Boeing suspends testing of long-haul 777X aircraft

Boeing has suspended testing on its new long-haul 777X aircraft, the company said on Friday, a setback that comes as it battles to rebound from the crisis surrounding the 737 MAX.

The so-called "final load" tests are part of the aircraft certification process, overseen by inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and meant to subject the plane to "loads and stresses well beyond normal operational loads," a Boeing spokesman told 'AFP' in an email.

"During final load testing on the 777X static test airplane, the team encountered an issue that required suspension of the test," the spokesman said.

"The testing conditions were well beyond any load expected in commercial service. The event is under review and the team is working to understand root cause."

A source close to the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity said a door of the plane blew out during the test.

Such an occurrence is rare during final load testing, an industry source said.

The FAA investigates issues that come up during structural testing of aircraft, the agency said.