“The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system,” says Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X program. “With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development program sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected.”
The 777X builds on the market-leading Boeing 777 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to offer airlines the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The aircraft provides 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than competing designs like the Airbus A350 XWB.
The 777X achieves fuel and cost efficiencies through the introduction of the latest technologies such as General Electric’s GE9X high-bypass turbofan – the most fuel-efficient commercial engine ever – and a fourth-generation all-new composite wing design that provides enhanced lift. With the extension of a set of folding, raked wingtips, the aircraft's wing spans 235 feet (72 meters).
By adding folding wingtips, the 777X's wingspan has been increased to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency of the wing, reducing engine thrust and fuel use. Additionally, the folding wingtips allow the 777X to maintain airport compatibility with the existing 777 family.
The first 777X introduced will be the 777-9 model, which can seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configuration and offer a range of 7,600 nautical miles (14,075 km). Boeing is building on the passenger-preferred interior of the current 777 and on 787 interior innovations to create a passenger experience like no other. The design will include larger windows that are located higher on the fuselage than the current 777, along with a wider cabin, new lighting, and enhanced architecture.
Three additional flight test airplanes will be built after the first flight test, which is currently scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. Introduction is planned for December 2019, with first delivery in 2020.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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