Back to Squawk list
  • 37

Boeing Officially(ish) Rebrands The 737 MAX

Boeing has today announced an order for up to four Boeing 737 jets by Polish airline Enter Air. Yes, the airline is ordering Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, but that’s not how they’re being described. These planes are being described as Boeing 737-8 aircraft. This is clearly part of a very slow and subtle rebranding exercise for the troubled jet. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

dee9bee 13
I'm old enough to remember the Lockheed L188 Electra. It was renamed (sort of) as the Electra II once it's problem was corrected. History repeats itself...
And it was a good airplane after the fix. Unfortunately, renaming it did not reassure the flying public.
cypryfyx 2
I used to do airport advisory at an airport with a provincial forestry service base, and every year, they stationed an Aero Commander spotter and Electra air tanker there. They didn’t spend much time parked and in three years I don’t remember them ever going mechanical. What a machine that was!
Cid Silveira 3
And, I must say, the Electra II became a very safe airplane.
ImperialEagle 2
Yes, and many airlines were loath to retire them including Eastern, who was a launch customer, and kept theirs (flying passengers) until 1977.
Reeve carried cargo and passengers in Alaska until March of 1999.
Varig carried passengers in Brazil until January of 1999 .

Pretty impressive.

The excuse for retirement was "propeller and engine maintenance has become too expensive and parts are in short supply".
What about all those many hundreds of C-130's and P-3"s?
What was the a/c problem?
I flew L188 out of Boston in 1966 as FO and FE.
The initial training full stall and then full power blowing the stall off the wing was impressive.
Peter Fuller 2
In 1960 two crashes of L188 Electras were determined to have been caused by structural failure, in which engine mount vibrations in the outer nacelles (#1 and #4) caused resonant flutter in the outer wing panels broke the wings. Lockheed modified the whole fleet to eliminate the flaw, but the plane’s reputation was ruined and new orders dried up as a result.
ImperialEagle 1
New orders dried up because, by then, the airlines had learned their mistake. By 1960 it was already clear that the flying public did not want to see propellers---period!

Once the 707 and DC-8 made jet travel accessible to the masses it was all over.
Wow! Including 707 in the conversation brings good memories. 54 years ago. So long on the a/c qualified on all 3 seats.
ImperialEagle 2
Lockheed seemed to have issues with flutter, back in the day. They always were pushing the envelope on speed. Speed, was their selling-point.
So the L-18, and P-38 suffered flutter issues.
Then a tiny mathematics error led to a situation where the engine nacelle and wing could reach the same frequency.
Which caused a chain reaction. A weakened nacelle could not contain Propeller Auto-Procession resulting in the Dynamic Coupling of the wing and subsequent failure.

To their credit, Lockheed set up a modification program and all the aircraft that had been built were sent through the modification factory at great expense to Lockheed.
In spite of all the nasty litigation that followed the BN and NW crashes, at least the aviation industry knew that Lockheed had immense integrity.
Lance Neward 2
Question: Isn't it precession? As in the propeller "disk" began to precess, like a toy gyroscope precessing as it slows down?
Lance Neward 2
Further, as it happens, I understand the frequency of the precession was a harmonic of the wing's natural frequency and therefore amplified the forces until structural failure. I've got about 1,500 hours in the P-3A and B, and so had a keen interest in what happened.

I always found it to be a great airplane, with exception of its pitch stability due to the Navy's reduction in fuselage length (we had noticable problems with airsickness, since the operating crew sat sideways) and its stiff landing gear, which made it a challenge to land smoothly.
dee9bee 1
I'd have to go back and read up. Late author Bob Serling wrote an an entire book about it, "The Electra Story" and devoted a whole chapter in another book, "Loud and Clear".
ImperialEagle 1
Correction: On the previous reply the third sentence should begin with "On the L-188 a tiny mathematics error"-----
Thanks for the information.
mbrews 9
- Not a surprise they're dropping MAX designation in this order announcement. Unforch, the words "737 MAX " are painted on the livery of many completed MAXes. The revisionist history begins now.

An open question : For the previously built planes, what's the model description on the official title and financial / leasing documents ?? I don't know the answer, but would be curious to find out.
Silent Bob 5
On my company’s OpSpecs its 737-8, so my guess is the same for official documents.

I highly doubt going forward any airline will keep the “Max” designation in terms of public branding. Since they’re not flying right now anyway it’s a good time to remove any Max logos. It’s already gone from our safety cards which were the same for the -800 and Max.
So are they still going to keep the same aircraft type, as far as flight plans go? They can't use B738 because of the -800s, which is why they went with B38M for the MAX8.

Also, subsequently, the MAX9 is also going to be affected. They can't use B739 because of confusion with the -900s. B39M was used for the MAX9. So any idea on what they'll use for filing flightplans?
David Hale 2
The people that are using B38M to file flight plans probably don’t care what it’s called.
It may when the media looks at an incident, and someone savvy in the media looks at the flight plan to see what aircraft type was used between departure and destination, sees the aircraft type, and links it back to the MAX. then the renaming convention becomes controversy again.

my point here is that if they're going to rename it, then they need to give it a new type altogether and get rid of the stigma on the MAX everywhere it is mentioned or referenced.
I would very happily fly on the 737 MAX. With all the testing and everything else they have done with these aircraft you can bet there will be absolute safety in abundance!!
wiregold 2
The centroid of the MAX jet is just wrong. It reminds me of when I saw the first Ford Explorer. I thought it was a roll-over waiting to happen with its narrow wheel base and large body.
Even with the most flattering perspective of a MAX in flight, it just looks like a stall waiting to happen.
On the runway the MAX looks almost comical.
Of course! The government may be very incompetent, but the one thing they're good at is guaranteeing your safety and security!
Tom Bruce 1
I'll wait until you return Julius
Mark Kortum -5
Before you fly on one make sure to get the Russian Coronavirus vaccine.
J B 5
Might try "Boeing 737-FLY"
jbermo 8
All forgotten in time - as many pax flying today cannot tell the difference between a Boeing and an Airbus.
Gary Bain 3
Nor do they care.
Atanu Dey 2
jbermo, you are absolutely right. I get shocked quite often at how little people know or care about the plane they are on.
zacky53 10
Just because some people didn't have the competence or the proper training to fly it, doesn't mean the MAX is an unsafe airplane, specially after all the fuss and scrutiny it went thru. I'd fly it anytime. Usually media ignorance and sensationalism is responsible for misleading the public regarding flight safety.
I also agree. Boeing a/c are all over my logbook except for 737. Watching the slow progress to automation flying concerned me as well. As I recall reaching over to stab trim cutout switches gave time to evaluate and manually trim stab.
layman85 6
Boeing didn’t disclose anything to pilots about the MCAS. Pilots shouldn’t have the wool pulled over their eyes by a manufacturer. It really doesn’t matter what passports they carried- they and their passengers would probably still be here if they’d have had an opportunity to understand the system.
False. System Differences Manual, January 2017, Page 748.

And by the way, by the time the second plane crashed six months later, EVERYONE knew what MCAS was.
William Monti 5
So how come US branded 737MAX’s did not crash ? Competent pilots I suspect.
You seem to forget that there was a -MAX issue with SWA at KMCO. They were damned lucky that they didn't crash. Nothing to do with the pilots at that point, as it was entirely the aircraft that had the problem.
Edward Bardes 2
If those pilots were able to recover, then what kept the accident pilots from doing the same?
weight of the aircraft could have played a factor. SWA8701 was effectively an empty aircraft, only carrying fuel so it could make it to KVCV. LIO610 and ETH610 were revenue flights, with the extra weight of luggage, etc., that could have played into altering the center of gravity which was already off because of the design of the B38M. That cascades down to altering the Angle of Attack, which cascades down to how MCAS responded to it.

Additionally, it was definitely an engine-related issue with SWA8701, whereas it was MCAS on LIO610 and ETH610.
Edward Bardes 1
Longer variants of the 737 MAX have been reported as more stable than shorter variants; if weight and balance made a difference, then the longer variants should be less stable than the shorter variants.
Both the B38M and B39M had the same CoG issues. The B10M (-MAX10) has a longer fuselage, which did not have to account for the CoG being off, like the B38M and B39M.
Southwest lost an engine, which had absolutely nothing to do with MCAS. They were completely separate and unrelated problems, and suggesting otherwise is less than honest.
I agree. However, it is just as less as honest to blame pilots from other countries as being the problem to LIO610 and ETH610; like SWA8701, the aircraft had a problem, not the pilots, and that is regardless of what the actual problem was. Both involved the B38M, which is the crux of the matter.
Robert Nelson 0
High altitude and or hot airports....both crashes fit this situation. Boeing used this argument when complaining about the Bombardier C Series. Or maybe they told the american companies about MCAS....who knows...
We were lucky!
William Monti 0
Luck is not an attribute assigned to seasoned, well trained, skilled pilots.
Rich Boddy -2
This is peak autism at its finest.
Edward Bardes 0
The negative aspects of it, anyway.
Adi Rabadi 2
Just a tiny problem - took a year of design and test to fix. Good logic. Grounded entire fleet worldwide. I would hope conspiracy theories would not infiltrate 'intelligent' pilot communities - but it has.

There was a huge safety issue with the MAX. Stop sugar coating it.
William Monti 2
zacky53 my sentiments exactly. That is why no American flagged MAX never crashed. Good pilots that were well trained and very inquisitive.
You almost failed here. and you're lucky that the aircraft had just left KMCO. But look up SWA8701.
Edward Bardes 1
The fact that the pilots were able to prevent a crash proves that the plane isn't completely unflyable.
Adi Rabadi 3
The idea that the plane should want to crash itself but the pilots have to work to save it from doing so. What logic are you applying to your comment?
Edward Bardes 1
preventing a crash and dealing with the MCAS/Center of Gravity/Angle of Attack issues are not necessarily mutually inclusive. SWA8701 was an engine related issue, which they were lucky to have just taken off from KMCO and were able to return before the issue got worse.

Additionally, SWA8701 was a ferry flight from MCO to KVCV so the aircraft could be stored, not a revenue-generating flight. Because of that, all that were onboard were the Captain, FO, and fuel to make the flight. Now, imagine if any additional luggage, pax, etc playing a part in the weights that could alter that CG that contributes to a higher AoA.. something that MCAS was supposed to prevent, but didn't with LIO610 and ETH610.
KatzyBaby 1
What percentage equals "completely"? 99%, 80%, 20%. I believe passengers prefer 100% flyable.
Edward Bardes 0
Nothing is 100% flyable.
Gary Bain 1
I agree Zacky53.
wiregold 1
A single point failure brought a plane down. That is unconscionable and on Boeing. They designed it and crammed it down the FAA's wide-open throat.
cypryfyx 4
Nice try Boeing, but you’ve got a lot of work to get as good at post-disaster rebranding as Morton-Thiokol-ATK-Orbital or whatever they’re named this week.
ADXbear 7
Putting lipstick on a pig does not change the pig to something else..

Putting scalloped engines and sharklets on the wings are easy ways to tell.. lower my forward engine mounting etc..

I resent an attempt to dum down the public.. I still say.. have all the major pilot unions come out very publically endorsing the airplane and willingness to fly them..

That will make the public feel better..
I still say, find any airplane that has ever been "endorsed" by a pilots union.

That's not what they do.
And after 6 years of P-3 experience and 2 years of Electra II experiences with Universal Airlines I always thought it was named the “II” because Amelia flew the original (twin engine) Electra.?
It was an outstanding airplane, after the fix.
No, it's not rebranding. This is how the plane is designated in the factory during manufacturing. Each dash number... -7, -8, -9, -10 are the variations, and they need to know that when they build the airplane, because most parts are a little different for each model, with different part numbers. This is not to say that someday they won't call it something different for the public, like the 737 Superdooper.
a1brainiac 3
You can put lipstick on a's still a pig
You know there is a joke here
So in the past, when I've been on a 737-8 according to the thing in the "map" pocket, I was actually on a MAX? Is that correct?
Ben Kennedy 2
Look at the logo on the plane that is pictured! "737-7." Now THAT'S rebranding.
John Gerty 1
How about MAXII? As opposed to MAX eeeee!
Rob Palmer 1
Electra was a great, reliable plane, except attracted insects to it's intakes causing engine to stall. FAA determined sound of turbines was just right to attract them. Fix? ?
'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet'
Sue Lockwood 1
Too little too late for everyone involved.
Imagine how many new orders they could get if they took advantage of the lull in air travel by deciding they actually wanted to compete with Airbus and building a new clean-sheet design. They could smoke the A320NEO if they wanted to, but that might involve spending money and paying their rank-and-file. Why do that when you can pay lawyers and lobbyists instead.

In 20-30 years hence, Airbus would be in the same place Boeing was 10 years ago with the predicament of having that huge question mark about what to do with their aging design.

Nah, far easier to stand on the street corner with your hand out.
From a bunch of the nasty comments I see here, I take it that many don't believe that it's been fixed. Do you guys really believe that after all this fuss and billions of $$$ spent/lost, they'd still put out a pig that won't fly?????
Doug Parker 1
The emperor's new clothes.

À la Prince, "The aircraft formerly known as 'The 737 MAX.'"
Gerard Kelly 0
The 737 Max design is fundamentally unstable due to the positioning of the more powerful engines further forward. The inherent instability is compensated for by computer-controlled trim adjustments which make the aircraft less aerodynamically efficient than it could be ,with proper airframe re-design. The fact that the M-CAS compensation effects were kept from pilots in training caused a dangerous blind spot in their efforts to control out-of-trim conditions when they arose. I don't like airplanes whose basic design is bad.
Not sure what your qualifications are to make the claims you do, but I assume you would have some level of authority. My qualifications are 737-800 Captain and I flew the Max several times. The airplane flew better than the regular -800, yet I was not aware of MCAS. So there might be other differences that I was not aware of also. I had no reservations flying the aircraft, but I know my training and experience far exceeded those that were not able to recover. Who could blame Boeing for trying to rebrand the aircraft. I expect it will be the safest aircraft to fly with all the scrutiny it faces, and I'll fly as a passenger on any US carrier that brings it back.
He's regurgitating nonsense from an article posted online shortly after the second crash called "How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer"

Spoiler alert: How it looks is a lot different than it really is, apparently.
D Rotten 0
That's par for the course with EVERYTHING that's BAD for you.......just give it a NEW NAME!!
Edward Bardes 0
A pig goes down in one shot. A pig wearing a hat goes down in two.
patrick baker -5
i think they ought to put a decal of a rodeo cowboy on a horse right by the cockpit windows, and call the aircraft what it truly is : boeing bucking bronco. Put every ones mind at ease a bit......
a p -5
No matter how much money the Boeing guys spend on rebranding, it will always be the Boeing 737-Coffin.
ImperialEagle 0
Oh yeah. It was inevitable. Not, that the public would know the difference,but, the mainstream media would never let it rest. As it is, at this point the general public at large is still not flying anyway.

AND, there is little to compare the 737's issues with the L-188.
At the time many in the industry only referred to the L-188 as a "prop-jet". The name "Electra" was taken off of the side of the aircraft or name changed to "Electra II" or "Super Electra". I always thought the "Super Electra" moniker ironic since the ORIGINAL "Super Electra" L-18, suffered from flutter issues as well. Lockheed must have cringed at the idea.
ron baird -2
Boeing, a once proud Unit4d States company, sucks up to the president.
What ever happened to American pride?
William Monti -6
Boeing is being unnecessarily harmed by the FAA to placate the EU.
737-13 or maybe 737-666. At least for the foreign airlines that don't seem to know how to fly it.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Greg S 11
At this point I can't tell if you're a genuine moron or a troll. I would guess you're a genuine moron.
Silent Bob 8
I would guess he ingested too much corn sugar.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Kevin Keswick 14
Actually it is not. The MD11's first flight was 9 years after AAL191. The name change reflects the fact that the MD11 was developed by the merged McDonnell-Douglas corporation. The DC-10 program was conceived and developed by Douglas Aircraft, hence "DC" designation" although it first flew in 1970 after the merger.
Tom Bruce 5
totally different airplane... looked the same... but, except for appearance totally changed
Mike Boote 9
Uh, no - the MD11 came many years later and it was a different aircraft altogether, though it looked somewhat similar.
Peter Fuller 4
Deep-sixing the MAX moniker is more reminiscent of what American Airlines did to its DC10s. AA originally put decals on their DC10s, just below the forward doors, in full view of passengers waiting in the gate area, reading “DC10 Luxury Liner”. After the DC10s troubles, these were changed to read “American Airlines Luxury Liner”. You can find images of both in FlightAware’s DC10 photo gallery.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.