the 737 doesn’t currently have an ADS-B traffic display. On the 787 and KC-46 do for Boeing.
 
barney captain
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:02 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
barney captain wrote:
You’d be more jealous if you stepped into a 787 flight deck.


I have and I am. :biggrin:

BTW, I think the 737 Max does have FBW spoilers.


You are correct - with some fairly interesting design enhancements.


Like Direct Lift Control if the elevators are jammed. Shades of the L-1011.


My thoughts exactly when I first read of it, but even more so the Landing Attitude Modifier. The Emergency Descent Speedbrakes were a nice addition - "EDS gives an increased flight spoiler deflection when the speedbrakes are used above FL300 and the Cabin Altitude Warning is active."
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zeke
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:06 am

BoeingGuy wrote:

It’s not relevant to this thread since the 737 doesn’t currently have an ADS-B traffic display. On the 787 and KC-46 do for Boeing.


ATSAW (Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness) is available for all Airbus FBW aircraft, some 744s and 767s also have the capability as they share the same transponder as the A330/A340. They are testing new software called ATSAW-SURF (Air Traffic. Situation Awareness for Surface Operations) which will give a TCAS like warning if there is a runway incursion.

Boeing is testing ADS-IN on the 737NG/MAX, the solution is basically the same as what is up an running on Airbus FBW types with display on the ND and control on the FMC.

https://www.icao.int/APAC/Meetings/2013 ... B%20SITF12).pdf
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bgm
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:03 am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the 737 was built today as a new design, it could not be certified. It’s only because it’s grandfathered from the 1960s that it’s able to bypass current standard requirements.
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zeke
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:51 am

bgm wrote:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the 737 was built today as a new design, it could not be certified. It’s only because it’s grandfathered from the 1960s that it’s able to bypass current standard requirements.


That is the same for any aircraft, not specific to the 737. Would not say it could not be certified either, it could but would need changes which would add weight.
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WIederling
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:56 am

zeke wrote:
bgm wrote:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the 737 was built today as a new design, it could not be certified. It’s only because it’s grandfathered from the 1960s that it’s able to bypass current standard requirements.


That is the same for any aircraft, not specific to the 737. Would not say it could not be certified either, it could but would need changes which would add weight.


IMU the differences between 1967 ( 737 cert ) and 1987 ( A320 cert) where rather pronounced.
Crash loads for the cabin, obstacle clearance, 1 engine out performance ...

historic advantages for 757 and 767 seem to have been much less decisive.

I do wonder what the 777X gets away with via grandfathering that competing newer frames have to conform to.
( Tank inerting? )
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Newbiepilot
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:51 pm

WIederling wrote:
zeke wrote:
bgm wrote:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the 737 was built today as a new design, it could not be certified. It’s only because it’s grandfathered from the 1960s that it’s able to bypass current standard requirements.


That is the same for any aircraft, not specific to the 737. Would not say it could not be certified either, it could but would need changes which would add weight.


IMU the differences between 1967 ( 737 cert ) and 1987 ( A320 cert) where rather pronounced.
Crash loads for the cabin, obstacle clearance, 1 engine out performance ...

historic advantages for 757 and 767 seem to have been much less decisive.

I do wonder what the 777X gets away with via grandfathering that competing newer frames have to conform to.
( Tank inerting? )


The 737MAX has a 16 G cabin just like any other new design, it has an NGS system for tank inerting, and I don’t know what you are referring to when you say obstacle clearance and 1 engine out performance. Are you saying the cert basis for the A320 family is different and therefore the 737MAX has worse obstacle clearance and engine out performance? I would be shocked if that was true, but please educate me on how the 737MAX is using different requirements there due to the original type certificate.

When I see people talk about grandfathering, I think most don’t realize that qualification based on similarity to a proven design is a perfectly viable and often preferred certification method.

I don’t have time right now to pull the FARs, but here is an example of one of the clauses (this is from AC21-63)

d. When a new application is based on the design of an existing approved article, the applicant may ask to use environmental test data from the existing article’s environmental qualification, based on similarity between the two articles. This request must be fully supported with a detailed similarity assessment comparing the changes from the earlier approved article to the article in the new application. The ACO may accept the data if the similarity assessment clearly shows that the design changes will not adversely affect the environmental qualification

The 737 has some components that would be designed differently if it was a new design today. For example there are some castings that would be built differently due to regulation changes, but everything must still be substantiated.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:53 pm

In among all the AvB and diving into detail, I didn't see anyone summarise the *actual* driving reason leading to all that AvB and detail:

It is mostly certified to older standards.

That means:
  • Boeing can reap the logistical/cost benefits of updating an existing design without having to re-design/certify everything
  • Boeing has some freedom from current regulations (mostly safety related) which allows them to keep some things lighter and more simple ("grandfathering")

On the downside (why it becomes "outdated"):
  • Boeing is slightly hamstrung since it can't modify too much without losing the grandfathering (and hence having to suddenly redesign to current standards - requiring a lot of design and certification effort; i.e. cost)
  • Boeing is stuck with design choices which prevent it from easily improving the aircraft (e.g. short landing gear so can't fit new large-fan engines, e.g. mechanical avionics means much less computer control is possible)

In a nutshell, that's the "problem".
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longhauler
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:30 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
Compare the overhead panel on the 737NG with the 320.

Wow, I had to chuckle at the electrical panel of the new MAX. Not only is most of the overhead panel identical to the -200s I flew 25 years ago, designed in the 1960s, but look at the electrical bus switching panel. It still has the rounded cutouts from the AC Amp gauges from the -200 ... but the gauges are no longer there!

Couldn't they have at least designed a new panel without the rounded cutouts ... or did Boeing have hundreds of them in storage some where they needed to use up?
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WIederling
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:52 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
I don’t have time right now to pull the FARs, but here is an example of one of the clauses (this is from AC21-63)
.

Maybe ask your backoffice?

Does the MAX ( EIS in 2017 ) conform in all aspects to 2017 cert requirements
as they would apply to a clean sheet design?
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Tristarsteve
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:54 pm

My main gripe about the B737 is the passenger doors and slides. How do they get away with the manual opening doors? They are hard to open normally, and very hard with an escape slide attached and armed. Why have Boeing not fitted power assist in emergency. The B757 pineapple bottles work well enough, lets get them on the B737.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:01 pm

WIederling wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
I don’t have time right now to pull the FARs, but here is an example of one of the clauses (this is from AC21-63)
.

Maybe ask your backoffice?

Does the MAX ( EIS in 2017 ) conform in all aspects to 2017 cert requirements
as they would apply to a clean sheet design?


Not sure what you are referring to with back office.

The MAX uses a number of carryover designs. So did the 787. Unless a company is brand new, existing designs and qualification based on similarity is all over an airplane. Given the number of common suppliers, I would be surprised if the COMAC C919 didn’t have some qualification based on similarity for components found on either the 737 or A320.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:59 pm

zeke wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:

It’s not relevant to this thread since the 737 doesn’t currently have an ADS-B traffic display. On the 787 and KC-46 do for Boeing.


ATSAW (Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness) is available for all Airbus FBW aircraft, some 744s and 767s also have the capability as they share the same transponder as the A330/A340. They are testing new software called ATSAW-SURF (Air Traffic. Situation Awareness for Surface Operations) which will give a TCAS like warning if there is a runway incursion.

Boeing is testing ADS-IN on the 737NG/MAX, the solution is basically the same as what is up an running on Airbus FBW types with display on the ND and control on the FMC.

https://www.icao.int/APAC/Meetings/2013 ... B%20SITF12).pdf


I know. I helped design the ADS-B-In symbology and interfaces for certain models. I know a little about this topic.

Also it’s not the Transponder that provides ADS-B-In. It’s the TCAS computer. The Transponer provides ADS-B-Out.

I wasn’t aware that ADS-B-In is being developed for the 737 Max though. I’ll check into that.
 
barney captain
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:02 pm

longhauler wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Compare the overhead panel on the 737NG with the 320.

Wow, I had to chuckle at the electrical panel of the new MAX. Not only is most of the overhead panel identical to the -200s I flew 25 years ago, designed in the 1960s, but look at the electrical bus switching panel. It still has the rounded cutouts from the AC Amp gauges from the -200 ... but the gauges are no longer there!

Couldn't they have at least designed a new panel without the rounded cutouts ... or did Boeing have hundreds of them in storage some where they needed to use up?



To clarify, that was an NG panel, not the MAX.

This is the MAX! (heavy sarcasm) and your point/question about the Amp gauge cut-outs being there becomes even more bizarre.

Image
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NozPerry
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:08 pm

One thing that I like that’s similar is if you look on the overhead panel above the APU/BUS Gens on the 800 for example there’s two cut outs which haven’t been on a 73 aircraft in decades. For voltage of some sort I think
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barney captain
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:11 pm

NozPerry wrote:
One thing that I like that’s similar is if you look on the overhead panel above the APU/BUS Gens on the 800 for example there’s two cut outs which haven’t been on a 73 aircraft in decades. For voltage of some sort I think

Hence the previous post and comment.
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LH707330
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:40 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
The 737MAX has a 16 G cabin just like any other new design, it has an NGS system for tank inerting, and I don’t know what you are referring to when you say obstacle clearance and 1 engine out performance. Are you saying the cert basis for the A320 family is different and therefore the 737MAX has worse obstacle clearance and engine out performance? I would be shocked if that was true, but please educate me on how the 737MAX is using different requirements there due to the original type certificate.

One example I read about is the v1 takeoff test problem. The 737 was originally certified with a one-second delay from engine failure to first pilot action, as opposed to the two-second gap for the 320. This advantages the field calculations for the 737.
 
marcelh
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:33 am

From a passenger perspective, I find the B737 noisier than the A32x. The 737MAX is like a restomod.
 
VSMUT
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:54 am

Starlionblue wrote:
I sat in a 737 cockpit a while ago. My first thought was, "this is very agricultural". There's "stuff" everywhere. The ergonomics were acceptable in the 60s, but they seem like a disaster by current standards.

Having said that, the 737 makes good money for the airlines and is a reliable, safe aircraft. And that's the important thing.

Boeing is quite capable is building a modern cockpit. The reason the 737 cockpit is so antiquated is purely down to certification grandfathering.


Agree with all of those points. The switches are all different, and located all over the place. They never cleaned it up. Even the holes for the eyebrow windows are still there, despite not having been in use for 15 years. The cockpit is also so narrow. The size of the ATR cockpit is nothing to boast about, but I feel that the 737 cockpit is much more cramped, with especially your outer arm and shoulder almost rubbing the windowsills. Also very noisy.

Not to mention that ATR got away with doing a new cockpit for the -600, but Boeing is still stuck with stuff from the 60s? That just seems lazy in my opinion.
 
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:36 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
I sat in a 737 cockpit a while ago. My first thought was, "this is very agricultural". There's "stuff" everywhere. The ergonomics were acceptable in the 60s, but they seem like a disaster by current standards.

Having said that, the 737 makes good money for the airlines and is a reliable, safe aircraft. And that's the important thing.

Boeing is quite capable is building a modern cockpit. The reason the 737 cockpit is so antiquated is purely down to certification grandfathering.


Agree with all of those points. The switches are all different, and located all over the place. They never cleaned it up. Even the holes for the eyebrow windows are still there, despite not having been in use for 15 years. The cockpit is also so narrow. The size of the ATR cockpit is nothing to boast about, but I feel that the 737 cockpit is much more cramped, with especially your outer arm and shoulder almost rubbing the windowsills. Also very noisy.

Not to mention that ATR got away with doing a new cockpit for the -600, but Boeing is still stuck with stuff from the 60s? That just seems lazy in my opinion.


That’s a bit of a childish way to state it. Boeing doesn’t make design decisions because they are “lazy”. There are a number of factors, all have which have already been listen in this thread. Let me state some of the reasons:

1) Certification basis. The customers were asking for commonality with their existing fleet. Often, when you change a design you are subject to the Change Product Rule, which requires you to step up to a newer certification basis.
2) The customer’s desire for commonality has already been discussed.
3) Similarly, customers have asked Boeing for contractual terms guarenteeing a certain level of training differences. Any major changes and you have to go through a higher level of training differences, which costs the airline a lot more. Then Boeing has to pay big contractual penalties.
4) The customers demand a low cost airplane. Boeing could gold plate it and redesign the overhead easily. That adds a lot of cost, Type Cert risks, and possibly extra customer training costs. Do the airlines want to pay that much more? If they did, Boeing would have redesigned this stuff.

Before people say silly stuff like Boeing was “lazy”, you might want to consider the multitude of business realities that led to these decisions. You can’t just put an EICAS on it either for the same reasons.
 
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:00 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
I sat in a 737 cockpit a while ago. My first thought was, "this is very agricultural". There's "stuff" everywhere. The ergonomics were acceptable in the 60s, but they seem like a disaster by current standards.

Having said that, the 737 makes good money for the airlines and is a reliable, safe aircraft. And that's the important thing.

Boeing is quite capable is building a modern cockpit. The reason the 737 cockpit is so antiquated is purely down to certification grandfathering.


Agree with all of those points. The switches are all different, and located all over the place. They never cleaned it up. Even the holes for the eyebrow windows are still there, despite not having been in use for 15 years. The cockpit is also so narrow. The size of the ATR cockpit is nothing to boast about, but I feel that the 737 cockpit is much more cramped, with especially your outer arm and shoulder almost rubbing the windowsills. Also very noisy.

Not to mention that ATR got away with doing a new cockpit for the -600, but Boeing is still stuck with stuff from the 60s? That just seems lazy in my opinion.


That’s a bit of a childish way to state it. Boeing doesn’t make design decisions because they are “lazy”. There are a number of factors, all have which have already been listen in this thread. Let me state some of the reasons:

1) Certification basis. The customers were asking for commonality with their existing fleet. Often, when you change a design you are subject to the Change Product Rule, which requires you to step up to a newer certification basis.
2) The customer’s desire for commonality has already been discussed.
3) Similarly, customers have asked Boeing for contractual terms guarenteeing a certain level of training differences. Any major changes and you have to go through a higher level of training differences, which costs the airline a lot more. Then Boeing has to pay big contractual penalties.
4) The customers demand a low cost airplane. Boeing could gold plate it and redesign the overhead easily. That adds a lot of cost, Type Cert risks, and possibly extra customer training costs. Do the airlines want to pay that much more? If they did, Boeing would have redesigned this stuff.

Before people say silly stuff like Boeing was “lazy”, you might want to consider the multitude of business realities that led to these decisions. You can’t just put an EICAS on it either for the same reasons.


You could apply every single one of those claims to ATR, and yet they found a reason to do so despite being a much smaller operation running on much smaller margins.
 
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:14 pm

VSMUT wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

Agree with all of those points. The switches are all different, and located all over the place. They never cleaned it up. Even the holes for the eyebrow windows are still there, despite not having been in use for 15 years. The cockpit is also so narrow. The size of the ATR cockpit is nothing to boast about, but I feel that the 737 cockpit is much more cramped, with especially your outer arm and shoulder almost rubbing the windowsills. Also very noisy.

Not to mention that ATR got away with doing a new cockpit for the -600, but Boeing is still stuck with stuff from the 60s? That just seems lazy in my opinion.


That’s a bit of a childish way to state it. Boeing doesn’t make design decisions because they are “lazy”. There are a number of factors, all have which have already been listen in this thread. Let me state some of the reasons:

1) Certification basis. The customers were asking for commonality with their existing fleet. Often, when you change a design you are subject to the Change Product Rule, which requires you to step up to a newer certification basis.
2) The customer’s desire for commonality has already been discussed.
3) Similarly, customers have asked Boeing for contractual terms guarenteeing a certain level of training differences. Any major changes and you have to go through a higher level of training differences, which costs the airline a lot more. Then Boeing has to pay big contractual penalties.
4) The customers demand a low cost airplane. Boeing could gold plate it and redesign the overhead easily. That adds a lot of cost, Type Cert risks, and possibly extra customer training costs. Do the airlines want to pay that much more? If they did, Boeing would have redesigned this stuff.

Before people say silly stuff like Boeing was “lazy”, you might want to consider the multitude of business realities that led to these decisions. You can’t just put an EICAS on it either for the same reasons.


You could apply every single one of those claims to ATR, and yet they found a reason to do so despite being a much smaller operation running on much smaller margins.


Again totally ignoring the business and certification realities.

Do all the ATR models share a common type rating? Have they gotten pressure for large customers not to make changes? What are the training differences between the various minor models?

When it’s appropriate to make changes, they are made. The KC-46 flight deck is not your father’s 767-200 flight deck, for example.
 
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Embajador3
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:29 pm

PPVLC wrote:
Embajador3 wrote:
I am not an engineer, or an expert on the subject, but I am an active cabin crew member with over 14 years of experience on several series of the 737 (from the classics, to the NG and the Max series), as well as experience in working on other Boeing aircraft (717) and Airbus (A320). I can honestly say that, IMHO, the 737 is, by far, the most uncomfortable aircraft. Narrow aisle, small galleys, cabin temperature is not controlled by us, cabin crew, but in the cockpit. Very few ammenities available to make our work easier (i.e. very little counter space).

Just my 2 cents.


Yes! Poxy little aircraft to work in, they just make the damn thing longer and longer. I'm glad I don't have to face those galleys ever again.


Lucky you, my friend!! I still work on them :)
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:37 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:

That’s a bit of a childish way to state it. Boeing doesn’t make design decisions because they are “lazy”. There are a number of factors, all have which have already been listen in this thread. Let me state some of the reasons:

1) Certification basis. The customers were asking for commonality with their existing fleet. Often, when you change a design you are subject to the Change Product Rule, which requires you to step up to a newer certification basis.
2) The customer’s desire for commonality has already been discussed.
3) Similarly, customers have asked Boeing for contractual terms guarenteeing a certain level of training differences. Any major changes and you have to go through a higher level of training differences, which costs the airline a lot more. Then Boeing has to pay big contractual penalties.
4) The customers demand a low cost airplane. Boeing could gold plate it and redesign the overhead easily. That adds a lot of cost, Type Cert risks, and possibly extra customer training costs. Do the airlines want to pay that much more? If they did, Boeing would have redesigned this stuff.

Before people say silly stuff like Boeing was “lazy”, you might want to consider the multitude of business realities that led to these decisions. You can’t just put an EICAS on it either for the same reasons.


You could apply every single one of those claims to ATR, and yet they found a reason to do so despite being a much smaller operation running on much smaller margins.


Again totally ignoring the business and certification realities.

Do all the ATR models share a common type rating? Have they gotten pressure for large customers not to make changes? What are the training differences between the various minor models?

When it’s appropriate to make changes, they are made. The KC-46 flight deck is not your father’s 767-200 flight deck, for example.


Don’t forget how often flight deck panels get changed due to switch failures. Airlines are constantly swapping out various panels in the flight decks of all airplanes. Having common spare parts lowers inventory cost. It might not look pretty, but sharing common parts is good for training purposes and good for spare part costs.
 
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zeke
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:44 am

Never seen a panel replaced on a FBW airbus, when you are saying airlines are constantly changing panels are you referring to the 737 only ?
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CrimsonNL
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:30 am

For me the doors on the newer 737s are the biggest letdown. Its strange watching a brand new 739ER pull up to the gate. Factory fresh, shiny nacelles and slats, bright LED lighting... Only to have to pull that ridiculous 50's cabin door design open with 2 people because it's so heavy.

It's just as bad with the cargo doors. A decent sized hold, but doors so tiny that a big dog in a kennel can't even fit through them. If you compare this with the 32S, which doors makes loading so much more efficient and easy. And you get much larger pieces in too! Not to mention the ULD equipped variants which are a real dream to load!

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PPVLC
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:35 pm

Embajador3 wrote:
PPVLC wrote:
Embajador3 wrote:
I am not an engineer, or an expert on the subject, but I am an active cabin crew member with over 14 years of experience on several series of the 737 (from the classics, to the NG and the Max series), as well as experience in working on other Boeing aircraft (717) and Airbus (A320). I can honestly say that, IMHO, the 737 is, by far, the most uncomfortable aircraft. Narrow aisle, small galleys, cabin temperature is not controlled by us, cabin crew, but in the cockpit. Very few ammenities available to make our work easier (i.e. very little counter space).

Just my 2 cents.


Yes! Poxy little aircraft to work in, they just make the damn thing longer and longer. I'm glad I don't have to face those galleys ever again.


Lucky you, my friend!! I still work on them :)


Oh dear, those doors with the "nose-tail" handle, having to kneel down to disarm them, I don't envy you but I wish you good flights :smile:
Cabin crew L188 707 727 737 767 A300 DC10 MD11 777 747
 
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ro1960
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:23 pm

I believe the 737 (all versions?) cannot have rafts at the rear doors unlike the A320 family. So better seat upfront in case of water landing.
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ro1960
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:28 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
No one ever imagined then that more than 3000 nautical miles would be demanded from a narrow body aircraft.


Actually it's the exact same fuselage width as the 707, a long range narrow body in its time. The DC8 was a tad narrower.
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767333ER
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:33 pm

Just about everything but the cabin and the engines. The cockpit is where it is really outdated. It has those massive LCD displays that can’t display much of anything more than the CRTs could on the classic. The FMS is still the same slow old junk that still has no radio functions. The autopilot still needs to have CWS for when it supposedly screws up from time to time. They can’t put EICAS and instead have the master caution system that is one of the worst set-ups (just compare it to a Dash 8 or an MD-80 for example) and the aural warnings are not so helpful. There is no power seat, storage space, and it’s still noises than anything else in the cockpit. The overhead is the probably worst in production littered with different switches that go different ways and a mess of caution lights put in random places. Hen there’s the doors that are grandfathered because they require too much force to open. Watch any FA training and many will fail to open the thing the first time they try. Want to use the window exit, enjoy sliding down the flaps. There is things I understand why they didn’t change, but some I just don’t get!
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:04 am

ro1960 wrote:
I believe the 737 (all versions?) cannot have rafts at the rear doors unlike the A320 family. So better seat upfront in case of water landing.


The rafts are located in the ceiling, one fwd and two aft.
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:13 am

I'm not at all saying the 737 doesn't have plenty of room for improvement, but some of your comments are just hard to justify;

It has those massive LCD displays that can’t display much of anything more than the CRTs could on the classic.


Huh?

Image


The autopilot still needs to have CWS for when it supposedly screws up from time to time.


That's just plain nonsense.

The rest, I agree with. :))
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:28 am

767333ER wrote:
Just about everything but the cabin and the engines. The cockpit is where it is really outdated. It has those massive LCD displays that can’t display much of anything more than the CRTs could on the classic. The FMS is still the same slow old junk that still has no radio functions. The autopilot still needs to have CWS for when it supposedly screws up from time to time. They can’t put EICAS and instead have the master caution system that is one of the worst set-ups (just compare it to a Dash 8 or an MD-80 for example) and the aural warnings are not so helpful. There is no power seat, storage space, and it’s still noises than anything else in the cockpit. The overhead is the probably worst in production littered with different switches that go different ways and a mess of caution lights put in random places. Hen there’s the doors that are grandfathered because they require too much force to open. Watch any FA training and many will fail to open the thing the first time they try. Want to use the window exit, enjoy sliding down the flaps. There is things I understand why they didn’t change, but some I just don’t get!


Nor totally correct. The LCD displays have several very modern functions like a Vertical Situation Display and RNP Nav Performance Scales. That outdated FMC was the first airplane in the world to support a .1nm RNP.
 
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:30 am

ro1960 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
No one ever imagined then that more than 3000 nautical miles would be demanded from a narrow body aircraft.


Actually it's the exact same fuselage width as the 707, a long range narrow body in its time. The DC8 was a tad narrower.


This is kind of a joke that I’ve seen on A.net before. Another poster cited some new 3000nm route and said it was the longest route in history flown by a narrow body airplane. Apparent younger A.net posters never bother to learn some history and don’t know about the 707, DC-8, and VC-10, among others.
 
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767333ER
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:50 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
767333ER wrote:
Just about everything but the cabin and the engines. The cockpit is where it is really outdated. It has those massive LCD displays that can’t display much of anything more than the CRTs could on the classic. The FMS is still the same slow old junk that still has no radio functions. The autopilot still needs to have CWS for when it supposedly screws up from time to time. They can’t put EICAS and instead have the master caution system that is one of the worst set-ups (just compare it to a Dash 8 or an MD-80 for example) and the aural warnings are not so helpful. There is no power seat, storage space, and it’s still noises than anything else in the cockpit. The overhead is the probably worst in production littered with different switches that go different ways and a mess of caution lights put in random places. Hen there’s the doors that are grandfathered because they require too much force to open. Watch any FA training and many will fail to open the thing the first time they try. Want to use the window exit, enjoy sliding down the flaps. There is things I understand why they didn’t change, but some I just don’t get!


Nor totally correct. The LCD displays have several very modern functions like a Vertical Situation Display and RNP Nav Performance Scales. That outdated FMC was the first airplane in the world to support a .1nm RNP.

And the NG’s screens could do all the same things other than OMF which they could have fit on those as well. Why put those huge 787 screens if it still can’t tell/show you what the systems are doing, where at the airport you are, or have your checklists or anything like that on there? RNP and ANP scales could be put on the old CRT displays if the old 737s needed it and any relatively modern plane would have that, just not in the same place. Even a Dash 8-100 can tell you that. And VSD is from the early/mid 2000s so it’s not as modern of a thing as some think compared to airport diagrams for example. Considering the 737 isn’t the only RNP capable plane, it being the first doesn’t say much because it was only first because the first operators that saw the need for RNP happened to be 737 operators, many other types of plane that are as old can do the same thing and do nowadays. The FMC lags when you type, it can’t do FMC COMM or NAV RAD functions, and it can’t tell the pressurization system what you landing elevation is and even worse the cruise altitude. Even an old 757 that’s parked in the desert could do that latter.
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Re: What makes the B737 an "old, outdated" design?

Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:57 am

767333ER wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
767333ER wrote:
Just about everything but the cabin and the engines. The cockpit is where it is really outdated. It has those massive LCD displays that can’t display much of anything more than the CRTs could on the classic. The FMS is still the same slow old junk that still has no radio functions. The autopilot still needs to have CWS for when it supposedly screws up from time to time. They can’t put EICAS and instead have the master caution system that is one of the worst set-ups (just compare it to a Dash 8 or an MD-80 for example) and the aural warnings are not so helpful. There is no power seat, storage space, and it’s still noises than anything else in the cockpit. The overhead is the probably worst in production littered with different switches that go different ways and a mess of caution lights put in random places. Hen there’s the doors that are grandfathered because they require too much force to open. Watch any FA training and many will fail to open the thing the first time they try. Want to use the window exit, enjoy sliding down the flaps. There is things I understand why they didn’t change, but some I just don’t get!


Nor totally correct. The LCD displays have several very modern functions like a Vertical Situation Display and RNP Nav Performance Scales. That outdated FMC was the first airplane in the world to support a .1nm RNP.

And the NG’s screens could do all the same things other than OMF which they could have fit on those as well. Why put those huge 787 screens if it still can’t tell/show you what the systems are doing, where at the airport you are, or have your checklists or anything like that on there? RNP and ANP scales could be put on the old CRT displays if the old 737s needed it and any relatively modern plane would have that, just not in the same place. Even a Dash 8-100 can tell you that. And VSD is from the early/mid 2000s so it’s not as modern of a thing as some think compared to airport diagrams for example. Considering the 737 isn’t the only RNP capable plane, it being the first doesn’t say much because it was only first because the first operators that saw the need for RNP happened to be 737 operators, many other types of plane that are as old can do the same thing and do nowadays. The FMC lags when you type, it can’t do FMC COMM or NAV RAD functions, and it can’t tell the pressurization system what you landing elevation is and even worse the cruise altitude. Even an old 757 that’s parked in the desert could do that latter.


So what exactly is your point? We’ve already established that the 737 Max has some less than futuristic design. If you happened to have read previous posts before your rant, you might also understand there are some valid reasons for that. I don’t like it anymore than anyone else. But there are some good business reasons why the 737 is what it is.

Personally I don’t have the big drama that some people have about how the A320 is soooooo much wider and more comfortable. I find AS’s 737s just fine in coach. AA’s seem more cramped.

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