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Thu, Mar 09, 2006

747 Freighter Blows Its Nose During Testing

Pressurization Test Goes Awry

Aero-News has learned that workers at Boeing's Everett, WA plant got something of a shock last week, when a Boeing 747-400 freighter undergoing a routine pressurization test blew its nose... door.

An unidentified worker told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer the aircraft was undergoing a "high blow" pressurization test when the accident occurred, during which time the internal pressure was approximately 3 pounds per square inch.

No one was injured in the Friday afternoon mishap, although the aircraft was significantly damaged. The worker reported the nosedoor -- which is hinged at the top to allow for cargo loading, as seen in the photo above from the 2005 Paris Air Show -- was shoved back so far that it struck the cockpit windows, shattering them.

The plane's radar dome was hanging off to the side after the incident, according to the unnamed witness, and some of the door's aluminum skin was peeled back.

A Boeing spokeswoman confirmed that a 747-400 freighter was damaged during a pressurization test, and that a team was investigating the cause of the accident.

The jet was in the final stages of assembly, and while Boeing would not disclose whose jet was damaged... the worker told the P-I the 747-400F was scheduled to be delivered to a customer in China.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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