This flight will be the beginning flight for a series of test flights required before the aircraft can be certified for commercial service.
|Boeing 777X is set to fly for the first time
on 23rd January Photo: Boeing
The flight is expected to take off at around 10 A.M. local time at Boeing’s assembly line facility near Everett, Washington. The aircraft will stay in air for about three to five hours.
However, depending on weather the test flight may take-off on Friday as per sources.
Originally, the Boeing 777X was expected to take to the skies in early summer with deliveries starting by the end of 2020 and operation starting in 2021. Engine issue prompted the delay in this programme.
|Boeing 777X will directly compete with Airbus
A350-1000 Photo: Airbus
Boeing spokesman said,”Thursday’s flight signals the start of the next phase of the rigorous test program.” He added, “The flight could still get pushed to another day. Flight testing is dynamic.”
He also stated, “The date could change due to weather and other factors.”
The 777X is the latest updated version of the popular 777 series which first took off in 1994 and came in service with United Airlines the following year.
Boeing stated that the improvement on the aircraft’s efficiency include 10% better fuel efficiency along with 10% better operating economies.
The Boeing 777X will compete directly with Airbus A350 series. The 777X is also expected to become a candidate for airlines looking to replace older jumbo jets like Boeing 747 and the discontinued Airbus A380.
|Emirates will be the launch customer|
The Airbus A350 has already proved itself as the preferred choice for airlines till date. It currently operrates on the world’s longest flight between Singapore and Newark. Last year, Qantas also selected the A350 for its proposed Project Sunrise flights, which would provide direct flight from Sydney to London, New York and Frankfurt along with other being added later on.
As of December last year, the 777X has a combined order for 309 firm orders from 8 specified customers. Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, All Nippon Airways, Qatar Airways British Airways and Singapore Airlines are going to be the early operators for the type.