As Boeing inches towards the first flight of the Boeing 777X later this month, more leaks and sneak previews are making their way to the media. But one special version of the 777X, the 777-10X has not been heard of in some time.
Will Boeing end up building the 777-10X? Or is it just a pipe dream with no real-world application?
What is the Boeing 777-10X?
The Boeing 777-10X is a further stretch of the 777X series that will include four more rows than the smaller -9 (and be 3.5 meters longer). This would make it the world’s longest jet.
It would seat around 450 passengers and fly over 6,500 nautical miles.
It is, or was, designed to compete against the Airbus A380, but now Boeing expects the 777-10X to compete against a possible A350-2000 stretch. Unlike the A380, the Boeing 777 series does not require special gates at airports and thus is far more flexible for airlines.
These two stretches are starting to get as close to as long as a modern aircraft can be. Any longer and runways will need to be extended to allow for takeoff and landing.
Boeing predicts that airlines like Emirates, who only has 777s and A380s in their fleet so far, or Singapore could be interested.
How does the 777-10X compare to the other variants?
So far, Boeing has revealed that there will be two mainline Boeing 777Xs.
- Boeing 777-8X – 365 passengers to a range of 8,690 nmi / 16,090 km
- Boeing 777-9X – 414 passengers to a range of 7,525 nmi / 13,940 km
The 777-10X series can fit around 30-40 more passengers than the -9X but that will come at a cost of range. Additionally, the 777-10X is rumored to have its galleys moved to under the passenger cabin, thus allowing for more room throughout the aircraft.
Will Boeing build it?
We last heard concrete news about the aircraft in 2016, at the Farnborough Airshow.
“We have the ability to do it,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner told Flight Global in 2016. “If somebody wanted more capacity, that’s a pretty straightforward deal for us to do.”
But, in the past Boeing has been reluctant to move into the high-capacity space. Their Boeing 747 also had a larger variant that would have been easily able to carry many passengers, but Boeing chose to focus on smaller aircraft designed for point to point travel (their research into aircraft design would eventually give birth to the 787 Dreamliner).
Singapore, in 2017, only lightly touched on the 777-10X, confirming that they had been in discussion with Boeing regarding the aircraft.
“We discuss fleet requirements with manufacturers on a regular basis, and any such discussions are confidential,” said Nicholas Ionides, Singapore Airlines vice president of public affairs to CNN.
The sales of the 787-10 have been slower than the smaller versions, but still enough to justify the bigger version. Perhaps it will be the same for the 777X.
“We will continue to study 777X derivatives and seek customer input to develop products that provide the most value for customers,” – Boeing to CNN on the matter.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.