Boeing has conducted the final test flight with the software fix for anti-stall system of its 737 MAX aircraft. The company's chief executive Dennis Muilenberg said in a statement that the official engineering flight test with the updated software was done, and the company was steadily moving towards securing certification for the narrow-body aircraft family from aviation authorities.
"Our talented test pilots have now completed 120 737 MAX flights totalling more than 203 hours of air time with the updated manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system, or MCAS software. We're making steady progress toward certification," Muilenberg said in a video posted on Twitter.
The Boeing CEO further stated that he firsthand experienced the software in action, "operating as designed". "More than 85 per cent of the 50-plus MAX operators around the globe also have had the opportunity to see the update in action during simulator sessions," Muilenberg said.
We’re making steady progress on the path to certification for our 737 MAX software update thanks to the work of our Boeing pilots, engineers and technical experts. pic.twitter.com/DIHrhG2OOi— Dennis A. Muilenburg (@BoeingCEO) April 18, 2019
The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were banned from skies by aviation authorities around the world last month after two of these planes, operated by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, crashed in October and March respectively, killing everybody on board. Glitches in the MCAS software were identified as the reason behind the crashes. In both cases, the planes nosedived shortly after takeoff, signalling a problem in a system that was meant to address an aerodynamic issue that caused the plane's nose to pitch up.
The Federal Aviaiton Administration said that a portion of the modifications proposed by Boeing were "operationally suitable", but it would not be hasty to grant certification, news agency AFP reported.
Earlier this month, Boeing had decided to cut the production rate of its 737 MAX jets. The company had revealed plans to produce only 42 Boeing 737 Max aircraft in a month, as opposed to the earlier 52 planes. The production cut was meant to help focus on solving the glitches in the flight-control software.
Boeing reportedly has been facing financial troubles since the 737 MAX planes were grounded. After the ban on its most popular jet, Boeing had suspended deliveries to consumers. This caused problems, considering the company gets majority of a plane's cost upon delivery.