The 777X programme of Boeing intends to manufacture the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet. As a part of the programme, the company has readied a fleet of four aircraft dedicated for flight trials. These trials will test handling characteristics and other aspects of airplane performance. The second aircraft of the fleet completed 2 hours and 58 minutes of trials over Washington state and landed at Seattle.
The 777X programme expects to deliver an aircraft which will offer 10% reduction in fuel consumption, 10% lesser emissions as well as 10% lower operating expenses compared to the competition. The plane uses the new custom architecture and innovations from the 787 Dreamliner to offer a wide and comfortable aircraft.
The 777X family comprises the Boeing 777-8 and 777-9. Both aircraft are powered by GE9X engines which are the world’s largest and most powerful aircraft engines. The engine uses advanced materials like ceramics, Titanium and composites in the construction of the engine and gas turbine components.
The 777-8 can carry 384 passengers up to a range of 16,710 Km. It is 69.8 m long and has a wingspan of 64.8 m on ground. Thanks to its foldable wing tips, the wingspan in air increases to 71.8 m.
On the other hand, the 777-9 can carry 426 passengers in its 76.7 m long fuselage. The range of this aircraft is 13,500 Km.
The WH002, which is the second test aircraft of the test fleet, has an array of equipment, sensors and monitoring devices installed throughout the cabin of the aircraft. These equipment allow the onboard team to document and evaluate the airplane’s response to test conditions in real time. The test plan for the 777X lays out a comprehensive series of tests and conditions on the ground and in the air to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the design.
The Boeing 777X took to the skies for the first time on 20 January 2020. Boeing expects to commence deliveries by 2021.