Over the weekend there have been a number of comments in various media about the first flight of the 777-9.
One reporter at the first flight said that there was little joy from Boeing staff, but a sense of palpable relief that it took off and landed at all.
One journalist said he would never fly on a 777-9, because – and this theme came across from almost every commentary – the very same culture, people and attitudes that lead to the MAX disasters and subsequent fiasco, are responsible for the 777-9.
Boeing have gone to considerable lengths to make sure the public view of the 777-9 is a positive one.
Yet red flags have popped up. The compression test that went spectacularly wrong last year was unusual, so severe it wrote off the test frame. Many say, well it was a test, designed to show any weakness.
The point however not lost on many, was that Boeing don’t suffer from failures like this in tests, it’s virtually unheard of. The reason is that the design and engineering is normally way above the point where such a thing would happen.
That it did suggests corner cutting, cost savings and the same approach to the 777-9 project as went into the MAX.
There’s no doubt that both aircraft came out of the same stable, crafted at the same time by the same company.
Right now that doesn’t inspire a whole heap of confidence.
We can but hope they’re wrong. A 777-9 crash would be a disaster for 400 passengers and the airlines who ordered it. It would probably send Boeing’s civil aviation business into a tailspin.
So the question is would you risk it? Can you trust Boeing?