Boeing 777X moves towards first flight

December 17, 2019
Boeieng 777X
Boeing 777X N7779XW. Credit Matt Cawby . @mattcawby

The Boeing 777X is moving toward the first flight, which is expected early next year.

These new pictures from @mattcawby reveal the rapid progress of the installation of the upgraded GE9X engines.

New GE9X engine finally installed on the first 777-9 (N779XW). Credit @MattCawby

Boeing installing the 2nd GE9X engine on 777-9 N779XW. Credit @MattCawby

And this week the second 777-9 WH002 has one engine installed with another ready to be installed. Credit @mattcawby

The engines which arrived back in October from GE incorporate improvements to fix durability problems that were unearthed late in the engine test program this summer.

The issue, centred on the stator vanes in the compressor and forced Boeing to delay the start of flight tests of the 777-9 from July 2019 to early 2020.

Deliveries of the Boeing 777X are delayed till early 2021.

The aircraft combines the best features of the current 777 with a longer and wider internal fuselage, new engine and the composite wing design from the Boeing 787.

It also features 20 per cent larger windows and has lower pressurization altitude to reduce jet lag.

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The 777-9X seats more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices.

With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the aircraft will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial aircraft says, Boeing.

The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will be the most flexible jet in the world claims Boeing. The aircraft will seat 350 passengers and offer a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km).

The driving force behind the aircraft is Emirates President Sir Tim Clark, whose airline is the lead buyer with an order for 126. This order was orginally 150, however at last month’s Dubai Air Show the airline exercised substitution rights and converted 24 Boeing 777X aircraft into 30 787-9s.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive said: “I am pleased to announce firm order for 30 Boeing Dreamliners. This is an important investment and addition to our future fleet and it reflects Emirates’ continued efforts to provide the best quality air transport services to our customers. The 787s will complement our fleet mix by expanding our operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment. We are also pleased to reaffirm our commitment to the Boeing 777X programme and look forward to its entry into service.”

Emirates / Boeing press conference. Credit: Updesh Kapur @updeshkapur

Sheikh Ahmed added: “Our Boeing fleet is key to our business model to serve international demand for travel to and through our Dubai hub, as we continue to contribute to the UAE’s strategy to become a global destination for business and tourism by providing high quality air connectivity.”

With the conversion, Emirates remains the world’s biggest 777X customer with 126 aircraft on order and the largest 777 operator with 155 aircraft today.