Boeing is set to show off the 777-9 at this year’s Dubai Airshow. It will be the first time that the next-generation widebody has attended an airshow. As such, it will effectively be the aircraft’s public debut, as it will be the first time that it will be shown off up close on the ground.
We had hoped to see the Boeing 777X at the 2019 edition of the Dubai Airshow. Unfortunately, due to an engine issue that needed to be resolved, the aircraft missed the show, and instead took its first flight in January 2020. The 2021 Dubai Airshow will be the first significant airshow to take place since the aircraft’s first flight due to the pandemic canceling Farnborough last year and Paris this summer.
First public appearance?
As mentioned, the Boeing 777-9’s arrival at the Dubai Airshow will effectively be its first up-close appearance in public. There was an opportunity for members of the media and invited guests to see the aircraft from a distance at its first flight in January 2020. More recently, the plane completed a flying display at the Boeing Classic golf tournament in late August.
While some aircraft on display are fenced off, such as the aircraft brought by Airbus in 2019, it is possible to walk right up to others. This was the case with the 787 Dreamliner, which was brought last time, meaning that it will likely be possible to walk right up to the aircraft and see its features, such as the folding wingtips, up close. Hopefully, the jet will fly during the show, but this cannot be guaranteed, as flying schedules are usually published on the day. Dubai AirshowDubai Airshow has listed the 777-9 as one of the attending aircraft.
Another highlight of the aircraft is its massive GE9x engines. The engines are almost as large as the fuselage of the Boeing 737. They have a diameter of 3.4 meters (11ft 2in). This compares to 9ft 8in (2.95m) on the Airbus A380’s Trent 900 engines.
In 2019, Boeing brought a 787 Dreamliner to the show. The aircraft had been wrapped in a complete vinyl livery to test how well this worked on its composite fuselage and was one of the show’s crowd-pleasers.
Other exciting aircraft attending
The Boeing 777X won’t be the only exciting aircraft at this year’s Dubai Airshow. The typical crowd-pleasers like the Emirates A380 and the Etihad Boeing 787 will be in attendance. However, it won’t just be the 777X making a debut at the show.
Etihad’s new Airbus A350-1000 is listed as attending this year’s show. Earlier this year, the airline’s CEO, Tony Douglas, revealed that he had already seen the aircraft’s new cabin, due to launch in 2022. With any luck, the airline will reveal the cabin at the show or just before, allowing attendees the chance to experience it before the A350’s introduction to service with Etihad.
Which aircraft are you most excited to see at the Dubai Airshow? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!