The Economics That Made Boeing Build the 737 Max

  • Published: 30 April 2019
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    Animation by Josh Sherrington
    Sound by Graham Haerther (
    Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

    Special thanks to Patreon supporters Adam Chelminski, Arkadiy Kulev, Charles Zilinski, Chris Allen, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, John & Becki Johnston, Kyle, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Remi_Scarlet, Tom Dooner, Tyler Hamm, and Vaughn Mudrick

    Music by
    Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
    Select footage courtesy Bigstock:

    Southwest 737 MAX landing and takeoff shots, Spirit a320 taxi shot courtesy PDX aviation


Comments • 3 867

  • Wendover Productions
    Wendover Productions   7 months back

    Hey all, 
    I hope you find this video interesting. It is meant to provide an overview of what led to Boeing creating the 737 MAX rather than giving a comprehensive overview of the factors leading to the two crashes and the issues with MCAS so the explanation on that is quick. If you want to learn more about that, I would suggest starting with this article:

    Also, for the first time ever, we're taking topic suggestions for future Wendover videos. If we end up using your topic, we'll send you a free Wendover t-shirt in gratitude. Submit your ideas here:

    • Bob Daye
      Bob Daye  6 days back

      @jec6613 On one plane that crashed the co-pilot had only 200 hours.

    • FooBar Maximus
      FooBar Maximus  1 weeks back

      I found it interesting that someone with so little knowledge of commercial aircraft and aviation would have the balls to post a video about a commercial aircraft, posing as some type of "expert". And I emphasize the word "posing". <<<

    • William & Fannie
      William & Fannie  1 months back

      I love Boeing.The question we must ask..why didn't any Us carriers ( B737-max) crashed.
      Is it the mandated rest periods for the pilots?
      Is it the training ?
      Or is it Lion air and Ethiopian airlines flight Safety record.
      Is it cost cutting ?
      What is safety..An uncompromising approach to standard operating procedures.
      Another question to add to the list..Is it climate change?
      Is the weather affecting aircraft performance?


    • prajwal vaidya
      prajwal vaidya  2 months back

      nice review .......Boeing should .....see this

  • tbwpiper
    tbwpiper  2 hours back

    Thanks Airbus employee for the most biased representation of the largest selling aircraft in the world. Perhaps there's a reason for that.

    • metromoppet
      metromoppet  5 hours back

      Hey! reign in the rhetoric! Don't for a second assume that you know what Any company assumed or not. State the facts or assume the liability of being sued for incorrectly dis informing the public at large. Get youre facts straight!!!

      • metromoppet
        metromoppet  5 hours back

        I was an apprentice when the airbus a320 launched, and when Boeing launched it's 737-300 . they are almost the same age! Incidentally, would you rather entrust your life to an electrical wire , or a mechanical connection physically uniting you and the control surface??? get an engineering degree before you start to elaborate on the merits of one system over another. Get your facts straight

        • Marcos Torrani
          Marcos Torrani  19 hours back

          I hope Muilenburg , Curly and Moe aviation die in hell!

          • Nicolas Zart
            Nicolas Zart  1 days back

            Wow, I didn't know Boeing had raised its landing gear for the 737 MAX. And it still wasn't enough. Yikes, this gets worse as time goes by. Good point highlighting AA and airlines' negative roles in pressuring airframe makers into bad decisions. Ultimately, they do decide and investors have their share of the blame as well. It might take two to tango, in this case, it takes five, including the FGAA and Congress pushing for the ODA. The global geopolitical consequences are far greater than the tip of the iceberg.

            • Jarek Jellison
              Jarek Jellison  2 days back

              That’s not a 777, that’s a 767

              • Marczyk15
                Marczyk15  2 days back

                I think after all the shit that has happened this year with Boeing, I believe that they will loose some business for some time. Not to the point of near bankruptcy, but just reduced business.

                • Russ Gallagher
                  Russ Gallagher  3 days back

                  What airline is going to market this PoS ever again? The lawsuits being drafted right now against Boeing will cumulatively be in the billions. Every airliner that bought or leased this PoS has lost money on it. Those are customers that are going to Airbus for their next fleet acquisitions. As I understand the situation from a layman's viewpoint, the plane would have been safe IF it had a new type certification and pilots were trained [and certified] on the new handling characteristics. But, instead Boeing kept the pilots completely in the dark about what the unseen 3rd pilot - "Otto" - would do when a faulty sensor signal occurred. Dumbasses! The CEO just got shitcanned and while he'll never go hungry, it's the least the worthless BoD could do.

                  • Nolan Schmidt
                    Nolan Schmidt  3 days back

                    Floppy diskskskskks how he say lah

                    • barrie Williams
                      barrie Williams  3 days back

                      All about money, money, money!!

                      • Joe Elkerovic
                        Joe Elkerovic  4 days back

                        airbus really played Boeing very well, they tricked them. Boeing was about to design a new aircraft with new modern characteristics that can outshine A320. The thing that can cost airbus a lot to create new plane. They knew that A320 is modern and can carry more upgrades and B737 not. So they pushed Boeing to decide on a hurry to catch up with them. Boeing could focused on making new model that can beat Airbus as they did for the A350 (airbus launched A350 years after B787 debut, this strategy gave airbus the opportunity improve more A350. Conclusion, airbus played mindgame with Boeing. They lose aircraft, money, marketshare and the most important TRUST. Boeing will never recover EVER (BTW i like Boeing)

                        • Martin Korkos
                          Martin Korkos  4 days back

                          Best thing is that the same people who do these decisions then they go on the stage and talk about innovations.I bet they use 50 years old cars,and at home they have 50 years old "mobile phones".

                          • Martin Korkos
                            Martin Korkos  4 days back

                            Result of not giving flying fuck is not having flying plane in the air.

                            • Don Hawley
                              Don Hawley  4 days back

                              Best aircraft ever built DC3 737 and 747 man will never reach perfection though except for the armchair criticize or’s that missed their calling to design aircraft!

                              • fruit
                                fruit  4 days back

                                Scrap the planes. Keep the engines

                                • F R
                                  F R  4 days back

                                  I do not really get the training argument. You believe that AA wanted Boeing to create another improved 737 to reduce training cost but at the same time they order Airbus planes for the first time ever?! I think its a lot more likely that Boeing just wanted to safe money by improving on an existing model rather than designing an entirely new airplane.
                                  Still really like your videos tho :D

                                  • God's Love
                                    God's Love  4 days back

                                    Boeing knew what they did to these 737-800 MAX jets And murdered 346 passengers and crew members.

                                    • Genda Minoru
                                      Genda Minoru  4 days back

                                      I am only :57 into this video and already there are too many false statements being told to bother to continue.  I don't want to spend the rest of my night going over each one to prove point after point with references.  I would just suggest that the author of the video do a significant amount of additional homework before putting such a video together.  -- I came here thinking I would learn something.  wrong place...

                                      • mzamroni
                                        mzamroni  4 days back

                                        a380 was airbus' vietnam. 737 max is boeing's afghanistan

                                        • Tom Meyers
                                          Tom Meyers  5 days back

                                          Boeing assumed no one would use an Uber driver to fly it.
                                          They learned from this.

                                          • William Dowda
                                            William Dowda  5 days back

                                            The Wendover Productions video makes some observations about modern technology and implying that if modern technology is added to a new design then it is better. Fly by wire is good so far only time will tell it's safety. Check list is electronic trumps paper? What if a glitch wipes out part of the list? The 737 Max 8 bases off from a fifty year old design so what. The dynamics built into it are very much on par with Airbus. Safety is tilted in favor of the Max due to redundancy that can be applied by human power. Moving the engines did change the aerodynamics but within the margins of safety and maintaining stability. Bottom line is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel in order to make an efficient aircraft.

                                            • Pierre Bierre
                                              Pierre Bierre  5 days back

                                              Worse than the 2 crashes, Boeing attempted to cover up the problem and keep the MAXes flying. It took the airlines and the FAA to counter Boeing's deceitful ploy.

                                              • MISC BITS
                                                MISC BITS  5 days back

                                                important to note: The 737MAX wouldn't be flying if Boeing hadn't already achieved regulatory capture of the FAA.

                                                Being able to mark your own homework leads to temptations to fudge things. Boeing and the FAA's reaction to whistleblowers calling out serious 737NG assembly malpractice (and paperwork falsification) issues showed it had already happened by 2004-2005.

                                                More worrying: This regulatory capture problem isn't isolated to one US sector. It's across the board and been getting worse since the mid 1980s - telcos being a blindingly obvious example.

                                                • Bob Daye
                                                  Bob Daye  6 days back

                                                  Boeing built the 737 Max at the request and insistence of it's customers.
                                                  The MCAS system was used previously & successfully but they removed the redundancy in the 737 Max & an easy override.

                                                  • polygamous1 Sozou
                                                    polygamous1 Sozou  6 days back

                                                    Toyota is the biggest cause their reliability record is second to non Boeing was one such company Not any more they may now spend 10X as much as they saved but their good name is now gone too big to fail? haven't we all heard this B4?

                                                    • Innocent O.
                                                      Innocent O.  7 days back

                                                      Truth is by the time the 737 maxes get flying again, they would be the safest planes ever. I'm looking forward to that time, to fly in one.

                                                      • randy white
                                                        randy white  7 days back

                                                        You dont fix an aerodynamic problem with software. You absolutely must start with an aerodynamically sound air frame and engine combination. Otherwise its going to bite you in the ass every time..... Its different in the case of a fighter, where you depend on that instability in order for the plane to maneuver quickly. There flight envelope is fairly narrow. But in the case of an airliner with a vastly wider envelope of operation, it damn well better start out stable. If it does not, and you use something like MCAS to fix the issue, any engineer will tell you that not only is the fight characteristics completely compromised in the case of failure of the augmentation system. But the air-frame and control surfaces are being subjected to constant loading...........It was a poor way, lazy, cheap way to try and fix the problem created by moving the engines. As it turned out it was not near as cheap as they thought it would be.......

                                                        • Jonathan Luu
                                                          Jonathan Luu  1 weeks back

                                                          I remember when I was little and it was really exciting to watch all the 737MAX promo videos because my dad works at Boeing and I thought it was really cool. Now it’s really sad to see the plane not flying. I remember being so excited for the first flight of it.

                                                          • John Werner
                                                            John Werner  1 weeks back

                                                            Beyond re-engineering a dated fuselage to modern larger higher by-pass engines the video mentioned one critical flaw that should have been obvious. That would be the attitude sensor, no redundant sensors. The industry already knew the problems associated with single, and even multiple, air speed sensors in relation to automation. How then did such a hidden robust automated flight correction system come to rely on a sole sensor? Cost? Hubris? Automation engineering euphoria? Apparently a tragic combination of all this intersecting with an original design poorly suited yet economically driven. Makes one wonder if any re-engineered fix is viable from a safety standpoint. The future of Boeing and the credibility of The FAA, as well as untold lives, hang in the balance. This brings the hovering cloud of transparency up. The public has not been allowed much information as to how the proposed safe re-introduction fo the 737-Max is progressing. Scant details of either good or bad save for the claim that the aircraft will not be allowed back in the air until all issues are addressed. The problem with this is the public believed that this kind of scrutiny was routinely addressed prior to any modern aircraft taking to the sky in the first place as far as commercial service goes. So, if and when, The FAA approves the plane to fly again will the paying public believe the plane is truly safe?

                                                            • FooBar Maximus
                                                              FooBar Maximus  1 weeks back

                                                              Obviously an Airbus shill. Fail.

                                                              • FooBar Maximus
                                                                FooBar Maximus  1 weeks back

                                                                Starts out by saying the Max was a brand new plane. 2 minutes later he's talking about it being a 40 year old design. Pick one dude. Did you not re-read your script after the first pass or ask someone to review it for you? The sad part is that some of the 1.8 million "viewers" are going to believe you.

                                                                • FooBar Maximus
                                                                  FooBar Maximus  1 weeks back

                                                                  The 737 - any version - is not a cheap, small plane. LOL I stopped after 3 minutes because this video is 99% bullshit. I don't know if it's wrong on purpose, or out of ignorance and stupidity. Doesn't matter, because it's just wrong. lol Dude, stop talking out your ass and stay with something you understand. How To Build a Dog House, perhaps? Shit like that. You are WAY out of your league here.

                                                                  • Schawn Lee
                                                                    Schawn Lee  1 weeks back

                                                                    Geld frisst Hirn

                                                                    • nealenrick
                                                                      nealenrick  1 weeks back

                                                                      Doom and gloom. Skip this claptrap.

                                                                      • Ian Wheeler
                                                                        Ian Wheeler  1 weeks back

                                                                        Great analysis. Thanks for taking the time to put this out.

                                                                        • paul durao
                                                                          paul durao  2 weeks back

                                                                          They outsourced engineering jobs to India for nine dollars an hour and fired the American engineers so the problem could not be reported

                                                                          • Paul Fernando
                                                                            Paul Fernando  2 weeks back

                                                                            In my opinion the B737/MAX should never fly again period. It’s a flying coffin with a terrible design flaw. Whatever software updates they implement it will not cure the problems this aircraft has.

                                                                            I personally would not set foot on this aircraft if they paid me

                                                                            • Clinton Andersen
                                                                              Clinton Andersen  2 weeks back

                                                                              The MAX is a modern plane? It is 80% the same as previous models to maintain its type certificate. It needs to be completely redesigned from the ground up.

                                                                              • Zubair Monzur
                                                                                Zubair Monzur  2 weeks back

                                                                                boeing makes money and fu....ksss. the safety of passengers all around the world....

                                                                                • didier denis
                                                                                  didier denis  2 weeks back

                                                                                  FAILLITE DE BOEING AVEC LE 737 MAX....

                                                                                  • Tango Zulu
                                                                                    Tango Zulu  2 weeks back

                                                                                    737 Max-casualties
                                                                                    737 No Go

                                                                                    • ISLIPPEDONMYBEANS !
                                                                                      ISLIPPEDONMYBEANS !  2 weeks back

                                                                                      You don't need to be an aerospace engineer to realise relying on a single sensor for such a critical system was and is a tremendously bad idea with potentially devastating consequences.

                                                                                      • Abcd Efgh
                                                                                        Abcd Efgh  2 weeks back

                                                                                        Damn watching this for the 2nd time, Boeing should have just fitted some turboprop engines, if they are reaalllyy crazy into fuel effeciency

                                                                                        • Abcd Efgh
                                                                                          Abcd Efgh  1 weeks back

                                                                                          @the protobe At the speeds they are travelling, i know jets are more efficient. But hey they can always slow it down...

                                                                                        • the protobe
                                                                                          the protobe  1 weeks back

                                                                                          jet engines are far more efficient?

                                                                                      • HostilePancakes, the One and Only

                                                                                        Guys, guys -- not to defend Boeing, they deserve every scorning they receive -- but the Airbus A330 had a similar issue. Look up Qantas Flight 72.

                                                                                        • the protobe
                                                                                          the protobe  1 weeks back

                                                                                          However, it did not result in 346 deaths, and Airbus was quick to fix this issue.

                                                                                      • Smith Js
                                                                                        Smith Js  2 weeks back

                                                                                        And that’s why planes from the 80s don’t look much different to today’s planes. Aviation industry sucks!

                                                                                        • Joe Craven
                                                                                          Joe Craven  2 weeks back

                                                                                          Nonsense. Don't waste your time.

                                                                                          • Peter Mokry
                                                                                            Peter Mokry  3 weeks back

                                                                                            If Boeing's investors had "not been happy" with the company embarking on a "long and expensive new aircraft design process", then Boeing had no business doing so in the first place. So now it's the not the fault of Boeing for cutting corners at the expense of lives, but rather the fault of Boeing's investors. This video reeks of damage control and redirecting blame to others. God forbid I ever have to invest in a company like Boeing. Aside from financially supporting a unscrupulous business company, I might even end up getting blamed for it.