An investigation into the failure of a SCS-6/Ti-6-4 thin-walled cylindrical shell subjected to internal pressure is presented. The shell geometry consists of two end flanges, a middle circular cylindrical section with a stacking sequence of [90/± 30/0]s, and a 8 reinforcement band within the middle section. The stress field in the middle section is predicted based on an anisotropic shell solution and the failure based on laminate strength data. An experimental setup is designed to allow the application of an internal pressure to the shell using a hydraulic system while maintaining a zero axial load. Strain gages placed at selected locations on the specimen monitor the state of strain during the test, and acoustic emission is used to monitor damage onset and progression. The results indicate that the ultimate load is in good agreement with theoretical predictions from the anisotropic shell solution and the engineering thin-walled theory. Acoustic emission provides a correlation with damage initiation and progression. Fracture surface analysis gives an insight into the initiation and the progression of failure.