The world’s largest commercial jet engine, the GE9X, has been installed on the Boeing 777X ready for rollout next month.
The GE9X engine is the most fuel-efficient commercial engine ever built and is a key contributor to what makes the 777X the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world according to Boeing.
The 777X provides 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than competing airplanes says, Boeing.
The engine’s front fan measures 134 inches (340 centimeters) in diameter, the largest ever produced for a commercial aircraft, according to GE. The massive fan is the same width as a 737 fuselage.
The 777X first delivery is slated for 2020.
To date, Boeing has won 340 orders and commitments for the 777X from a range of airlines, including All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.
The Boeing 777X, will be capable for flying nonstop from New York to Sydney and Sydney to London with 300 passengers, and recently went through the power-up process which enabled Boeing to test every system on the aircraft to ensure that when it is unveiled, it is fully functional.
Boeing is coy on announcing a roll-out date but industry sources say it is expected in mid-February.
Boeing is building two models of the 777X family: the 400-seat -9, which will be the first to roll out and the longer range -8, which can seat 350 passengers and has a range capability of more than 17,220 km.
It is this model that Qantas and Air New Zealand are evaluating with a decision expected shortly.
The driving force behind the 777X is Emirates President Sir Tim Clark, whose airline is the lead buyer with an order for 150.
Sir Tim describes the 777X as “an absolute peach”.
Key to his enthusiasm is the aircraft’s economics and greater space with a wider cabin with bigger windows.
The Boeing 777X combines the best features of the current 777 with a longer fuselage, new engine and the composite wing design from the Boeing 787.
Qantas’s competition, called “Project Sunrise” also includes the Airbus A350 and the airline is demanding Sydney to London non-stop capability with 300 passengers.
Both Airbus and Boeing say they can meet the airline’s demands or close to it.
Qantas plans to add underfloor bunks to the winner of its competition because on ultra-long-haul flights the aircraft will carry virtually no cargo, just passenger’s bags.
Air New Zealand is going to accelerate the redesign of its interior offering at its Hangar 22 seating project after it decides on either the Boeing 777X or A350 in April.
Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon told AirlineRatings.com at the inaugural of the airline’s first service to Chicago in November that the airline had been bringing customers through to experience mock-up cabin spaces in an attempt to learn their thinking about space, storage, and privacy.
“We’ve been running customers through a number of mock-ups that at this stage are quite primitive and quite conceptual but are giving them a feel about what they want to play back to us around that,” he said