The Boeing 737 Max software is plagued by bugs that could keep the planes grounded for months
Boeing relied on temporary engineers making as little as $9 an hour to develop and test software, often from countries lacking a deep background in aerospace, notably India.
Recent college graduates employed by the Indian software developer HCL Technologies Ltd. occupied several rows of desks, said Mark Rabin, a former Boeing software engineer who worked in a flight-test group that supported the Max.
- Boeing 737 Max has been grounded since mid-March after two crashes that killed 346 people caused by malfunctions of its onboard systems.
- Boeing did everything in its power to reduce the costs, Planemaker and suppliers used lower-paid temporary workers
- U.S. air-safety regulators reportedly find a problem with the plane’s in-flight control chip which could further delay its comeback.
- In recent years, Boeing has won several orders for Indian military and commercial aircraft, such as a $22 billion one in January 2017 to supply SpiceJet Ltd.
- That order included 100 737-Max 8 jets and represented Boeing’s largest order ever from an Indian airline, a coup in a country dominated by Airbus.
- In exchange for an $11 billion order in 2005 from Air India, Boeing promised to invest $1.7 billion in Indian companies.
More worries for Boeing?
The company’s shares fell this week after the regulator found a problem with a computer chip that experienced a lag in emergency response when it was overwhelmed with data and with a lot of orders still pending.
The requirement for additional pilot training will also affect the timing of the plane’s return. It looks unlikely that Boeing can come out of this anytime soon.
U.S.-based avionics companies, in particular, moved aggressively, shifting more than 30% of their software engineering offshore versus 10% for European-based firms.
About design center in Moscow
Boeing has also expanded a design center in Moscow. At a meeting with a chief 787 engineer in 2008, one staffer complained about sending drawings back to a team in Russia 18 times before they understood that the smoke detectors needed to be connected to the electrical system, said Cynthia Cole,
Boeing’s move to bring in engineers from India who made around $9 or $10, compared with $35 to $40 for those in the U.S. on an H1B visa; hints at a step where the airplane maker prioritized cost-cutting over ensuring quality and safety.