Washington - Boeing announced that it has so far conducted 96 flights to test the updated anti-stall software of the 737 MAX jet known as MCAS. The FAA will meet with safety representatives and unions from American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines today.
Yesterday, Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said that the American manufacturer had conducted 96 flights with a total duration of 159 hours, to test the updated software of the 737 MAX's anti-stall system.
Boeing teams will conduct additional test flights in the coming weeks to ensure the company has identified and met all certification requirements. Muilenburg also said the two-thirds of the 737 MAX operators attended simulator-based demonstrations for the update, and it works as expected.
Mr. Muilenburg, who was photographed in the cockpit during one of these test flights, reiterated that there would be an extra layer of protection to bypass MCAS when needed to manually control the plane.
Boeing CEO on Demo Flight
After a meeting held in Seattle last month with some 200 representatives of regulators and airlines including technical personnel and pilots, Boeing also sent its own representatives to Singapore, China, and Great Britain to brief regulators, engineers, and pilots.
On its side, the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency will welcome today the representatives of the U.S. airline operators and unions in a meeting in Washington to better understand what needed more before returning the aircraft to service.
The Agency has already announced that it would establish an international team of experts (Joint Authorities Technical Review) to review the safety updates made by Boeing.
No new orders for the Boeing 737 MAX
Since the program launch in 2011, Boeing closed a month for the first time without new orders for its best-selling aircraft in the company history. The Boeing 737 MAXs have been globally grounded since March 13 after fatal accidents in less than half a year, which killed 346 people.
In the first quarter of 2019, Boeing received only ten new orders for its revamped single-aisle jets. In the same period of the last year, the manufacturer booked 112 new orders for the MAX series jets.
After Ethiopian crash, civil aviation regulators around the world grounded the aircraft and Boeing suspended deliveries as a result of this. The company also reduced the production rate of the aircraft.
The Boeing 737 MAX is the fourth generation of the 737 Family that has been in production since the late 1960s. The American manufacturer achieved an unmatched commercial success in its history with 4,648 orders for its 737 MAX jets.
But now, it has also the potential to become the worst fiasco in company history. Several airlines already canceled their orders and some consider doing the same if Boeing does not appear with a quick solution.
Some airlines ask compensations for their losses due to their grounded jets.
According to the Financial Times, the monthly losses of the U.S. Aerospace giant already reached USD 1 billion.