Boeing says it is very close is meeting the Qantas Project Sunrise requirement of flying from Sydney to London and New York non-stop with 300 passengers.
On a conference call, Eric Lindblad VP/GM 777X program said: “we have more work to do but we are pretty damn close [to the Qantas requirement].”
Michael Teal Chief Project Engineer for the 777X elaborated saying that “we are confident that the 777-8X will offer Qantas the best payload/range combination to meet its needs.”
“We fall short on some [requirements] but exceed on others.”
“We are looking at what we can tweak,” Mr. Teal said.
Boeing is looking at weight reduction, continued improvement in the aircraft’s efficiency to achieve gains.
Engine make General Electric will flight test the GE9X engine this month and Mr. Lindblad said the Boeing expects to have meaningful engine data by late January.
Mr Lindblad said that the 777X-9 will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than the A350-1000.
He added that the 777X-9 is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the 777-300ER which is a benchmark of fuel efficiency.
About half that gain comes from the new engine and the balance from weight savings from the composite wing as well as aerodynamic gains.
So far the 777X program has achieved 340 orders.
“These orders are an extremely strong start to the program and at the same point in its development the 777-300ER only had 69 orders,” Mr Lindblad said.
Mr Lindblad said that construction has commenced for roll out in 2018 and flight test in 2019 with first deliveries in early 2020.