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Boeing downplays impact of 777X load test "issue"

Boeing maintains that the Boeing 777X programme timeline will not be affected by the suspension of load testing caused by a reported cargo door failure.

The airframer provided more details in a brief statement, noting that that the "issue" took place during final load testing of the 777X static test aircraft. It did not, however, specify that a cargo door had failed.

The test, says Boeing, involved bending the wings “up to a level far beyond anything expected in commercial service”.

This led to the unspecified “issue” in the final minutes of the test, when test loads were at about 99%. While Boeing declined to go into details of what happened, it states that the incident “involved a depressurisation of the aft fuselage”.

Boeing adds that the static test aircraft has been successfully undergoing testing since June, and that the incident took place in the final test.

“While our root cause assessment continues, at this time we do not expect that this will have a significant impact on aircraft design or on our overall test programme schedule,” the airframer says.

The testing incident — first reported by The Seattle Times as a cargo door explosion — is the latest in a string of issues to hit the 777X programme.

In mid-August, Boeing stated that development of the ultra-long-range 777-8 will be put on hold, after a review of development schedules and customer needs.

Weeks earlier, Boeing pushed back the 777-9's first flight because of an issue with the General Electric GE9X engines that power both 777X variants.

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