Poll: Should Boeing Install A Third Angle Of Attack Sensor On The MAX?

737 MAX
Credit: Boeing

EASA plans to start Boeing 737 MAX test flights on Sept. 7 in Vancouver, Canada in what is a key milestone for the aircraft to be recertified in Europe.

The FAA has been working closely with many regulators throughout the evaluation process. For example, both EASA and Transport Canada flight test and human-factors specialists helped the FAA and Boeing develop scenarios to evaluate flight-crew response to the updated software, the FAA said. Regulatory experts from Brazil, Canada and Europe “are involved with the ongoing review and analysis of the results as validating authorities,” the U.S. agency added.

However, regulators have not agreed on every issue. EASA has been arguing that Boeing should introduce a third synthetic angle of attack sensor on the MAX for further redundancy to largely mirror the design set-up of the Airbus A320 family, which has three physical sensors as opposed to the MAX’s two. EASA has said that the MAX could be introduced back into airline service without the third sensor but that it could require Boeing to add it at a later time. EASA said it had no further comment on the MAX course of action at this time.

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Yes please, let's add more brokenness to the plane.
The proper way is to use all available sensors, and fuse the data into a state matrix that describes the aircraft: speed, AOA, vertical speed, lateral angle, altitude, etc. By using multiple sources it's possible to assign confidence intervals to each parameter. THEN, decide what to do next, based on flight control inputs and whatever automation might require, taking the confidence into account. If your sensors cannot determine a reliable AOA, do not make decisions based on it, and TELL THE PILOTS. Using EITHER one sensor, OR the other, in separate computational silos (with only a simple AOA DISAGREE flag) is totally outdated, even pathetic. Adding a third sensor only makes sense if it becomes part of an integrated system.
My questioning why we are even using AOA in the first place. Its not close to accurate (5 deg different to lock out MCAS)

It has use in the Military world, all it does in civilian world is add clutter to the display.

You fly the Display not AOA.

As noted there are synthetic backups now for airspeed and that is the one you fly with and too.

The only reason I can see it was put in was the enormous number of US military pilots going into airlines. That should not drive the world.