The new Boeing 777X took to the skies for the first time today in front of thousands at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, USA.
The maiden flight of WH01 sets in motion the next phase of the aircraft’s rigorous test program.
The three-hour, 51-minute flight was heralded a success and exercised the airplane’s systems and structures, monitored in real-time by the team based at Seattle’s Boeing Field.
The 777X includes the 777-8 and the 777-9, the newest members of Boeing’s wide-body aircraft.
The 777-8 will service 384 passengers on a typical 2-class seat configuration and the 777-9 436 passengers.
Captain Van Chaney, 777/777X chief test pilot for Boeing Test & Evaluation said the “777X flew beautifully, and today’s testing was very productive”.
“Thank you to all the teams who made today possible. I can’t wait to go fly your airplane again,” he said.
According to Boeing the new 777X combines the best of the passenger-preferred 777 and 787 Dreamliner cabins with new innovations to deliver “the flight experience of the future”.
The 777X is slated to deliver 10 per cent lower fuel use and emissions and 10 per cent lower operating costs than competitors through advanced aerodynamics and the latest-generation composite wing.
The platform also supports one of the most advanced commercial engines ever developed, the GE Aviation GE9X.
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said today’s safe first flight of the 777X was a tribute to the years of hard work and dedication from Boeing’s teammates, its suppliers and community partners in Washington state and across the globe.
“Our Boeing team has taken the most successful twin-aisle jet of all time and made it even more efficient, more capable and more comfortable for all,” he said.
WATCH: What defines the 777X? Boeing explains the GE9X engine, fuselage and wings.
WH001 is the first of four dedicated 777-9 flight test platforms, which will now undergo checks before resuming testing in the coming days.
The test fleet, which began ground testing in Everett last year, will endure a comprehensive series of tests and conditions on the ground and in the air over the coming months to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the design.
Boeing expects to deliver the first 777X in 2021.
The program has secured 340 orders and commitments from a number of carriers including ANA, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
According to Boeing, since its launch in 2013, the 777X family has outsold the competition nearly 2 to 1.