Boeing 777X Test Flights Suspended Over Engine Issue

The potential issue was discovered during a borescope inspection of a flight test engine.

Boeing [NYSE: BA] has temporarily suspended the flight testing of the 777X pending a potential issue with the General Electric GE9X engines that power the aircraft.

“We are reviewing a technical issue that occurred during GE9X post-certification engineering testing, and we are closely coordinating with Boeing on our findings to support their return to flight testing,” GE Aerospace [NYSE: GE] said.

The potential issue was discovered during a borescope inspection of a flight test engine. Both GE and Boeing agreed to remove the powerplant in question, pending further testing. The engine was sent to GE’s facility in Peebles, Ohio, for further engineering test runs. The engine manufacturer noted that during the test runs there was a temperature alert, and the operator shut the engine down. The GE9X engine involved in the test run is GE’s highest-time engine in the program, with more than 1,700 hours and 2,600 cycles.

“We are supporting GE Aerospace as they assess a recent GE9X engine issue and will resume airplane testing once their thorough process and appropriate actions are complete,” Boeing officials said. “Safety is our top priority, and our supplier and technical teams will take the time necessary to support the review as we work transparently with our customers and regulators.”

About the 777X

Boeing’s 777X is the latest generation of the 777 model series. According to Boeing, the 777X is designed using advanced technologies from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and it will be the largest and most fuel efficient twin-engine jet in the world.

The 777X features composite wings and folding wingtips. Unveiled in 2013, the aircraft has two variants: the 777-8, which provides seating for 384 passengers, and the 777-9, with seating for 426 passengers. The 777X is also available in a freighter version.

The first flight of the 777-9 took place on January 25, 2020, and by June of that year there were more than 300 orders on the books for the aircraft then described by the company as “the most sophisticated airliner on the market.” 

Boeing predicted the first deliveries of the 777X would take place in 2023, but that date has been pushed back to 2025.

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