Boeing 777 took to the skies on its very first flight, an incredible achievement. The flight lasted roughly at 3 hours and 51 minutes.
The Boeing 777-9 can seat some 400 passengers depending on classes and overall configuration airlines actually opted for. It is 77 meters in length. In addition, it has the new fancy folding wingtips which are crucial, allowing it to not only be more fuel-efficient when flying, but when on the ground it will be able to fit into tight parking spaces at most major airports.
When Airbus launched their A380, the taxiways needed to undergo a major revamp, also the facilities inside the airports were changed to help accommodate for the sheer size and capacity of the world’s largest passenger plane. While Boeing could have done this, they did introduce these folding wingtips to allow it to seamlessly move around existing taxiways, and of-course arrive into specific gates when necessary.
The captain and chief pilot for the 777X tests and evaluations program said, “The 777X flew beautifully, and today’s testing was very productive. Thank you to all the teams who made today possible. I can’t wait to go fly your airplane again.”
Boeing already has a number of 777Xs at different stages in production, however WH001, the first 777-9 that flew is indeed the first of four flight test units. And prior to it being cleared to fly again, it’ll be undergoing a number of simple routine and regular tests. These tests are often conducted when a brand-new airplane takes to the skies for the very first time, especially considering it needs to be validated that it is indeed safe.
This first flight occurred some 10 months after the 777X originally rolled out, completed in March of 2019. However, due to delays, it has now pushed an eventual entry into service date to 2021, when the customers Lufthansa and Emirates will be eagerly awaiting its entry into service.
If you want to get your hands on a Boeing 777X, it’ll only cost you around half a billion US dollars. So far though, we’ve seen 300 or so of the jets ordered by customers around the world. However, Emirates, as probably expected, is currently one of the largest customers, with over 100 still on order. Now this comes after they actually canceled a number of the jets not that long ago, as their original total was at around 150.