3 Boeing Blue737 Max 800

New Software Revisions for 737 MAX

April 10, 2020
Two software updates are being implemented to fix problems in the troubled aircraft's flight-control system, as Boeing continues to target a mid-year return to commercial service.

The Boeing Co. continues to target mid-2020 for returning its 737 MAX jet to commercial service, and recently confirmed it will make two updates to the aircraft's flight-control software to help meet that date. One of the software fixes will address the loss of control identified as the cause of two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. The other fix will resolve a problem that could deactivate the autopilot function during an aircraft's final approach on landing.

The 737 MAX is a twin-engine, narrow-body aircraft that Boeing introduced in 2017, but that has been idled worldwide since March 2019 following the crashes, which killed a total of 346 passengers and crew members. Both crashes were attributed to defective flight-control software that prevented pilots from controlling the planes' acceleration.

Boeing halted deliveries of new 737 MAX jets last March, and it stopped production in January 2020, in order to manage the backlog of undelivered aircraft. The entire fleet is also being prepared to be reprogrammed with the redeveloped flight-control software.

Neither of the two new software updates has been observed in flight, Reuters reported, and Boeing has not indicated when the updates will be complete.

The737 MAX continues to be reviewed and tested for recertification by the Federal Aviation Administration, which must approve the aircraft's return to commercial service. According to Reuters, FAA confirmed to Reuters it is in contact with Boeing as it revises the flight-control system.

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