At 8:00 local SA time this evening, Boeing’s all new 777X took to the skies at the aircraft manufacturers headquarters in Everett. The long-awaited first flight of the next-generation in the 777 family positioned at the end of the runway of Everett Paine Field on what is scheduled to be a five-hour test flight.
Video: Boeing 777X first take-off
Seeing the world’s largest passenger twin-engines accelerating down Runway 34 powered by its huge General Electric GE9X engines Is something that raised the blood pressure of many an aviation enthusiast around the world. At times during the live stream there were well over 50000 viewers on-line.
Boeing has originally scheduled the first 777X flight to take place on Thursday 23rd January, but due to poor weather in the Washington state area, the decision was taken by Boeing to postpone the maiden test-flight by a day.
Boeing then cancelled the second planned test flight on January 24 as the aircraft waited at the end of the runway for nearly three hours due to wind conditions of 18 knots. For uncertified aircraft and test flights the wind must be below 10 knots.
Boeing have been in dire need of some positive news after the global grounding of the 737 MAX following the two fatal crashes. The 777X, sporting a 71 meter wingspan 10 meters longer than the current 777-200 and 300’s, raced down the runway and effortlessly lifted into the air to cheers from the entire Boeing team and all the onlookers.
The 777X prototype proudly displayed the tails of all the airlines that have already placed orders for this revolutionary aircraft. The largest order was from Emirates, who placed an order for 150 of the aircraft but have since reduced this to 115 aircraft after adjusting their backlog of orders to included 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Qatar Airways have placed orders for 60 of the 777X and British Airways recently announced an order (with potential additional options) that could see the U.K. flag carrier receive as many as 42 777-9 variants to replace the ageing and gas-guzzling 747-400 that they currently operate. Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, All Nippon Airlines and Singapore Airlines have all ordered 20 777X aircraft each as well, to replace ageing wide-body fleets.
Well done Boeing! we can’t wait to see the 777X flying commercially.