Boeing 777X fuselage split during Sept. stress test: Seattle Times

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(Reuters) – The fuselage of Boeing Co’s (N:) upcoming 777X aircraft was split by a high-pressure rupture just as it approached its target stress level during a test in early September, the Seattle Times reported on Wednesday.

Boeing suspended load testing of the new widebody in September when media reports said a cargo door failed a ground stress test. There have also been issues with General Electric Co’s (N:) new GE9X turbine engine that will power the jet.

The Seattle Times said photos it had obtained of the test on 777X showed that the extent of the damage was greater than previously disclosed and earlier reports were wrong about crucial details.

The company did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.

Boeing shares were down 1.4% at $368.45 in early trading.

The newspaper also said the company might not have to do a retest and regulators would likely allow Boeing to prove by analysis that it would be enough to reinforce the fuselage in the area where it failed.

Tim Clark, president of Emirates – the largest customer for the 777X jet – has questioned the testing of the aircraft, telling reporters at last week’s Dubai Airshow that he did not know when the Gulf airline would receive the first jet.

The Seattle Times quoted a Boeing’s spokesman as saying that the test results were not expected to add to the delays to the program and the 777X would fly for the first time in early 2020, with the first jet on track to be delivered to an airline in 2021.

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