Boeing Resumes 777X Certification Flights

Boeing has resumed certification test flights of the latest 777X aircraft. The aircraft was on ground for a month following a pause to its Washington area operations.

Boeing Resumes 777X Certification Flights
Boeing Resumes 777X Test flighs Photo: Airlineratings

Yesterday, one of the test aircraft, with registration ‘N779XW’ performed a flight to Spokane as part of its certification program. The aircraft took off from Boeing Field in Seattle at 13:48.

The test aircraft turned east after it quickly climbed to 19,000 feet flying in the north direction. The test flight lasted for around an hour and arrived at Spokane at 14:49.

The aircraft performed three touch and go approach (see full functional check video below) at Spokane International Airport on the functional check flight. Then, the aircraft climbed towards west.

The plane then climbed back to 18,000 feet for the flight back to Seattle, after it departed Spokane airport at 15:15. 

Boeing Resumes 777X Certification Flights
The flight lasted for around two hours and 30 minutes Photo: Flightradar24

The 1.1 year old 777X prototype landed back in Seattle at 16:06. The aircraft was air borne for around two hours and twenty minutes.

Yesterday’s functional test flight was the first one after a month for the program. The last flight took place on 23rd of March. Several delays were observed during this process.

The American manufacturer has suspended productions in the Washington area to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

One of the Boeing employees’ who was working as an Instructor in the 787 Dreamliner assembly line at Everett factory died due to the corona virus. 

Boeing Resumes 777X Certification Flights
The aircraft took off from Seattle yesteerday Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 777X flight testing program was halted due to this production suspension. But now the testing has been resumed for the certification.

Boeing had expected to deliver the first 777X aircraft later this year. But due to the engine issues, the first delivery is not expected to occur until this year. 

After continuous delays, Boeing 777X performed its maiden flight back in January. The manufacturer is now working too deliver the first aircraft by the first quarter of 2021.

The Boeing 777X will directly compete with the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. The 777X is also expected to become a candidate for airlines looking to replace older jumbo jets like Boeing 747 and the now discontinued Airbus A380 quad jets.

The Airbus A350 has already proved itself as the preferred choice for airlines. It currently operates on the world’s longest flight between Singapore and Newark. 

Boeing Resumes 777X Certification Flights
Boeing 777X performed maiden flight back in January Photo: Boeing

Last year, Qantas also selected the A350-1000 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, alongside an unidentified customer are going to be the early operators for the type.

Lufthansa is due to be the launch operator of the latest addition to the Boeing family. Emirates, the largest operator by order size is expected to take delivery of the aircraft after that.  

However, due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some of these orders seem to be cancelled or deferred as of now. 

Boeing Resumes 777X Certification Flights
Cathay is planning to defer order for the Boeing 777X Photo: Reuters

Airlines are considering to extend the lifespan along with leasing contracts for their Boeing 777-300ER’s, after huge drop in fuel price due to ongoing crisis.

Airlines are believing that, instead of buying a brand new plane for around $200 million, operating a $50 million older jet is more advantageous.

In this situation, the Boeing 777X seems to be a huge headache for the manufacturer. The reduction in fuel price put the program at risk.

Here is the full video of functional test at Spokane International Airport:

Do you think airlines will cancel or defer their orders for the Boeing 777X? Let us know in the comments below:

1 thought on “Boeing Resumes 777X Certification Flights”

  1. I honestly think Airlines have been 'spooked' by the 737Max problems, and are worried about the haste Boeing seem to be taking to get new aircraft Certified. Covid-19 has seriously affected the economic stability of many Airlines worldwide, which will rumble on for many years to come, so I do not see how the release of the 777X can possibly be a logical decision. I fully appreciate Boeing has invested in the production of the aircraft, however, the Boeing management needs to look at the current situation and be realistic.

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