Economy

Boeing halts test flights of new plane over engine issue

Boeing halts test flights of new plane over engine issue

Airplanes are always put through their paces before they can fly, sometimes even being frozen overnight in the middle of Siberian winter.

Engine disc problem grounds 737 MAX.

Boeing test teams froze the new Boeing 737 Max aircraft and watched it roar back to life.

Shares in French aerospace and engineering group Safran fell on Thursday after Boeing announced a temporary halt to test flights of its new 737 MAX aircraft due to an issue with the engine. Boeing says first delivery is on schedule for later this month. "Additionally, 180-minute Etops testing completed in April required another 3,000 simulated flight cycles on the test stand before a complete inspection was conducted by CFM", added Boeing.

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The order also includes the sale of another eight 737 MAX planes to Air Lease Corp, which will lease them in turn to Primera - bringing the total order to 20 planes. The Boeing Company saw stock value drop about 1.16 percent, while GE saw a drop of about 0.87 percent.

Boeing says it had not detected any issue with the engines during flight testing that commenced in January 2016.

The Max is created to be a more fuel-efficient version of the workhorse 737, Boeing's most popular commercial plane.

The $110 million 737 Max 8, the first version of the plane to be built, seats 162 passengers in a typical two-class configuration, the wire agency noted. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. expects to begin using the plane this fall. Safran received the disc from a supplier but there are other suppliers of that part so production of the engine was continuing, Kennedy said.

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GE spokeswoman Jamie Jewell declined to identify the supplier. The company is grounding its fleet temporarily as it tests engines. The plane maker has concerns about a manufacturing quality issue inside the jet's new engines.

The problem, discovered in the forging process, could lead to cracking and engines from about 25 test and production planes have been sent to CFM facilities in the United States and France for testing.

"This doesn't look like a serious concern", Cai von Rumohr, an analyst with Cowen & Co., said in a note to clients.

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