Sweeping Failures and Insufficient Oversight Led to Boeing 737 Max Crashes, Scathing House Report Finds

Sweeping failures by Boeing engineers, deception by the company and significant errors in government oversight led to the two fatal crashes of the 737 Max, congressional investigators have concluded.

A 245-page report issued Wednesday provides the most scathing account so far of the miscalculations that led to 346 deaths, the grounding of Boeing’s best-selling jet and billions of dollars in losses for the manufacturing giant.

“The Max crashes were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake or mismanaged event,” the report by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said. “They were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management and grossly insufficient oversight by the” Federal Aviation Administration.

The report — the result of five investigative hearings, a review of about 600,000 pages of documents, interviews with top Boeing and FAA officials and information provided by whistle-blowers — makes the case for broad changes in the FAA’s oversight of the aircraft industry.

It offers a more searing version of events than the sometimes technical language in previous crash reports and investigations, including one conducted by the Transportation Department’s Inspector General.

The conclusions were drawn by the majority staff under committee Chairman Peter DeFazio. The report cites five main reasons for the crashes:

  • Pressures to update the 737’s design swiftly and inexpensively
  • Faulty assumptions about the design and performance of pilots
  • What the report called a “culture of concealment” by Boeing
  • Inherent conflicts of interest in the system that deputizes Boeing employees to act on behalf of the government
  • The company’s sway over top FAA managers

DeFazio said he found it “mind boggling” that Boeing and FAA officials concluded, according to the report, that the plane’s design had complied with regulations in spite of the crashes.

“The problem is it was complaint and not safe — and people died,” he said. “Obviously, the system is inadequate.”

Lawmakers are drafting legislation designed to reform how the FAA oversees companies such as Boeing and reviews aircraft designs. The Senate Commerce Committee plans to vote on a bipartisan bill on Wednesday. DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, hasn’t yet unveiled his legislation.

Republican leaders on the House committee took issue with the report’s findings, saying they represented partisan overreach that went beyond what other reviews have found.

“Expert recommendations have already led to changes and reforms, with more to come,” said a joint statement from Sam Graves of Missouri and Garret Graves of Louisiana. “These recommendations — not a partisan investigative report — should serve as the basis for Congressional action.”

Boeing said in a statement it had cooperated with the committee’s investigation and had taken steps at the company to improve safety.

“We have learned many hard lessons as a company from the accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Flight 302, and from the mistakes we have made,” the company said. “Change is always hard and requires daily commitment, but we as a company are dedicated to doing the work.”

The FAA said in a statement late Tuesday night that it was committed to working with the committee to make improvements. “We are already undertaking important initiatives based on what we have learned from our own internal reviews as well as independent reviews of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents,” the agency said in the statement.

But tensions between the committee staff and the FAA were clearly evident. Ali Bahrami, who oversees safety at the agency, came under repeated criticism in the report for what the committee called his lack of awareness of issues surrounding the Max and the accidents. The committee staffers declined to provide him with questions before the Dec. 5 interview, which made it difficult for him to recall documents and events, an FAA counsel warned at the start of the interview, according to a transcript.

While DeFazio and other lawmakers haven’t called for a permanent grounding of the jet, the father of a woman who died in the Ethiopia crash said the report raised questions about the plane’s return to service.

“The FAA should immediately halt the recertification process for the 737 Max in light of this report,” said Michael Stumo, father of Samya Stumo. He accused Boeing and the FAA of withholding information from the families of victims in an emailed statement.

The 737 Max was grounded March 13, 2019, three days after the second crash involving a safety feature on the plane that malfunctioned and repeatedly sent the planes into a dive toward the ground.

Boeing and regulators had approved the design under the assumption that flight crews could recognize and override a malfunction of the system within a few seconds. Even though the system could have been disabled by flipping two cockpit switches, pilots on a Lion Air flight departing from Jakarta on Oct. 29, 2018, and an Ethiopian Airlines plane leaving Addis Ababa on March 10, 2019, became confused, lost control and crashed.

The feature, known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, was designed to make the Max feel exactly the same to pilots as the earlier family of 737s known as the Next Generation. However, the system was triggered erroneously by a single sensor that failed in both crashes and it continued to push the nose down repeatedly.

The FAA has tentatively approved multiple design changes to prevent such an accident in the future and the plane could be certified to resume operations in the fall.

The House report identifies numerous instances in which it alleges the company should have known that MCAS was potentially dangerous.

For example, a Boeing test pilot during the early development of the plane in 2012 took more than 10 seconds to respond to an erroneous MCAS activation, a condition the pilot concluded could be “catastrophic,” the report said.

“The reaction time was long,” one Boeing employee told another in an email on Nov. 1, 2012, which was viewed by Bloomberg. The unidentified employee asked whether the rating of the system’s risks should be raised, which may have prompted a more thorough safety review.

Those concerns “were not properly addressed” and the company “did not inform the FAA,” the report said.

Boeing ultimately concluded that flight crews would react far swifter to an MCAS failure, typically within four seconds.

The report also said the responses by Boeing and the FAA to the first accident — warnings to pilots issued in early November 2018 — weren’t adequate to prevent a second crash.

“Both Boeing and the FAA gambled with the public’s safety in the aftermath of the Lion Air crash, resulting in the death of 157 more individuals on Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, less than five months later,” the report said.

The guidance on how to avoid an accident during an MCAS failure detailed the symptoms pilots would see and reminded crews how to shut it off. The committee criticized Boeing and the FAA for not mentioning the system’s name.

FAA officials have said they debated whether to include MCAS in the directive, but opted not to because it wasn’t mentioned in pilot flight manuals. Boeing within days sent additional guidance to airlines on MCAS and how it worked. Details on MCAS were also widely reported in the news media and internal airline documents obtained by Bloomberg show that it had been explained to Ethiopian Airlines pilots before their crash.

‘Undue Pressure’

A key finding involves a long-standing practice — which was expanded by Congress several times — to deputize Boeing employees to act in behalf of FAA while reviewing aircraft designs.

According to a 2016 survey obtained by the committee, 39% of Boeing’s Authorized Representatives, senior engineers who conducted reviews for FAA, at times perceived “undue pressure” on them from management.

One such senior engineer knew that Boeing was delivering Maxes to customers without a required alert in 2017 and 2018, yet didn’t notify FAA, the report said. The lack of such an alert was cited by Indonesian investigators as a factor in the Lion Air crash.

Both House and Senate legislation is expected to seek reforms of the so-called delegation system, which the report said is riddled with “inherent conflicts of interest.”

Boeing opted almost a decade ago to update the 737 to compete against a similar redesign of the Airbus SE A320 family. It faced intense pressure to ensure that — just as Airbus promised — pilots transferring from earlier 737 models didn’t need expensive additional simulator training.

Simulator Training

The company had agreed to pay Southwest Airlines Co. $1 million per aircraft if Max pilots had to train in the simulator before transitioning to the new plane, which could have cost it between $200 million to $400 million.

The push to avoid simulator training led to multiple poor decisions by Boeing, the committee alleged. The manufacturer rejected adding a sophisticated safety system that might have helped in the accidents at least in part because it would have required additional training.

The company also deemphasized MCAS to the FAA as a result. In a 2013 company document, Boeing said it would describe MCAS to the FAA as an add-on to an existing system. “If we emphasize MCAS is a new function there may be a greater certification and training impact,” the memo said.

The broad failure to fully explain MCAS was a critical issue because the system was made more powerful midway through its development, but many within the FAA didn’t know and the agency delegated the final safety approvals to the company, the report found.

“The combination of these problems doomed the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights,” the report said.

By Alan Levin / Bloomberg

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Speaking out for the first time, Ed Pierson tells NBC News that he tried to sound the alarm over the conditions at the Boeing plant in Reston, where he says a push to increase production of the 737 Max planes created a factory in chaos. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse and engaging news stories. NBC News Digital features NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, TODAY.com, Nightly News, Meet the Press, Dateline, and the existing apps and digital extensions of these respective properties. We deliver the best in breaking news, live video coverage, original journalism and segments from your favorite NBC News Shows. Connect with NBC News Online! NBC News App: https://smart.link/5d0cd9df61b80 Breaking News Alerts: https://link.nbcnews.com/join/5cj/bre… Visit NBCNews.Com: http://nbcnews.to/ReadNBC Find NBC News on Facebook: http://nbcnews.to/LikeNBC Follow NBC News on Twitter: http://nbcnews.to/FollowNBC Follow NBC News on Instagram: http://nbcnews.to/InstaNBC Boeing Manager Says He Warned Company Of Problems Months Before 737 Max Crashes | NBC Nightly News

Making The Modern Airplane

Ask a group of airline executives about what keeps them up at night and most will likely say out-of-control fuel costs. According to the International Air Transport Association, the fuel bill for all airlines topped $180 billion in 2018 – up 20.5 percent from the year prior – accounting for about 23.5 percent of the industry’s operating expenses. It’s no wonder then that many airplane makers are working on creating more fuel-efficient planes, says Christina Baker, global materials technology manager in PPG’s aerospace business.

Baker, a chemist who ran her own materials company for four years, is responsible for developing innovative materials used in aerospace window transparencies. Many of the recent technological innovations in the airline industry have been focused on fuel reduction and on creating planes that can fly longer and faster. “Those have been the big trends for the last five years,” she says. “Airlines also want to create better flying experiences.”

Keeping light out

PPG’s aerospace business is engineering several innovative products. For instance, the company developed window transparencies with PPG SOLARON BLUE PROTECTION™ UV+ blocking technology that stops over 99 percent of ultraviolet light (UV) and over 50 percent of high-energy visible (HEV) blue light from getting through. Blocking this light is important, as UV and HEV blue light exposure at cruising altitudes of 35,000 feet can be three times higher than exposure at sea level. Additionally, blocking this light can reduce maintenance costs as blocking UV light can reduce interior degradation and color fadeout.

The company also produces electrically dimmable cabin windows, which allows passengers to darken a window with a press of a button, rather than having to pull down a shade. These kinds of innovations are commonplace at PPG. “We’re always looking at how we push out where the current line is,” Baker says. “How do we jump ahead of the obvious next steps to get a breakthrough for our customers?”

Testing and more testing

Developing new products for the airline industry takes a lot of work, Baker says, in part because the sector is cautious when it comes to introducing new parts or materials. When working on innovations, PPG’s scientists follow a gatekeeper process while developing and testing different materials. The company’s design and engineering teams work closely with the scientists to ensure that new additions fit with existing airline parts and specifications.

With PPG Solaron Blue Protection™ UV+ blocking technology, Baker knew manufacturers were worried about UV rays getting through airplane windows, but no one had been talking about protecting passengers from HEV light. Once they identified that issue, PPG’s team of scientists went to work. “We’re dealing with the hottest temperatures on the ground and the coldest temperatures in the atmosphere,” Baker says. “Materials need to perform across these ranges and provide durability through the aircraft pressurization while maintaining perfect optics.”

PPG also has large facilities where parts can be tested at flying-like speeds to make sure a window doesn’t fracture – that’s a key part of the process, Baker says.

Over the next few years, the airline industry will continue to evolve, perhaps in more significant ways than it has in the past. Consumer spaceflight could become a reality, while faster and more sophisticated planes will likely come to market.

PPG is already developing materials to deploy in these more modern craft. “Some of the traditional materials won’t be the ones to provide a full solution,” she says. “For us, every new design is an exciting challenge.”

By: PPGView

Source: Making The Modern Airplane

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The Airbus plant in Hamburg-Finkenwerder is one of the world’s largest locations for modern aircraft construction. 365 days a year around 16,000 workers and engineers produce here in cooperation with other locations in Europe. The backbone of Airbus logistics: the giant cargo-plane Beluga. Around 2,500 wings, cockpits and hulls were transported by Airbus Belugas every year between the eleven factories in Europe. This report gives an insight into the complex workflows in modern aircraft production. Subscribe our full documentary channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBAe… #Aircraft #Airbus #Documentary

Flight 232 A Story of Disaster and Survival

Source: Book review: ‘Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival,’ by Laurence Gonzalez – The Washington Post

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The crazy tragic story of Flight 232 was all over the news 1989, about an airplane with engine failure that had to attempt a crash landing. Could this event have been prevented, and what tiny error in the equipment led to such a catastrophic accident? Watch today’s new video to find out more abut the horrific tragedy that was Flight 232. Check out my new channel I Am: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH5Y… 🔔 SUBSCRIBE TO THE INFOGRAPHICS SHOW ► https://www.youtube.com/c/theinfograp… 🔖 MY SOCIAL PAGES DISCORD ►https://discord.gg/theinfographicsshow Facebook ► https://www.facebook.com/TheInfograph… Twitter ► https://twitter.com/TheInfoShow 💭 SUGGEST A TOPIC https://www.theinfographicsshow.com 📝 SOURCES: https://pastebin.com/YfCvynWr All videos are based on publicly available information unless otherwise noted.

Sad: Air France Quietly Retires First A380

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It’s another sad milestone for the Airbus A380, which hardly comes as a surprise, though…

Air France Retires First A380

Yesterday morning Air France quietly retired their very first Airbus A380, as they flew the plane from Paris to Malta, just shortly after it landed from Johannesburg. This plane had the registration code F-HPJB.

This makes Air France only the second airline in the world to retire the A380, after Singapore Airlines. So far a Singapore Airlines A380 has been scrapped, while another was taken over by Portuguese leasing company Hi-Fly (though seemingly not with much success).

The first Air France A380 to be retired was leased from Dr. Peters Group (the same company that leased Singapore Airlines their A380s), so the plane will now be stripped of the Air France livery, and then we’ll see what happens to it after that.

Air France’s A380 Retirement Plans

Unfortunately A380 production is ending in 2021, as over time we’ve learned that Emirates is the only airline delighted with the plane (and they claim other airlines just don’t use the plane correctly).

Over the summer Air France made the decision to retire all of their Airbus A380s by 2022. The airline has 10 of these planes in their fleet. This will make Air France the first airline in the world to retire their entire fleet of A380s.

Previously the airline had planned on phasing out some of their A380s in the next few years, but also keeping some after a refresh. They ultimately decided against this plan.

Why Did Air France Decide To Retire A380s?

What ultimately caused Air France to retire their A380s? Air France management explained that the current competitive environment limits the markets where A380s can be profitably flown, especially when you have smaller and more fuel efficient planes.

Beyond that, though:

  • Air France’s A380s have woefully outdated hard products, and refreshing the interiors of the A380s would cost somewhere around 45 million EUR per frame
  • Air France’s A380s have horrible dispatch reliability, meaning that flights with the A380s are often significantly delayed, or even canceled

Bottom Line

Air France will be retiring all 10 of their A380s in the next three years, with the first one having already been retired. It’s a sad development for what was once thought  to be the future of aviation. At the same time, given how Air France configured these planes, I can’t say it’s much of a loss.

About Ben (Lucky)
Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to enhance his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile at a Time.

Source: https://onemileatatime.com/air-france-retires-a380/

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The first Airbus A380 with Air France has been retired. In today’s video, I take a look at the reasoning as to why and what the future holds for these Airbus A380s potentially! Social Media Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djsaviation/ Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrdanielfow… Twitter: https://twitter.com/DjsAviation Support the Channel Merchandise: https://teespring.com/stores/djs-avia… Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/djsaviation Check out my Flight History! Flight History: https://my.flightradar24.com/DjsAviation Business Opportunities / Enquiries Email: contactdjsaviation@gmail.com Thanks to my Business Class and First Class Patrons Garrick Kwan, Big T, Anonymous, JurgenBelgium, Anonymous, Pattmat2, Julz, Anonymous, Robert Goldwein, Ian, CGE694, David S, Anonymous, Adrian, Joshua Moazami, JP, Jam, BKB, 747forever, SALMAN, Daniel Schmith, SB, James H, Stephie, Anonymous, Mike Chau, T-Pro, Pilotnick, Ryan, Martijnfgh, 747 king, A M Industrial (London), Somin, Necky16, Kristján Submit Video Ideas: http://bit.ly/DjsAviationIdeas Sources / Information / Images / More https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… Licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0 • Airbus Broadcasting Room • https://www.flightglobal.com/news/art… • Anna Zvereva – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi… Outro Track: Krys Talk – Fly Away [NCS Release] Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds. Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfDfb… Free Download / Stream http://ncs.io/flyaway Intro & Outro Creator: https://www.instagram.com/swawif/ Remembering 99carnot “Soaring to New Heights” – © Dj’s Aviation 2019

The 17 Most Dangerous Airports In The World And Why You Must Experience Them – Jim Dobson

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I found myself gripping the armrest as my plane attempted a landing in Africa on a remote sandy airstrip, the landing was called off and we needed to circle around several times in order to scare off several resilient giraffes that were occupying the runway. Almost a month later I made a dramatic landing in Bhutan that was like a scene out of Star Wars where my commercial airliner had to bank dramatically to fit in between the narrow, remote mountain terrain………..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2018/11/08/the-17-most-dangerous-airports-in-the-world-and-why-you-must-experience-them/#385fc5bd2a8f

 

 

 

 

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Turbulent Touchdowns – Selected (Attempted) Landings At BHX – flugsnug

Selected (attempted) landings at BHX this winter on the more difficult days for the pilots. As usual, the problems mainly come not from the wind speed and direction but sudden changes in these. A couple of the shots are actually from 2014 but emphasize the bumpiness of the approach over the City at times.

The pilot of one of the landings here kindly made the following comment: “The thing that makes BHX stand out from most other windy airports is the fact that the gusty, turbulent winds seem to persist all the way down to the runway. In most airports, the air seems to be a bit calmer once you enter the ground effect during the flare, but not in BHX.

I’m not sure if this is caused by a lack of trees or some other specific terrain features in the area, but it makes the landings there quite a bit more interesting. These landings might look scary from the outside and trust me, it’s a lot more challenging and stressful than landing in CAVOK wind calm conditions, but it’s also the most fun you can have as a pilot.”

 

 

 

 

 

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What Happens If An Aircraft Climbs Too High – Mentour Pilot

What happens to an aircraft that climbs above its maximum altitude and how do pilots deal with a high and low-speed stall? Todays episode is PACKED with useful aviation information so make sure you watch the WHOLE episode to the end and ask your questions afterwards. I have also include undisputed proof that my dog is, in fact, alive but you will have to wait until the VERY end to see it. If you want to ask a question to me directly, download my FREE mobile application, Mentour aviation

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A huge thank you to the channels that were featured in todays episode. To watch the full videos, click the links below:

The Ultimate B737 Technical handbook (stall example) https://youtu.be/0e3z8z7Z6WI SciShow

(Why planes don’t fly higher) https://youtu.be/PkWQsGrRDts

Safran https://youtu.be/kz5kv0RfeUc

Dfan 315 (Shockwave) https://youtu.be/ugPJYJ-BKkU

Shashmeera de Fonseka https://youtu.be/WBXgZpjfTLg

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Airplane Things You Don’t Know The Purpose Of – BE AMAZED

Airplanes have had wings, controls and some kind of motor but planes have evolved significantly. The commercial airliner you fly in now has features that Orville and Wilbur wouldn’t have dreamed of. Here are 10 things you might not know about modern aircraft. Subscribe for more!

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For copyright queries or general inquiries please get in touch: beamazedvideos@gmail.com Credit: https://pastebin.com/V9KDxkG9 Be Amazed at… The mysterious triangle symbol over your seat –

When you board a modern jet aircraft, you’re probably looking for your seat number and for the nearest emergency exit. The flange sticking out of the wing – While you’re waiting to leave the gate, you’re probably staring out the window at the wings that are going to carry you off this Earth. The hum when you board the plane –

Have you noticed that there’s an omnipresent drone while you’re waiting for the last passenger to board the plane? Tomato juice – Do you find yourself ordering a tomato juice when you’re on a plane? Opening window shades for landings and take-offs – I bet you thought the window shades were installed on planes so you can sleep during long flights.

Winglets – Airplanes are always a tug-of-war between the thrust of the engines and aerodynamic drag. Sidestick – Back in the day of the first planes, pilots were known as “stick and rudder men”, steering the plane by the power of their arms and legs pushing on control cables. Bleed air system – While the Wright Brothers’ Flyer barely flew above the dunes at Kittyhawk, today jetliners fly higher than the tallest mountains.

The eye level indicator on cockpit window – Pilots come in all sizes – and just like your car, planes have adjustable seats for them. The hole in your window – Since cabin pressure is so important, you might not think a hole in your window is a good thing…..

 

 

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How Does Emirates Airline Buy So Many Planes – Navgeek Aviation

Hello Captains! In this video we’ll discuss how Emirates Airline is able to purchase large fleets of aircraft and how exactly they’re financed. Currently, Emirates has 105 Airbus A380’s in their fleet, and 57 more on on order. Their total A380 fleet equates over £100 billion – do they have that kind of money to pay for their planes? Join our Discord server @ https://discord.gg/qDYXWDC Subscribe & hit the notification bell for more content on the aviation world! 🙂

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Email: yaboinav@gmail.com CREDITS: Many thanks to my friend, Andy, for sharing his knowledge for this video Emirates YouTube Channel Airbus YouTube Channel Cool Vibes – Film Noire by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)

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“The Sky Is Our Home” Navgeek Aviation

 

 

 

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The History Of Boeing 747 ( Video Biography) – Largest Dams

The Boeing 747 is an American wide-body commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft, often referred to by its original nickname, “Jumbo Jet”. Its distinctive hump upper deck along the forward part of the aircraft has made it one of the most recognizable aircraft, and it was the first wide-body airplane produced. Manufactured by Boeing‘s Commercial Airplane unit in the United States, the 747 was originally envisioned to have 150 percent greater capacity than the Boeing 707, a common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years.

The four-engine 747 uses a double-deck configuration for part of its length and is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747’s hump-like upper deck to serve as a first–class lounge or extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing expected supersonic airliners—the development of which was announced in the early 1960s—to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete, while the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would remain robust well into the future…..

 

 

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