777X Test Failure Split Fuselage


A failure during the final pressurization test for Boeing’s 777X last September may have been worse than it first seemed, according to a new report by The Seattle Times. Originally thought to be a blown-out cargo door, images obtained by the Times show a significant breach in the fuselage just behind the wing. The failure reportedly occurred at 1.48 times the limit load, 1 percent short of FAA certification requirements.

It is believed that while Boeing will need to reinforce the area affected by the failure, it is unlikely that the company will be required to retest the aircraft as long as its analyses show that the problem has been adequately addressed. Boeing told the Times that a detailed analysis of the incident had not yet been completed but it believes it “will not have a significant impact on the design or … preparations for first flight.”

The 777X is expected to fly for the first time in 2020 with customer deliveries planned for 2021. The aircraft was originally slated for a first flight this year, but the date was moved back due to developmental problems with the GE-9X engine.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. I would assume that new airframes always start as light as possible and then add strength/weight if a problem is found. I would also assume all airframes find things after meeting the regs that need AD’s. It sounds like normal teething pains on a new design.

  2. Similar.

    Sep 7, 1985 · The JAL plane slammed into the mountain in central Japan during a Tokyo-to-Osaka flight, after part of the tail fin broke apart and the pilot lost control of the plane. Boeing said its examination of the JAL wreckage showed that “a decompression occurred in flight due to a rupture of the aft pressure bulkhead.”