The B777X is the upcoming new-generation aircraft from Boeing.
Designed to compete in the same field as the Airbus A350, it is set to be the world’s largest – and according to Boeing, the world’s most efficient – twin-engine jet.
Boeing borrowed elements from the successful B777 and B787 Dreamliner to create the B777X and its two configurations, the B777-8 and B777-9.
The B777-8 will accommodate up to 384 passengers and fly up to 16,710 km. The slightly larger B777-9 will accommodate up to 426 passengers and fly up to 13,500 km.
The latest technology in the B777X includes the GE9X engine, “the world’s largest and most powerful commercial aircraft engine,” according to GE Aviation. The engine allows for both improved fuel efficiency and reduced flight emissions.
Boeing says the model will reduce flight emissions, fuel costs and operating costs by 10 per cent.
The B777X’s most distinctive feature is its folding wingtips. These give the aircraft an extended wingspan in the air which improves lift and decreases drag. When folded on the ground, they mean the aircraft can fit in existing airport infrastructure that can accommodate the B777.
Boeing says the interior cabin will feature improvements for passengers’ flight experience with enhancements such as cleaner air, lower cabin noise, and smooth ride technology, as well as a wider cabin and larger windows.
For improved sleeping conditions, Boeing says the B777X will be equipped with “advanced LED lighting.”
Additionally, some aircraft will have electronically ‘dimmable’ windows, as on the Dreamliner.
On January 25, 2020, the B777X successfully completed its first flight. Originally scheduled to launch in 2019, a series of delays has meant the aircraft will not be delivered to airlines until 2021.
So far, eight airlines have placed orders for variants of the B777X. They are:
Lufthansa has ordered 20 of the B777-9 variant, with delivery expected in early 2021. The airline is creating a new business class seat that will include direct aisle access from all seats.
Last February, British Airways placed 18 orders for the B777-9. The airline plans to have 325 seats across four cabins.
The B777X will begin to replace other models such as the B747-400 and B777-200 between 2022 and 2025.
After renegotiating its aircraft order terms last year, Etihad will be receiving six B777-9s over several years.
Cathay Pacific will also launch a new business class when it receives the B777-9 model in 2021, with 21 aircraft set to be delivered by 2024.
Emirates plans to launch a premium economy product on the B777X, and has placed a large order for 126 of the aircraft.
Qatar Airways ordered 60 B777X aircraft to replace its ageing B777 models. It had planned to launch its own premium economy class on the aircraft, but due to the delivery delay is now expected to debut the product on another model.
All Nippon Airways
All Nippon Airways placed an order for 20 B777X aircraft.
Singapore Airlines has also ordered 20 of the B777-9 variant.