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Boeing May Be Changing 737 MAX Software Control System


Boeing Co. is reportedly planning a comprehensive change in the 737 Max flight control system's software after a flaw was discovered by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or FAA in June.

This is on top of the previously announced software changes planned by the company.

Boeing had earlier announced a software update to deal with problems in the plane's automated stall-prevention system known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS.

The Seattle Times reported that Boeing would now change the MAX's automated flight-control system's software so as to take input from both the flight-control computers rather than from only one.

For decades, the automated systems on the 737 have been designed to take input from only one computer on a flight, with input from the other computer taken on the next flight.

The flaw was identified by the FAA during a simulator test in June. At that time, the FAA said it discovered a "new potential risk" with the 737 Max aircraft that Boeing must mitigate before the plane is back in service.

It was discovered in simulator tests that data processing by a flight computer on the jetliner could cause the plane to dive in a way that pilots had difficulty recovering from. A potential fault with a microprocessor in the flight-control computer was said to have been discovered during the testing.

Boeing still intends to accomplish the software redesign by the end of September in order to win new regulatory approval for the Max to fly again by October.

Boeing has been reeling under the impact of two deadly crashes of its 737 Max aircraft within a short span of five months that killed a total of 346 people. The 737 MAX 8 is Boeing's best-selling aircraft.

The 737 MAX jets were grounded by airlines worldwide earlier this year following an Ethiopian Airlines crash in the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa in March that killed all 157 people on board.

Last week, Boeing had reported a huge loss for the second quarter, hurt by a hefty charge and increased costs related to the 737 MAX grounding as well as associated delivery delays.

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