Published On: Sat, Jul 6th, 2019

Boeing’s 737 Max Software Problems

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Soccer and Rugby teams, golfers and tennis players, sportsmen and women from all over the world use air travel to get to their places of play. But what does a simple flight entail? Look at the software relied upon by aeroplanes, for example, the failing of such software has been a hot topic in the Boeing Max 8 investigation. The sad questions remain unanswered, how did a company with such high standards and pedantic designs, make software mistakes that lead to two traumatic, fatal crashes? There have been so many reports, rumours and accusations but the fact remains, it was a software glitch or a glitch in the planning of the software that leads to the falling of two Max 8s.

What was the Software meant to do?

This software was created to prevent stalling in aircraft. Stalling happens when an aircraft is in too steep of a climb or descent, this causes an increase in airflow resistance, hindering the aircraft from generating enough lift. The MAX software was meant to receive data from a sensor and activate when the climb angle was too steep, changing the angle of the horizontal stabilizer and pushing the nose down.

What went wrong?

In expectation of a highly hazardous event, aeroplanes are meant to depend on data from sensors with a 0.00001% chance of failing, in other words, the measurements should have been taken from two sensors. The MAX 8 has two of the sensors mentioned above, but its software was only designed to pull readings from one. The Black box, which records flight data, shows that in the case of the Lion Air, the two sensors differed by 20 degrees, even during taxiing, leading most to believe they were faulty before the flight even took off, but the pilots couldn’t be warned.

The Max Software has been riddled with problems from the very beginning and, unfortunately for Boeing, but proving to end consumers that their safety is taken seriously, regulators found a new flaw in the software that needs to be addressed. As with all investigations into tragedies, fingers have been pointed. The software developer has also been blamed, and perhaps rightfully so but were the coders not simply designing around specs they were given?

When will the Boeing Max 8 be Rolled out?

Recent simulator tests by the Federal Aviation Administration suggest the software issues on Boeing’s Max 8 run deeper as they found a computer chip that lagged when it was overwhelmed with data. It could take Boeing another three months to sort out the new software hiccup. Each aeroplane that is built has multimillion individual parts that rely on software which is made of multimillion lines of code. Concerning the old issues, a software patch has been completed that will collect data from both sensors before the automatic counteractions are activated and the nose of the airplane will only be pushed down once.

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