Should Boeing Rename the 737 MAX? If So, to What? Will That Even Help?

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A Southwest airlines 737 MAX 8 landing at Ronald Regan National Airport(DCA) Arlington, Virginia, USA November 8th, 2018 Plane-Boeing 737 Max 8 Registration-n8704q Airport- DCA Photo Credit- Domonic Evaninia

(Photo credit: Domonic Evaninia – ©iStock.com/EliWilson)

The first half of 2019 has been ugly — to put it mildly — for Boeing and its 737 MAX.

Two MAXes crashed (one in October, the other in March), both killing everyone on board. Software issues were blamed, despite warnings from pilots. Governments around the world ordered the planes grounded. Even ferry flights parking the planes were fraught with problems.

Grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft fleet of Southwest Airlines in storage at Victorville, CA. on May 4, 2019. (Photo credit: ©iStock.com/RobertMichaud)

Grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft fleet of Southwest Airlines in storage are seen at Victorville, CA, on May 4, 2019.
(Photo credit: ©iStock.com/RobertMichaud)

Initial reports suggested software fixes would be in place for June test flights. Then came news that the planes wouldn’t be ready until August.

And last week came another update: a “runaway stabilizer condition” (which sounds rather important) crept up. Don’t be surprised to see the MAX fly before April 2020.

In fact, there’s an extensive Wikipedia page devoted solely to the 737 MAX groundings.

Boeing’s stock has dropped 11% since March after airlines canceled orders.

Could shelving the 737 MAX and evolving it into a new airplane project all together be Boeing’s best option?

Introducing the All-New Not Boeing 737 MAX?

When (or if) the plane is cleared for takeoff and airlines resume those flights, I imagine the words “737 MAX” will strike fear in the heart of passengers who find themselves on those aircraft. (No need to worry, Delta flyers: the mothership does not fly the 737 MAX.) Even if it were independently deemed the safest aircraft on the planet, there would always be a lingering anxiousness amongst passengers.

USA Today writes that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg “has been on a worldwide tour to let airline officials know about the improvements being made to (the) aircraft.”

The 737 MAX will (hopefully) be a much safer aircraft than previously. In fact, I bet we hear someone — a Boeing rep, a pilot, etc — say, “It’s a whole new airplane!”

New Boeing 737 MAX 8, VQ-BGV, operated by S7 Airlines in Pulkovo International Airport, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. 11 November 2018. (Photo credit: ©iStock.com/AVZimovskoy)

(Photo credit: ©iStock.com/AVZimovskoy)

So would the aircraft giant be better off saying, Hey, we learned from the 737 MAX and built a better, safer, more advanced airplane. And we call it…”?

Or should they stick to the “737 MAX” moniker?

What Do You Think?

Keep the name “737 MAX” or rebrand the plane altogether? And if Boeing decides to cannibalize the MAX into a “new” plane, what should the aircraft be called?

Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below! — Chris

13 comments

  1. I don’t see how they can come back from this. Rename it and it will always be “formerly known as the 737MAX”. Don’t rename it and it is still the 737MAX. They need to stop production and pretend they are scrapping it — whether they really are or not. And when they do resume talk about how it is anything BUT the 737MAX. Including the name. My two cents.

  2. You won’t catch me boarding one. Boeing should start from scratch and take the financial hit otherwise Airbus will dominate the future of commercial aviation.

  3. I will not fly on the 737 MAX or any aircraft that has been renamed/rebranded. All the work, call it “cost”, that Boeing is doing now could have been done to make it right from Day 1 which would have been to create a new aircraft.

  4. People have short memories….do you remember the grounding of the DC10? People avoided that plane for no more than 6 months…..and that grounding affected a lot more passengers. I was at ORD working when that plane flipped over and landed on Touey? Ave.

    Will you rename this blog?

  5. How about special versions for each airline like Alaska could be “737 Eddie Bauer Edition” , United could be “737 NLC” for No Longer Continental or American could be “737 ED” for Extra Dense

  6. @Yankee Fan: No plans to rename the blog. René will contribute to the blog. And there’s too much of a hiss when you say “Chris’Points.” 😉

  7. they should covert them to freighters and start over again. This plane should never have been certified as early as it did. Imagine flying in a plane that $9 an hour offshore inexperienced programers worked on.

    I also agree this is not the plane people should be flying on.

    Idea maybe Boeing can get AB to “private label” airplanes for them?

  8. Chris looks like you do Voice Over work….have you ever seen the British Comedy Series, TOAST OF LONDON. Steven Toast played by Matt Berry of IT Crowd fame plays a down on his luck aging actor who does voice work to survive……Best episode is when he has to dub German porn into English. I peed my pants.

  9. Rene, the references pointed me to this article, which say the MAX flight computer uses an 80286 chip from 1982-vintage PC architectures. https://www.wingsoverquebec.com/?p=8649

    Wow, isn’t it disconcerting to be flying with 1982 processor technology in almost 2020? (Nobody sane should expect an ’82 PC chip to process today’s data loads.)

    I’d like to see a spreadsheet of the planes we fly on and this issue.

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