PARIS, FRANCE — Boeing aims for comprehensive 737 MAX fleet retrofit following eAOA system approval.

Boeing is currently taking proactive steps to upgrade the 737 MAX fleet with an enhanced angle-of-attack (eAOA) monitoring system, starting with the pre-wiring of new aircraft, according to Bob Michael, the 737 Customer Leader. This information was shared at the Paris Air Show on June 18.

Michael mentioned that Boeing initiated the installation of the required wiring on the production aircraft from the previous summer. The eAOA system has been made a mandatory requirement by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the 737 MAX's return to service following its grounding due to tragic accidents in 2018 and 2019.

Justin Carlson, Boeing 737 MAX's Chief Pilot, explained that the eAOA system offers a third data source for AOA information. It operates using five software monitors integrated into the existing hardware, processing data from the plane's two physical AOA sensors. Any discrepancies are automatically detected and indicated, leading to the removal of the malfunctioning AOA sensor.

According to Aviation Week's report, The new system also incorporates switches enabling pilots to turn off false alerts prompted by a faulty AOA sensor. Although the monitoring is designed to handle this, the switches provide an extra layer of safety, Carlson noted.

Boeing has committed to deploying the comprehensive set of modifications across the entire 737 MAX fleet within three years after receiving certification for the 737-10. Ideally, the upgrades will coincide with scheduled intensive maintenance sessions. Michael revealed that the upgrades involve considerable wiring work in the cockpit and the electronic equipment bay.

Boeing is currently preparing a service bulletin to aid operators in pre-wiring their 737 MAX aircraft. The bulletin is slated for release by the end of the year. Upon the 737-10's certification, another service bulletin detailing the full upgrade process will be released. As per Boeing's latest schedule, they anticipate FAA approval by 2024.