By Samson Echenim
As Boeing fixes next year for its launch of widebody plane, 777X, airliners have placed orders for a total of 344 units of the aircraft, with Emirates ordering the highest number of 150.
Despite delays to the first flight of the Boeing 777X, the aircraft is still on track for a 2020 launch. A Boeing representative said the position has always been for a 2020 entry to service.
The Boeing 777X is the American manufacturer’s latest new product for its widebody fleet. The aircraft builds on the successful model of the Boeing 777, while adding some innovative features such as folding wing tips. With Lufthansa being the launch customer for the aircraft, it is reassuring to hear that the programme is not looking delayed at present. While the first test aircraft rolled out of the Boeing factory in March, Lufthansa’s first 777X is currently in final assembly.
While the 777-8 will carry 384 passengers over a distance of 8,690 nautical miles, the larger 777-9 will carry 426 passengers over 7,285 nautical miles. The list prices of the two aircraft are $410.2 million and $442.2 million respectively.
The aircraft is packed with new technology. While the massive GE9X provides the huge thrust needed to power the aircraft, the folding wingtips save wingspan at airports. Indeed, the aircraft’s wingspan drops by almost seven meters when they are folded. Meanwhile, inside passengers will notice comfort upgrades, such as windows taken from the 787. Hopefully, nobody will melt them!
Simple Flying spoke to a Boeing representative who told us that they were preparing for the 777X’s flight test program. The spokesperson told us:
“The first 777X flight test airplane rolled out of the factory in March, 2019. We are working toward first flight later this year, to support entry into service in 2020. We’re progressing to and preparing for the flight test program.
“Teams are focusing on the final systems, propulsion and airplane-level tests necessary to confirm the safety of the airplane prior to flight, per our normal development process.”