M ZAHIDUL HAQUE
GONE are the days of Dakota, Super Constellation aeroplanes. In those days, airplanes (aeroplanes) were not equipped with advanced computerized technologies like today’s airplanes. The propeller-driven airplane has been replaced by more speedy and sophisticated jetliners. A present-day passenger jet plane, such as, Boeing, Airbus different series advanced aircraft cruises at more than 600 mph. The modern-day airplanes are getting even climate change impact conscious by using ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)’ replacing carbon emission fossil jet fuels. The SAF is being produced from sustained resources like agricultural residues, oil from biological origin. It may be indicated here that recently the Rolls-Royce has successfully conducted test of 100 percent SAF in one of their jet engines designed for SAF to reach their zero carbon emission target by 2050. Even testing is on to kill coronavirus inside an airplane fuselage through using robot armed with ultraviolet rays to make passengers’ journey safe and secure and to rescuing the aviation industry from further risk of loss due to corona pandemic. Reportedly, test conducted by the Swiss Robots of UV lights have been found to be effective.
Boeing 737 MAX is a most modern passenger airplane with a number of special features including the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System)—a set of software to guide smooth functioning of the plane on air. The MCAS helps pilots to control the nose direction (pitch stability) matching with aerodynamic issues. MAX737 is a fuel-efficient plane with 162-178 passenger seats. Due to the COVID pandemic, the airlines industry has sustained a big loss.
Several hundred air pilots and other crew members have been put under furlough by putting their life and living into a great hardship.
The use of long haul and wide-body aircraft has been drastically reduced due to fewer passengers owing to the corona pandemic impact. Now, aircraft having fewer seats but with other efficiencies are preferred for long-distance flights saving time, space and energy. Boeing MAX 737 is an appropriate airplane to be used under the present context. As ill luck would have it, following to MAX 737 fatal crashes involving Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines planes in October 2018 and March 2019 respectively, the FAA banned the operation of MAX 737.
Meanwhile, after intensive investigation and research, Boeing has corrected MAX’s fault with MCAS through up-gradation of the entire software so that the sensors can give accurate angle-of-attack (AOA) readings. The MAX pilots have also been provided with special training to get themselves well conversant with different features of the Boeing MAX 737. Now the MAX has been made safe for the passengers and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also withdrawn the ban on Boeing 737 MAX after 20-months of grounding. American Airlines and Ryan Air have already resumed MAX 737 flights while others are following suits. Boeing has also started delivering MAX order to the buyers who earlier placed orders and receiving new orders for MAX.
In modern days, different airlines of the world use different type of advanced aircraft including the latest versions of Boeing. The national flag carrier of this author’s country of origin, “Biman Bangladesh Airlines” runs different series of Boeing planes including Boeing 787 Dreamliner plus recently added Havilland Canada’s advanced Dash-8 turboprop-powered airplanes with bacteria/virus detecting/killing filters.
The jetliners of today including the Boeing 737 MAX have sophisticated features with auto-piloting provisions which made the modern air journey much faster and safer!
(The author is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Information System, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka-1207, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
M ZAHIDUL HAQUE