There’s big Boeing 777X news today! Boeing’s latest jet, the 777X, lifted-off for the first time at Paine Field, Everett, Washington at 10.09 am local time this morning for an almost four hour flight.
In a massive morale boost for Boeing, the 777X lifted off effortlessly to the cheers of thousands of Boeing employees and the public.
The first flight was scheduled for Thursday but was delayed 24 hours because of bad weather and delayed again on Friday.
The first Boeing #777X is in flight. After a few hours of flying, the jet will land at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) January 25, 2020
After the almost four hour flight, the giant twin-jet touched down at Boeing Field at 2.00 pm local time.
In command were Boeing chief test pilots Capt. Van Chaney and Capt. Craig Bomben.
“The 777X flew beautifully, and today’s testing was very productive,” said Capt. Van Chaney, 777/777X chief pilot for Boeing Test & Evaluation. “Thank you to all the teams who made today possible. I can’t wait to go fly your airplane again.”
Capt. Chaney and Boeing Chief Pilot Craig Bomben worked through a detailed test plan to exercise the airplane’s systems and structures while the test team in Seattle monitored the data in real-time.
“Our Boeing team has taken the most successful twin-aisle jet of all time and made it even more efficient, more capable and more comfortable for all,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Today’s safe first flight of the 777X is a tribute to the years of hard work and dedication from our teammates, our suppliers and our community partners in Washington state and across the globe.”
The first of four dedicated 777-9 flight test airplanes, WH001 will now undergo checks before resuming testing in the coming days. The test fleet, which began ground testing in Everett last year, will endure a comprehensive series of tests and conditions on the ground and in the air over the coming months to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the design.
While originally launched in November 2013, serious design work started in 2011 for an aircraft that could replace the 777-300ER.
Lufthansa was the launch customer in September 2013 when it ordered 34 of the 777X-9, the larger model.
Boeing 777X News Updates
Just two months later Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, gave a ringing endorsement to the 777X, with an order for 150, later reduced to 115, when the airline placed an order for 30 787-9s.
Etihad Airways also ordered 25, and Qatar Airways 50.
The launch was the largest in commercial jetliner history by dollar value with the 259 orders worth $95 billion at list prices.
At the time Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Ray Conner said: “We are proud to partner with each of these esteemed airlines to launch the 777X – the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jetliner in the world. Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers.”
Since that launch, Lufthansa has also changed its fleet mix reducing the number of 777Xs to 20 while ordering 20 787-9s. All told, Boeing 777X news reports tally a total of 309 777X aircraft sold to nine customers, including one unannounced.
Boeing 777X Interior
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 and calls the 777X an “absolute peach.”
“There will not be a city on the planet — aside from the mid-Pacific — we can’t reach,” Sir Tim said. “This (777X) will be poetry in motion . . . it will have enormous versatility.”
Key to the enthusiasm is the aircraft’s incredible economics, being 20 per cent more efficient per seat than the 777-300ER.
Boeing 777X Features
The 777X combines the best features of the current 777, with a longer fuselage, new engine and the composite wing design from the Boeing 787.
It also features 20 per cent larger windows, lower pressurization altitude to reduce jet lag and a wider cabin.
Since that launch Boeing has sold the 777X to Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways and All Nippon Airways.
The key to the plane’s extraordinary economy is the General Electric GE9X – the largest engine ever built.
It is 3.35m in diameter and produces 102,000 lbs of thrust.
The first 777X was rolled out in March last year but its first flight has been delayed due to durability issues with the new ground breaking GE9X engine.
According to Guy Norris of Aviation Week “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.
Upgraded engines arrived back at Everett in October.
The first two engines were installed on the first test aircraft, WH001 and it powered up about mid-November.
Boeing has delayed deliveries of the Boeing 777X till early 2021.