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Between Two Deadly Crashes, Boeing Moved Haltingly to Make 737 MAX Fixes

In the aftermath of a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet crash in Indonesia in October, much of the American aviation industry—the plane maker, the FAA, U.S. airlines and their pilots—closed ranks to reassure the public the model was safe to fly.

Even after evidence emerged implicating a new automated flight-control system in the Indonesia disaster, the industry message was that pilots would be able to overcome glitches by following common emergency steps.

“Our pilots are trained to deal with any of these issues,” United Continental Holdings Inc.Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said at a March 7 aviation event in Washington. “Just fly the darn airplane—that’s what they’re taught.”

Three days later, a 737 MAX flown by United code-share partner Ethiopian Airlines nose-dived into the ground after six minutes aloft, an eerie replay of Indonesia’s Lion Air crash.

 

Excerpt from the WSJ
Read Full story at WSJ.com

U.S., Ethiopian Investigators Tussle Over 737 MAX Crash Probe

Tension is simmering between U.S. and Ethiopian officials as investigators prepare to release in the coming days an interim report about the Boeing Co. 737 MAX jetliner that nose-dived after takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10, according to people from both countries.

U.S. investigators, according to people familiar with their thinking, have privately complained that Ethiopian authorities have been slow to provide data retrieved from the black-box recorders of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.

American air-safety officials also have described what they view as an aloof attitude among the Ethiopians toward other investigators and say the Ethiopians have provided often limited access to relevant crash information, these people said.

Excerpt from the WSJ
Read Full story at WSJ.com

Tokyo to San Francisco in 5½ Hours? If All Goes Well, Yes

It’s been 50 years since the first Concorde took her maiden test flight, inaugurating the era of supersonic passenger travel, and almost 16 years since that era drew to a close, back in 2003. Since then we’ve had indulgent A380s and efficient 787s, but the truth is, we never really got over the Concorde. It’s still the one that got away, memorably beautiful if rather high-maintenance. Now several manufacturers are planning to eclipse those memories with planes that are cleaner, quieter, and yes, quicker than the Concorde. Up first: Denver-based Boom Supersonic, which is hoping to fly a prototype this year, and if all goes well, by 2025, have their 55-seat Overture craft whizzing passengers from Tokyo to San Francisco, typically a 9½-hour journey, in 5½ hours. Perhaps precipitously, Japan Airlines has taken an option on 20. Until this jet arrives, here’s a look at how its speediness will compare with the original Concorde and other brisk vehicles, existing and theoretical, that make our hearts beat faster.

3,400 MPH: Boeing NeXt Hypersonic Concept
Seats: N/A

First Flight: No earlier than 2029

This still very-much-theoretical hypersonic aircraft could make Mach 5 (about 3,400 mph) travel possible at altitudes of 100,000 feet.

 

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Excerpt from WSK

How Airbus’s A380 Went From Wonder to Blunder


World’s largest passenger plane was hurt by misjudged market trends, internal dysfunction and production problems<p>
Airbus has sunk at least $17 billion into the A380 project yet sold fewer than half of the 750 superjumbo jetliners it promised to deliver by the end of this year. An Airbus A380 of Lufthansa airline.<p>

When Airbus launched the A380 superjumbo in 2000, it touted the two-deck plane as “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” Instead, the world’s largest passenger plane exposed dysfunction inside the European aerospace company and now offers a textbook case of a company misjudging its market and losing big.<p>

Airbus has sunk at least $17 billion into the project yet sold fewer than half of the 750 superjumbo jetliners it promised to deliver by the end of this year. On Thursday Airbus said it would cease producing the 555-seat plane at the end of 2021.<p>

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Excerpt from WSJ

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