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Boeing suspends testing of new long-haul 777 jet

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Boeing suspends testing of new long-haul 777 jet | The Thaiger

Boeing is suspending testing on its new long-haul 777X aircraft, yet another setback as the US aviation giant tries to rebound from the 737 MAX crisis.

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 777X was originally scheduled to take off on its first test flight this summer. That date has been postponed until early 2020 by Boeing, due to problems with its General Electric engine.

The company spokesman declined to say whether the latest setback would further delay the schedule.

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

During these tests, the plane is placed under extreme stress to verify its structural strength. To check the wings, for example, a system of fasteners are connected which allow examiners to bend them up and down.

Traditionally, these tests push the aircraft to the breaking point estimated by the manufacturers, and are essential to obtain certification from regulators.

The suspension of the testing for the 777X comes as Boeing is in the process of completing changes required by regulators on the 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide after two crashes that resulted in 346 deaths.

Civil aviation authorities have stepped up their inspections since the disasters, most notably the FAA, which has been accused of cozy ties with Boeing.

In an effort to reinforce its independence, the US regulator has become much more detailed and demanding, according to industry sources interviewed by AFP.

Boeing’s 777X, which is meant to replace the 777 and can carry 400 to 425 passengers, has already been ordered by eight airlines, including Emirates.

It is meant to compete with the A350 of European manufacturer Airbus.

Up until Friday, industry experts had said the first deliveries of the 777X probably would not take place before 2021 because the test flight period and approval process should be extended, due to the delays caused by the engine issue.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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Tourism

Thai temple tour, via a jet ski on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya | VIDEO

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Thai temple tour, via a jet ski on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya | VIDEO | The Thaiger

In this brief video, Chris our Thaiger ‘adventure’ Vlogger, takes you on a ride through the Chao Phraya River…on a jet ski! There are plenty of ways for tourists to take the well-trodden path of temple-hopping whilst in Thailand. THIS is a very fresh view of some of the famous river’s lesser known temples.

You can stop off and a look around (make sure you’re dressed appropriately) during your very-own river trip. The Chao Phraya River is the main river that runs through Thailand, and for 2,500 Thai baht you can rent out a jet ski and do some temple hopping as well as speeding your way around Ko Kret.

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Tourism

Is THIS the cheapest five star hotel in the world? Right here in Bangkok | VIDEO

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Is THIS the cheapest five star hotel in the world? Right here in Bangkok | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Is THIS the cheapest five star hotel in the world? We think it is! It certainly passes all the legal expectations of a 5-star property and it’s smack bang in the middle of a touristy area of Bangkok.

It’s ‘of an era’ and it’s easy to imagine this older style Bangkok hotel in its heyday, probably in the late 80s. But it’s certainly luxurious and looks like a steal for a lot less than 1,000 a night.

Chris sneaks in for a quick look. Let’s check it out.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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