Boeing said Wednesday that its upcoming 777X had a high-pressure fracture in its fuselage during a test in early September as it approached its target stress level. In September, the world’s largest aircraft maker suspended load testing for the new wide-body aircraft after media reports said a cargo door failed ground stress tests. GeAt’s GE9X turbo engine, which powers the aircraft, is also in trouble.
People familiar with the matter said the test photos they obtained from the 777X showed the damage was more severe than previously disclosed and that previous reports had been incorrect in key details.
Boeing said engineers conducted a test of the 777X test plane during the final load test, which involved bending the plane’s wings and exceeding expectations during normal commercial service. Boeing said: “In the last few minutes of the test, there was a problem when the aircraft reached approximately 99 percent of the final test payload, involving decompression of the rear fuselage. ”
Boeing said it did not believe there was a problem with the design of the aircraft, nor would it have any significant impact on the preparations for the first flight, nor did it see an impact on the tests on the overall planned schedule.
Boeing said the 777X will be tested for the first time in early 2020 and that the first aircraft of the model will be delivered to airlines in 2021.
Boeing shares fell 0.6 percent to $371.09. Boeing said it was still evaluating the root cause of the test ingress.
According to media reports, Boeing will almost certainly not have to retest, and regulators may allow Boeing to use analysis to prove that it is sufficient to reinforce the fuselage where the test went wrong.
Lynn Sford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said talks with Boeing would continue and that “the FAA requires manufacturers to meet design and certification standards.” The decision to make a choice is in the FAA. ”
Tim Clark, Emirates’ president, told reporters at last week’s Dubai Air Show that he did not know when he would receive the first Boeing 777. Emirates is the largest customer of the Boeing 777.