Major fuselage sections of Boeing’s 777X flight test aircraft have been brought together for the first time at the manufacturer’s Everett facility. Known as the ‘final body join,’ Boeing teams connected the widebody’s nose, mid and aft sections. The new jet now measures 252ft long (77m) from nose to tail, making it the longest passenger jet the US manufacturer has ever produced.
“The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system,” said Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X. “With this aircraft type, the production system was integrated into the development programme sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected.”
Unique to the aircraft is the addition of folding, raked wingtips, which allow its wings to span to 235ft (72m) while maintaining airport compatibility with the existing 777 family.
The first 777X to be introduced will be the 777-9 model, which can seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configuration and offer a range of 7,600nm (14,075 km). In September 2018, the first 777X test aircraft for static ground testing was completed with three additional flight test examples planned after the first flight test.
The first flight for the 777X is scheduled for 2019 with deliveries slated for 2020.