The very first Boeing 777X was presented to its employees yesterday – March 13th, at the airframer’s main wide-body manufacturing facility in Everett, Washington.
The original event was due to be a planned celebration of the new plane but things were reigned in significantly out of respect following the recent loss of all onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8.
The 777x will enter service as the longest passenger jet aircraft in the world. At 252 feet the 777X is longer than its predecessor, the 777-300ER and the super-stretched Airbus A340-600. The current record-holder is Boeing’s own 747-8, the latest version of its “Queen of the Skies” whose aviation-changing ancestor flew 50 years ago. The 777-9’s maiden test flight is expected later this spring.
The plane is designed to seat up to 425 passengers in two classes with a range of 7,600 nautical miles and looks set to be the biggest twin-engine airliner of all time when it starts flying passengers next year.
A second, smaller model will follow. The 777-8 will seat between 350 and 375 passengers and can spend more than 17 hours inflight, covering 8,700 nautical miles, and is set to be Boeing’s challenger to the Airbus A350ULR’s crown as the world’s longest-range airplane.
Dubai-based Emirates will get the first 777-9 next year and the 777-8 will follow two years later. Eight airlines so far have placed 358 orders and commitments for the new plane.