Boeing’s Mess

The problem is that an airplane is a big, complicated network of interconnected parts. To get the engine under the 737 wing, engineers had to mount the landing gears higher and more forward on the plane. But moving the landing gears changed the aerodynamics of the plane, such that the plane did not handle properly at a high angle of attack. That, in turn, led to the creation of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). It fixed the angle-of-attack problem in most situations, but it created new problems in other situations when it made it difficult for pilots to directly control the plane without being overridden by the MCAS.”

“On Wednesday, Boeing rolled out a software patch that it says corrects the problem, and it hopes to persuade the FAA to agree.”

“But note that the underlying problem isn’t really software, it’s with the effort to use software to get around a whole host of other problems.”

Medicynical note: A poorly engineered fix for an inherently unstable plane.

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