Boeing got another bad news Tuesday, as it announced its 777X plane, which is still under development, failed during a safety test.
The test involved bending the wings of the aircraft while it was parked on the ground. Boeing said the test bent the wings “to a level far beyond anything expected in commercial service,” and that the issue occurred 99% due to the way, in which the test is carried out.
But during the test, the rear part of the fuselage depressurized, according to Boeing’s narrative. An official familiar with the test said one of the doors came off the plane. The company said it is now examining the test results to determine the cause of that problem.
This is now the second set back in nearly as many months for the much anticipated Boeing 777X, after General Electric declared a need to redesign compressor parts of the revolutionary GE9X engine, which will be the most powerful airline engine in the world, once launched.
Boeing said it doesn’t believe the failed test “will have a significant impact on aircraft design or on our overall test program schedule.”
Initially, shares of Boeing dropped after the news of the failed test, but shares ended 3% higher, showing investors were not shaken by the report.
The delay in debut flight of 777-X series by Boeing first came after the grounding of the 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft, which entered the sixth month in August, as the world’s largest planemaker continues to struggle with engine-related delays on the 777X widebody. The General Electric’s GE9X will push the first flight of the 777-9 into 2020.
The problems with the 777X come on top of more serious problems for Boeing’s 737 Max, the company’s best selling plane, which has unfilled orders for more than 4,500 of the planes. Nearly 400 of the already delivered jets have been grounded worldwide.
The grounding of the 737 MAX has done immense damage to Boeing industry and also pushed back the maiden flight of a new Boeing aircraft. The grounding of MAX series came after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines’ flight ET-302 in March 2019, which was the second fatal accident of a 737 Max in the time frame of five months, killing all 157 people on board. A near-identical aircraft, operated by the Indonesian Lion Air, crashed in the sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta in October 2018 in which All 189 passengers and crew members died.
The 777X is supposed to be a state of the art plane of Boeing. Its length, the longest on any commercial jet, will allow it to carry between 400 and 425 passengers in two classes, and fly routes of 7,600 nautical miles.