Boeing expects the “exploding door incident” to have no significant impact on the 777X design. The incident is unlikely to affect the overall test program schedule of the new widebody jet, the planemaker said in a statement on September 10, 2019.
The incident took place during the final structural testing of the 777X static test airplane at Boeing’s plant in Everett, Washington, on September 5, 2019, according to The Seattle Times, which first reported the incident. Subject to a high-pressure stress test on the ground, the cargo door of the airplane failed – exploding outward.
Without confirming or denying the “exploding doors” fact, Being now explains that the issue involved a depressurization of the aft fuselage. It occurred not only during the final test for the static test article, but also during the final minutes of the test, at around 99% of the final test loads. The 777X was undergoing static testing since June 2019.
While the manufacturer is now trying to determine what caused it, it claims that it will not have a drastic effect on the 777X testing program. “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 program schedule,” according to the statement.
The 777X program has already taken several hits related to issues with the General Electric GE9X engine. While officially denying that 737 MAX grounding has affected 777X program, Boeing has also reportedly pushed back the entry into service of a smaller 777X variant, the 777-8.
Image: Dan Nevill, CC BY 2.0