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How Airlines Are Defending Dormant 737 MAX Jets From The Ravages Of Corrosion, Insects And Time

Boeing 737 MAX planes have been stuck on the ground now for five months. With the likelihood rising that they won't return to service before the winter, some airlines may soon have to deal with the danger that the planes could literally become stuck to the ground. Tires of planes that are parked for long periods of time can freeze to the tarmac during sub-zero weather, warns a Boeing maintenance manual for the previous generation of 737 aircraft. It advises maintenance workers to place sand… ( More...

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dj horton 16
Even if the 37M is released for service by the feds and even if operators get them airworthy, there’s still the problem of public perception. It’s going to take years for the general flying public to feel comfortable/safe on it. I imagine it will go something like this:

1.) Airline A flies the Max
2.) Airline B does not fly the Max
3.) Both A and B travel to my destination with a similar schedule
4.) Airline B is $150 more expensive
5.) Passenger decides the additional cost is worth it and ticket is booked on Airline B to avoid the possibility of being put on a Max
So the fare will be less and the airplane won't be as full?

Count me in.
Max Lang 5
If airline B tries to sell “we don’t fly the MAX” for $150 per passenger per flight that will only accelerate the acceptance of the Max by the fickle marketplace.
I fly on business a lot and bring my wife when I have expiring points or use my SWA Companion Pass.
I sit up front almost 100% of the time, and, speak often with other frequent flyers.
Unless I'm flying on SWA, most passengers don't even know who manufactured much less what type aircraft they're flying.
Passengers don't seem to have a clue to me, and, likely rationalize the odds are slim to none for death by MAX.
Nevertheless, I'd fly airline B for now rather than risk a MAX exhilarating nose-dive from 35k.
SmokedChops 16
The folks at Davis-Monthan AFB - AMARG are only a few keystrokes away for insights into long term storage. B-52H 'Wise Guy' 60-0034 was pulled out of cold storage after 10 years, granted, it went to Tinker AFB for some serious upgrading by MX staff who are well funded and highly specialized. Principles are the same,however store it for longevity, and successful restart after deep storage. The desert is a big place, there is plenty of room for a few more guests while they get their poop in a group. They need to get it 'right, now', and not 'right now'
There are many places that have space, AMARG would not take them. Kingman, Marana, Victorville or Mojave could easily take all of them.
SmokedChops 5
I did not mean to imply they actually take them at AMARG, merely share their expertise on the subject. Brain fog at 0500 has NOT improved with my age...
siriusloon 4
I'm quite sure that the numerous civilian-owned and -operated storage yards also know what to do because they've been doing it for many years, both for old stuff that was going to be scrapped or parted out and for brand-new aircraft.
Adolfo Rosado 7
They can put one in my back yard, I'll keep it clean and tidy :D
DGR Rathborne 2
Hi to Max Lang .......You are correct when you mention where would Air Canada get replacement aircraft . It is however my understanding that they have leased some aircraft already , re-arranged scheduling on other aircraft and are really serious about acquiring Air TranSat . But i admit that there are no viable options ,to replacing the 24 Max's . As for Boeing paying the maintenance costs , don't bet on it . Once , when the day comes that the Max is in the air again , there will be a Snow Storm of lawsuits against Boeing for any # of things , and Boeing just won't be able to cover all the requested costs . And since they are Lawsuits , that means they will be in litigation for years .. But the Airlines will have to absorb the immediate costs ,at least in getting them back in the air . I suspect only the larger and financially well off carriers will be able to do this . Some low cost , or budget carriers may go under , due to this nightmare . These are just my thoughts . But thanks Max , for expressing your views . I enjoy it ...........DGR
DGR Rathborne 3
Hi Mark Robinson . I have read , and re-read your comments , and thought on them . While South West figures a 2 or 3 day period per Max , i am for-seeing further complications . I am not denying that you may well be correct , but i also feel that my opinion should not be dismissed . These 737's have already been sitting for 6 months and Air Canada has further pushed back a further 5 months . If they are allowed by Gov't's to ferry them to a storage facility in the US , it does not bode well for the Max's future , in my humble opinion . The longer the storage no matter the location , only adds to the amount of Maintenance each Unit will need . Also the more i think about the problems that develop as storage continues , causes me to question just how Honest SouthWest up and flying estimates are . Were not talking about my car here . But Mark i appreciate your comments , between plane crazy people ........DGR
Passengers primarily care about cost and most don’t know or care which type of airplane they are boarding. The Max will fly again and this grounding, like many others will be forgotten into aviation history.
john kilcher 7
There's an old saying, "Don't count your chickens until they're hatched". Foreign oversight folks other than the FAA will have their say as well.
DGR Rathborne 1
Hello James Green . Thanks for your two cents worth . Maybe you understand my point of view . Have a good morning .........DGR
James Green 1
That's an intriguing concept because it runs true with cars as well. Just throwing in my two cents!
DGR Rathborne 0
I have been crunching some #s' from the article . Lets talk Air Canada and its' 24 Max's and how long it will take to get them back in the air ,using the 120 hrs per plane estimate in the article . One plane given intensive repair and work-up by a yet to be determined # of staff , working 24 hrs per day will take 9 days per Max , with-out even dealing with any Mods required to the MCAS system .A.C has 24 Max's x 9 days each = 216 days = 7.2 months to get them just ready to test fly and certify ready for passengers and crew by Air Canada's high standards . When i also see that actual Hanger space is limited , as i should imagine are the # of employees that can be re-asigned to the Max's , the 7 month timeline seems un-likely . Also would it be cheaper or even a break even point just to Dump the 24 Max's for new aircraft ? Highly skilled manpower and overtime is not cheap , is it ?.....This is just very basic stuff i have mentioned , but it does show just how long and costly it will be . These are very serious concerns that the Bean counters must be pouring over , and will any one really trust a refurbished Max ? That is what it will essentially be ....Penny for your thoughts ? DGR.

mark robinson 5
DGR Rathbone.… I have to challenge you on the basis of your calculations; 120 hours per aircraft doesn't mean 120 hours from start to finish, but 120 total man hours which will obviously take less than 9 days if a team of engineers work concurrently, which is what realistically happens. Also, there is no way that only one aircraft would be worked on at a time, so saying the whole task would take 7 months is ridiculous! There is virtually nothing that an airline hates more than an AOG situation, so they would be throwing all possible resources at the task, even if it mean that other non-essential routine maintenance took a back seat, just to get the aircraft back in the air and earning revenue as soon as possible.
If Southwest reckon on 30 to 60 days total for their 34 strong fleet, why on earth would you, presumably without the same knowledge as the airline's experts, think AC would need 7 months for 24 aircraft???
Max Lang 3
If the MAX were dumped, where would Air Canada get these new aircraft? The order backlog for A320 neo’s is several years!

Regardless, Boeing will like pat the bill to get these jets back in the air.
Alan Dahl 2
Alaska Airlines was 30 neos on order and several more in their fleet they might give up if Boeing offered them a sweetheart deal on new 737s.
lecompte2 2
Don't forget Air Canada has essentialy sold it's maintenance department and subcontracts most of it's heavy maintenance.
SootBox -1
Do like the military does, spray them with cosmoline and let them sit, they'll be fine.
or just park them in the desert.
All aircraft have short, medium and long term storage requirements spelt out in the m.m. for the a/c type. For any aircraft to transition from service storage and back to service these requirements must be met. I believe the Max8 article is a piece of sensationalist journalism.
sharon bias 3
The Max8 does have all the storage requirements spelled out, but prior to its grounding, how many of the planes had actually been stored? I'm sure they used the requirements from other 737 as models, but the Max8 has proven it has some unique quirks. Storage will probably have some quirks too. That's the unknown and Boeing doesn't need more unknowns
Sharon, did you just ask how many of these new or nearly new $130 million jets were mothballed before the grounding?

If you start an office pool, I would like to buy the square that says zero.
if there will be an extended, or possible never go back into use scenario, certainly the airlines (at least the u.s. carriers) who have purchased them could park them in the desert where a lot of other old airplanes are..surely there are useable parts that have nothing to do with the computer system and the other issues involved,that could be "recycled",as most of htes airxcraft are not that old..
dee9bee 4
Not to worry, the MAX will be back in the air at some point. 'Google' Constellation, DC6, L188 Electra, DC10...
a a 8
also look what happened to the Comet ... flew again safely, but passengers just weren't happy flying it ... so the B707 took over !
lecompte2 -1
Hope not
dee9bee 2
I stand by my comment. a a, thanks for including the Comet, I forgot that one.


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