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Boeing 777X: Airborn at last!

Boeing 777X: Airborn at last!

After a couple of delays due to weather conditions, the new Boeing 777X jet took to the air at Paine Field in Everett, Washington state, on 25 January 2020 (26 January in Australia) at 10:06 local time.

The first flight came after some more substantial delays caused by the whole 737 debacle which has seen the Boeing CEO resign.

a large airplane on a runway
Cocked wing

Don’t get too excited, this is not the launch of commercial flights. This is the launch of its flight test program!

The 777x could be described as a bit of a mongrel. It is based on the very successful 777 family, but takes some of the innovations of the 787 Dreamliner, and puts them together with a new GE9X engine, supplied by GE Aviation. And it ties that up with a bow and ads a folding (cocked) wing tip! Because its wingspan is sooooooo wide, it wouldn’t fit in standard airport slots.

a collage of airplanes in the sky


It’s a popular little poppet with 340 orders and commitments by an initial 8 airlines, some viewing it as a replacement for the A380. Launch customers are:

  • All Nippon Airways
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines

The new jetliner has Boeing promising 10% lower fuel use/emissions/operating costs than the ‘competition’ by which they mean Airbus 350 family, presumably.

a room with a colorful ceiling
Concept image from Boeing

The reductions are the result of improved aerodynamics, carbon-fibre composite wing, and the new Engine.

Boeing also promises a wider body, larger overhead bins and windows, and of course better cabin pressure, humidity and noise.

a interior of a plane
Concept image from Boeing

The model is scheduled for delivery to customers in 2021. Given that the 737 Max disaster is sucking various engineering, testing and software resources at Boeing, and this has resulted in delays in the testing program for the 777x and for the 737 Max getting back in the air, I would take that 2021 promise with a grain of salt. Regulators will be giving the testing program a very close look – I presume.

a seat in a plane
Concept image from Boeing

2PAXfly Takeout

I’m not a particular fan of the 777, but the ‘x’ may change my opinion.

the inside of an airplane with two monitors
Concept image from Boeing

What I am most excited about is that this will spur the launch airlines into some interior innovations which we will probably see most significantly in premium cabins.

Bring it on!

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