Boeing faces Herculean task of redesigning thousands of 737 aircraft as NTSB tightens noose

The company has already delivered close to 7,000 Boeing 737NG aircraft to airline companies across the globe.

In the latest blow to Boeing, the US National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday recommended the aircraft maker to redesign all its Boeing 737 engine covers so that it can better counter engine failures in the future.

The recommendations come following a fatal Southwest Airlines accident in April 2018 wherein a woman was killed following an engine failure owing to a faulty fan blade. The Boeing 737 NG was en route to Dallas and the fan blade broke puncturing the plane's window and sucking the passenger partly out of the plane.

Investigation into the fatal Southwest Flight 1380 has revealed that the fan blade resulted in an engine failure. The National Transportation Safety Board has urged the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that Boeing takes immediate steps to locate the fan blade's impact locations on the engine's fan case and redesign the cover to prevent potential engine failure.

Boeing 737
A Boeing 737 Norwegian Pixabay

Following the accident, The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had immediately order for more checks of fan blades of Boeing 737 NG. Boeing on Tuesday said that it will be closely working with the Federal Aviation Authority on the National Transportation Safety Board's recommendations.

The aircraft maker said that it is already working towards fixing the problem and improvements are being made in the fans and cowls to withstand future engine failures in the event of a fan blade breaking.

Pressure keeps piling on Boeing

Southwest Boeing 737 Max
Southwest Boeing 737 Max YouTube grab/ CBS

The recommendations come at a time when all of Boeing's 737 Max remain grounded across the world following two fatal crash in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people earlier this year. Redesigning the engine covers will be a herculean task for Boeing given that almost 7,000 Boeing 737NG or next generation planes have already been delivered to airlines across the world.

Two big orders for Dreamliner

Boeing's crisis doesn't end there. Also, lately aviation companies across the world have been grounding scores of Boeing 737 NG aircraft as they continue to find cracks in the bodies of the aircraft. The American aircraft maker had earlier alerted that similar cracks could be found 1,000 of its 737NG aircraft and met the condition for inspection. Recalling 7,000 aircraft is definitely going to take time if Boeing at all decides to.

However, Tuesday was one of the better days for the company given that it managed to secure two big orders for its Dreamliner at the Dubai Air Show. The takes its total orders for aircraft to 65 in the show, though it's just one-third of its rival Airbus's total orders.