Yet another Boeing plane has a problem
Boeing got another dose of bad news Tuesday, as it announced its 777X plane, which is still under development, failed a safety test.
No one was injured in the test, which entailed bending the wings of the plane 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 problem occurred 99% of the way through the test.
But during the test, the rear part of the fuselage depressurized. The company said it is now examining the test results to determine the cause of that problem.
Shares of Boeing fell from their high of the day on news of the failed test, but by mid-morning trading shares were still 1% higher on the day, showing investors were not shaken by the report.
The plane is not yet in service, and its debut had already been pushed back because of problems with a new General Electric engine, the GE9X, the world’s largest commercial jet engine. Boeing said it doesn’t believe the failed test “will have a significant impact on aircraft design or on our overall test program schedule.”
The 777X is a key product for 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.
Boeing has already taken orders for 344 of the 777X jets.
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 jets.
Nearly 400 of the already delivered jets have been grounded since mid-March, following two fatal crashes that killed all 346 people on board. Boeing hopes to get approval to have the plane flying again by next month. A precise time frame for when regulators will allow it to fly again is unknown.