Boeing 777 8 and Boeing 777 9
Building on the outstanding success of the Boeing 777 model, Boeing in November 2013 kicked off the project to design and build a modernised and vastly improved variant of this aircraft. The new design initially designated, Boeing 777X, is 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 is now marketed as the 777-8 and the 777-9 and was offered to market from May 2013.
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 2020.
The Boeing 777X will have folding wing-tips 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, in line with improvements in technology.
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 the 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 aircraft’s’ 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 (10 feet 4 inches) 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 8 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 9 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.
Check out this video from Boeing explaining the features of the ground breaking wing-tip technology.
Boeing 777-8 and 777-9 Time Line.
|2010-2011||Boeing responded to the updated Airbus A350 with 3 777X models targeted for design firming up by 2015 and first flight in 2018/19. Entry into service is targeted for 2019.|
|March 2013||Boeing selects the GE9X with a 335CM(132IN) fan.|
|01 May 2013||Boeing’s board approves the selling of the 777LX to replace the 777-300ER from 2021.|
|18 September 2013||Lufthansa becomes the launch customer of the 777-9X with 34 orders.|
|November 2013||At the Dubai air show the 777-8X was launched. The 259 orders and commitments amounting to US$95 Billion at list, was the largest launch by monetary value ever.|
|November 2013||At the Dubai air show, the “X” designator was dropped from the 777 model names.|
|December 2014||Boeing begins construction of a new 367,000sq ft composite facility in St. Louis.|
|August 2015||Final design of the 777-9 is locked down with a target introduction of December 2019, brought forward from 2020.|
|June 2017||Lufthansa considered delaying their order and reduced it down to 20 airframes in favour of more Airbus A350s. This pushed Emirates who had the largest order of 150 into the launch airline position.|
|September 2017||First assembly of the wing test example, with the top section lowered onto a jig for drilling.|
|November 2017||90% of engineering drawings are released.|
|February 2018||Subaru (ex Fuji Heavy Industries) completes the first wing-box constructed of aluminium/titanium complete with landing gear wheel wells in Handa, Japan.|
|February 2018||Wing components were ready to go through Boeing’s own assembly plant with advise from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries who were the manufacturers of the 787 composite wings. This is the first time that Boeing has not outsourced this work.|
|February 2018||Sub-fuselage sections were shipped. Centre wing box from Subaru, centre and forward fuselage panels from Kawasaki Heavy Industries and aft fuselage panels from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.|
|March 2018||Assembly starts on the first 777-9 fuselage.|
|May 2018||The F.A.A. approves the folding composite wing tips.|
|November 2018||Final body join of the first test aircraft completed.|
|November 2018||Electric systems were powered on for the first time.|
|December 2018||Primary systems installed.|
|January 2019||Engines installed.|
|February 2019||First Lufthansa 777-9 body join completed for projected delivery in the northern summer 2020.|
|29 May 2019||First run up of the engines installed on the prototype. A compressor problem was found on a pre-delivered engine and the June 26 maiden flight was delayed pending engine certification.
|24 July 2019||Boeing announced the engine issues would delay the maiden flight until 2020, although they still are targeting early 2020 for first deliveries.
|05 September 2019||Under FAA scrutiny a static test pressurising the aircraft beyond normal operating conditions caused a cargo door to blow off. This is being investigated for correction.
|18 October 2019||The first GE9X certified engine arrived at Boeing.
Boeing 777-8 and Boeing 777-9 Specs
|Boeing 777 8 and Boeing 9 (Boeing 777X) Specs|
|Variant||Boeing 777-8||Boeing 777-9|
|List Price||US $360.5 million||US $388.7 million|
|Passenger Capacity, 2 Class||384||414|
|Passenger Capacity, 3 Class||TBA||349|
|Cargo, LD3 Containers||TBA||48: 26 Fwd / 22 aft|
|Length||69.8 M (229 ft 0 in)||76.7 M (251 ft 9 in)|
|Wingspan||71.8 (235 ft 5 in) extended / 64.8 M (212 ft 9 in) folded|
|Wing Area||516.7 sq M (5,562 sq ft)|
|Tail Height||19.5 M (64 ft 0 in)||19.7 M (64 Ft 7 in)|
|Cabin Width||5.96 M (19 ft 7 in)|
|Economy Seat Width||45.7 cm (18 In) 10 abreast.|
|Fuselage Width||6.20 M (20 ft 4 in)|
|Max Cargo Capacity||TBA||230.2 Cu M (8,131 Cu ft)|
|Max Take-off Weight||351,534 Kg (775,000 lb)|
|Max Landing Weight||TBA||266,000 Kg (587,000 lb)|
|Max Zero Fuel Weight||TBA||255,000 Kg (562,000 lb)|
|Fuel Capacity||TBA||197,977 L (52,300 US Gal)|
|Range||16,090 Km (8,690 NM||13,940 Km (7,525 NM)|
|Engines||2 x GE Aviation (General Electric) GE9X-105B1A|
|Thrust||470 kN (105,000 lb)|
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