Door Explodes In Ground Test on Boeing 777X At Everett Plant (excerpt)
(Source: The Herald Business Journal; published Sep 07, 2019)
By Dominic Gates
Boeing’s new widebody jet, the 777X, suffered a setback Thursday afternoon during a high-pressure stress test on the ground when one of the airplane’s cargo doors exploded outward.
One 777X employee working in a nearby bay at Boeing’s Everett plant said he heard “a loud boom and the ground shook.”
The accident happened to what’s called the “static test airplane,” one of the two airplanes in any new jet program that are built for ground testing only and will never fly. It was during the final test that must be passed as part of the airplane’s certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The failure of the door will require careful analysis to find out why it happened, and it may mean Boeing will have to replace the door and repeat the test.
The 777X program is already delayed due to a problem with development of the GE-9X engine that will power it. In July, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg revealed on a quarterly earnings call that the first 777X intended to fly, which rolled out of the Everett factory in March, will not make it into the air until next year.
This ground test failure is another blow.
The static test plane is the one that is deliberately stressed well beyond the limits of normal service. The airplane is surrounded by a metal framework while weights passing through pulleys are fixed to the wings and other parts of the airframe. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Herald Business Journal website.
Boeing Suspends Load Test for New 777X Aircraft
(Source: The Korea Times; issued Sept 08, 2019)
Boeing Co. on Saturday announced it had 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.
The Seattle Times reported a cargo door exploded outward during a high-pressure stress test on the ground. The newspaper said the accident occurred on a static test airplane, which is built for ground testing only and not intended to fly.
"Overall testing is continuing," Bergman said. The test occurred on Thursday, he said, declining to provide other details of the incident.
The problem happened during the final test that must be passed as part of the plane's certification by the Federal Aviation Administration, the newspaper report said.
In final load testing, planes are subjected to loads and stresses that are well beyond normal operational conditions, the spokesman said, adding that the incident is under review.
The company previously reported a delay on its 777X widebody program as General Electric Co engine problems pushed the first flight into 2020.
Chicago-based Boeing has also been unable to deliver any of its 737 MAX aircraft since the single-aisle plane was grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.