Boeing 777 8 and Boeing 777 9
Building on the outstanding success of the Boeing 777 model, Boeing have in November 2013 kicked off the project to design and build a modernised and vastly improved variant of this aircraft. The new design is currently designated Boeing 777X and will be offered in two variants, the Boeing 777 8 and the Boeing 777 9. Much like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was referred to as the Boeing 7E7 during its design phase, the 777X will be named at some future time.
Boeing 777X Folding Wingtips
The design for the 777 9 which will be the launch variant was finalised on 03 September 2015. This was after tirelessly consulting with customers and suppliers to arrive at final design parameters which will be carried forward to the targeted launch date sometime in 2017.
The Boeing 777X will have folding wingtips when not in flight so that airport gates will not have to be modified.
Improvements that will be evident to the travelling public will come in the form of a modernised cabin with features such as larger windows, wider cabin and improved lighting.
Boeing 777X Operating Economy
Airlines will be very keen to note the vast improvement in operating costs of this Boeing 777 jet. The fuel saving over its nearest competitors is expected to be around 12 percent. In addition, a 10 percent improvement in operating costs is expected through standardisation of parts etc..
How are these savings made possible?
The Boeing 777X will be using a higher proportion of composite materials in construction than the current model.
This will reduce weight and increase strength. The Boeing 777X will also be using the worlds most advanced jet engine, namely the General Electric GE9X. This engine is expected to deliver a 5 percent increase in efficiency, which will contribute to a lower operating cost.
The wing of the Boeing 777X will be remarkably different to any found on a current commercial aircraft. Boeing have come up with a way to compromise between giving the aircraft a larger wing span and thereby improving lift with the resultant saving in fuel, whilst at the same time not impacting upon the aircrafts’ ability to use standard width gates at airports. The wing shape itself is similar to that of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 747 8 in that it has a sabre like raked tip as opposed to winglets. The remarkable piece however is that the outer 3.15 metres of each wing has the ability to fold upwards, much like fighter planes on an aircraft carrier, when the aircraft is not in flight. This means that when the aircraft is given take-off clearance, the wing-tips are deployed , setting them in the down and locked position. Conversely, on landing, the aircraft will raise the tips as it leaves the runway so that obstructions either side of the taxiway are not struck and of course the aircraft can fit into the terminal gate area.
The two variants of the Boeing 777X on offer, the 777 8 and 777 9, will enable versatility for airlines, matching passenger volumes and route distance as required. The Boeing 777 8X which will compete directly with the Airbus A350 1000, will carry around 350 passengers over a distance of 17,220 KM (9,300 NM).
The Boeing 777 9X will carry in excess of 400 passengers over a distance of 15,185 KM (8,200 NM).
The significant payload and range increases will enable to 777X to out perform the Airbus A350.
The 777X is slated for service entry in 2020. As with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, there will be design changes along the way, and there will of course be new technology which we currently no nothing about. Come back from time to time to see updates.
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