After being grounded for 15 months, Boeing 737 MAX re-certification flights may begin as early as today. Robert W. Moorman explores the turbulent history of the airplane, and Rick Adams outlines the steps to a revised training program.
This past year has been a trying one for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The revenue-draining after-effects of back-to-back fatal accidents involving the company’s latest and last 737, the MAX, and the costly fixes to the aircraft’s software system remain a major concern for the iconic plane maker.
The timeline for the aircraft’s return to commercial airline service keeps slipping, although MAX production resumed in May 2020 at its Renton, Washington plant. Boeing stopped MAX production in January and all aircraft production in late March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Latest reports speculate that the MAX will remain grounded until August 2020, at least.
Equally troubling for Boeing is the lack of confidence in the MAX by some airlines and passengers. Hundreds of orders have been deferred or cancelled.