What language is Boeing's MCAS written in?


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The answer to this question may help: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/3608/… I'm guessing Ada in a safety critical subsystem like that. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ As long as it is not assembler, I doubt the language itself was the main reason of the failure. I would even doubt be it assembler, if done properly, with full test coverage and code reviews. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ Why has this question been downvoted? - I'd vote to reopen but have insufficient rep. This is not only a reasonable question, but an interesting and important one. $\endgroup$
    – stevec
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 22:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @stevec There are a few "troll" users on here, who down-vote every question I ask without discrimination. I have stopped using the site mostly for that reason $\endgroup$
    – Cloud
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 12:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Cloud don't stop, your question is a very good one. Funnily, I found my way back to it when researching the 737 max a second time. Thank you for your question, even if others don't appreciate it $\endgroup$
    – stevec
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


What language is Boeing's MCAS written in?

I believe the Flight Control Computer is a Collins Aerospace FCC-730 with two 16-bit processors.

Collins are known to use Ada for at least some of their products.

A job advert for Collins stated:

Job description: Sr Software Engineer - Flight Controls ...
Required Qualifications: ... Experience with C/C++ ...
Preferred Qualifications: Experience using Ada. ...

Ada is widely used in the aviation industry for flight-critical applications.

Other Boeing aircraft make extensive use of Ada:

in the 777 program it was a goal to use Ada as a standard language, and it represented nearly 70% of the source line of code developed for the 777.

So it is very likely that they used Ada for the code running in the FCC-730 on the 737 Max.


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