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article imageBoeing 777X test halted after reports of cargo door failure

By Karen Graham     Sep 8, 2019 in Business
Boeing on Saturday announced it has suspended load testing of its new widebody 777X aircraft as media reports said a cargo door failed in a ground stress test.
“During final load testing on the 777X static test airplane, the team encountered an issue that required suspension of the test,” Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“Overall testing is continuing,” Bergman said. The test occurred on Thursday, he said, declining to provide other details of the incident.
The Seattle Times reported that on Thursday, the accident happened to what is called a “static test airplane,” one of two airplanes built as part of any new jet program for ground testing only and will never fly. This final test was a critical one that needed to be passed as part of the airplane’s certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In the accident, the plane's cargo door exploded outward during the high-pressure stress test. A 777X employee 7 working in a nearby bay at Boeing’s Everett plant said he heard “a loud boom and the ground shook.”
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In the test, the cargo door is subjected to loads and stresses that are well beyond normal operational conditions, according to Bergman. Investigating why the door failed will require careful analysis and may mean Boeing will have to replace the door and repeat the test.
This latest setback follows a previously reported delay on Boeing's 777X widebody program as General Electric's GE-9X engine developed problems that pushed the first flight into 2020.
The new Boeing 777X will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet, unmatched in every aspect of performance. With new breakthroughs in aerodynamics and engines, the 777X will deliver 10 percent lower fuel use and emissions and 10 percent lower operating costs than the competition.
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