The Boeing 777X’s engines have finished their flight tests. The engines were being tested aboard a modified Boeing 747 in the Mojave desert. Testing concluded following 320 flight test hours.
The new GE9X engine will power the 777X aircraft currently in the late stages of development at Boeing. The aircraft is still due to take its first flight. So far it has only been revealed officially to employees. In the wake of the 737 MAX crisis, it was deemed to be insensitive to go ahead with the planned public reveal of the plane.
Seven years in the making
The GE9X engine has now been seven years in the making, as General Electric initially announced the program back in 2012. In the past seven years of development, an awful lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes. Indeed, now the GE9X has completed a mountain of testing. The Air Current pointed out that the GE9X engine is, in fact, bigger than the fuselage of a Boeing 737:
Is the new GE9X engine on Boeing’s 777X as big as a 737 fuselage? No. It’s even bigger. pic.twitter.com/x2s3XXwZTC
— The Air Current (@theaircurrent) January 4, 2019
In 2016 the first test engine completed its test runs. In 375 cycles it completed 335 hours of testing. The next step in testing the engine saw tests take place in extremely cold temperatures. Following the completion of this stage, it was time to start working on constructing more engines. Now, according to Aviation Week, the testing of the engine is complete.
The Boeing 777X
The Boeing 777X is ready to begin a series of vigorous testing. The aircraft is expected to take its first flight in the second half of 2019. Following this testing, it is expected to enter service in late 2020.
Lufthansa will be the launch customer of the Boeing 777X. As such, despite testing still yet to get underway, the first aircraft has almost finished taking shape. It is unclear right now whether Boeing is still intending to do a public reveal of the aircraft give the event’s previous cancellation. However, rumours indicate the company is still looking to run one at some stage.
The new GE9X engines are just part of the impressive array of innovative technology being implemented on the Boeing 777X. Additionally, the aircraft has become well known for its new wingtips, which fold up to reduce the aircraft’s wingspan when it’s on the ground. However, when the aircraft is flying, they are folded out to increase the lift generated.
The pilots of the aircraft will also notice a huge difference when flying the aircraft. Indeed, the 777X will be fitted with advanced touch screens in the cockpit. These, Boeing says, are a first for commercial aviation, and have themselves been subjected to five years of testing.
Are you excited to see the Boeing 777X fly with the GE9X? Let us know in the comments.