Boeing has resumed test flights of its newest commercial jet, the 777X. The aircraft manufacturer hadn’t flown the new type for a month following a pause to its Washington area operations. One such test flight took place yesterday as it flew from Boeing Field to Spokane.
Boeing had expected to be delivering the first 777X aircraft later this year. However, following delays to the program, the first deliveries are now not expected to occur until next year. The plane finally took its first flight in January, and must now undergo comprehensive testing before delivery.
This process had been paused alongside manufacturing in the Seattle area. However, some of these activities have now resumed. It will allow Boeing to continue to work towards certification after a lengthy delay already caused by engine issues.
A trip to Spokane
Yesterday one of the Boeing 777X test aircraft, N779XW, took a trip to Spokane as part of its program of testing. The experimental aircraft departed from Boeing Field in Seattle at 13:48. The plane quickly climbed to 19,000 feet, initially flying north before turning to the east. The flight to Spokane took around an hour, with the aircraft arriving at 14:49.
The aircraft flew three approaches to the Washington airport before climbing towards the west. The plane rose to 18,000 feet for the return trip, having departed Spokane at 15:15. The aircraft then landed back in Washinton at 16:06. The total flight time was just under two hours and twenty minutes. Aerotime spotted the flight.
Testing program resumed
Yesterday’s 777X flight was the first in a month for the program. The last flight took place on the 23rd of March. While engine issues previously delayed the 777X program, this recent delay was out of Boeing’s hands.
The American aerospace manufacturer suspended operations in the Washington area to deal with the current pandemic affecting the global aviation industry. The measures came after a Boeing employee from the area sadly passed away from the virus. Now that the testing program has been resumed, Boeing can continue working towards certification of the new type.
The newest widebody
Once the Boeing 777X achieves certification, it will succeed the Airbus A350 as the world’s newest widebody commercial aircraft. There are a total of 309 777X planes currently on order. This figure includes orders for both the 777-8 and the 777-9. Boeing is currently working on the certification of the latter. It will then begin work on the 777-8’s certification.
Lufthansa is due to be the launch customer of the 777X as things stand. Emirates is waiting in line just behind the German flag carrier. Other airlines that have ordered the 777X include British Airways, Singapore Airlines, ANA, Qatar, Cathay Pacific, and Etihad, alongside an unidentified customer. However, earlier today, we reported that Cathay could be looking to modify its 777X order.
When do you think the first Boeing 777X aircraft will be delivered? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!