Re: Sad to see the queen of the sky’s go but won’t be flying in a 737 Max
Only pushing the certification rules to its limits brought about the 737 problem, the Max is virtually a new aircraft.
The 737MAX is not a new aircraft in any meaningful way. It is an old aircraft with added bodges to allow it to carry modern engines and modern avionics. In terms of structural strength, primary controls, and cabin dimensions it is unchanged since the 1960s.
One of the major criticisms is that that the fuselage, unchanged since the 1960s, has inferior crash survivability compared to today's standards. For example, if you take a look at some A320 crashes recently, e.g. Sully's river landing and the Russian one that had twin engine out shortly after take off, they both stayed pretty much intact to the considerable benefit of all on board. A 737 is far more likely to break apart, to the detriment of all on board.
The primary controls are unaltered since the 1960s, except the trim wheels got shrunk. Fundamentally it's a levers and wires control system that still relies on pilots moving them, and the safety case up until the MAX was based on the design of this and not on the electronics that have been added. This has allowed Boeing to implement all that electronics without the triplicate redundancy that is standard these days, because it plays no part in the "safety" of the aircraft. This was fine right up until MCAS, which they wired in permanently and the FAA was mislead as to what authority it had over the levers / wires.
The shape of the aircraft is also largely unaltered. There's been a few trimmings - winglets, etc. but it's otherwise unaltered. The cabin compares very unfavourably wrt to more modern designs, with the A320 and A220 having faster turn around times simply because passengers can get on / off more easily.
Both 737 and 747 were 1960s engineering that formed the platform for continued update and improvement for decades
Not as much as you'd think. The 737 in particular hasn't really changed at all, bar engines.
The problem those legacy platforms have had is that their certification was based on old technology - levers and wires controls. Airbus with their fly-by-wire tech introduced at the end of the 1980s has meant that they can make really quite substantial design changes - e.g. the A320neo, A330neo - but truly keep the flying of the aircraft the same.
They've also been helped a lot in that the delta between the design standards of the 1990s and today aren't so great as between the 1960s and today. So they've not fallen so far behind what's current so as to stretch the bounds of credibility. Just look at that other 1990s hit, the 777; BA had one of those land very short and very hard, it stayed in one piece and everyone got away with it more or less (1 broken leg?). Apparently it wasn't clear that, despite the damage, the airframe was a write-off. It's unlikely that anything from the 1960s would have stayed intact so well.
Airbus knew what they were doing with the A320; they designed it to be lengthed and given MTOW increases; that's why it's got such tall undercarriage for its size. Boeing haven't been able to do this so successfully with the 737 because in the 1960s it had to have short undercarriage so that it could carry its own steps around with it (a lot of regional US airports at the time were little more than a runway and shed). For Boeing, fixing that would inevitably mean a whole new airframe, something they've steadfastly refused to embrace.