Emirates Airline’s first Boeing 777X is nearing completion at Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington and is just about ready to head over to the paint shop.
The Emirates Boeing 777X is the seventh aircraft of this type to be built, and is expected to be delivered to Emirates in January 2021. Emirates have ordered 150 of the new jets worth $76 billion, but have according to the Seattle Times been in talks with Boeing to defer some of the planes.
The newspaper article suggests that Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark wants to replace some of the 150 777Xs with Boeing 787 Dreamliners. In other words, swap out 777Xs for 787s, but still keeping the order for 150 aircraft.
Emirates Airline’s President Sir Tim Clark loves the 777X
Sir Tim has been the driving force behind Emirates desire for the 777X, a plane Sir Tim describes as being “an absolute peach”. The reason the 777X appeals to the 69-year-old boss is the aircraft’s efficiency and roominess.
The 777X is 20% more fuel-efficient than the industry-leading 777-300ER while having a larger more spacious cabin fitted with bigger windows. The 777X combines all the best features of the older 777 but has a longer fuselage, new efficient engines and a composite wing design similar to the 787.
Able to carry more than 400 passengers depending on the airlines choice of seat configurations the 777-9X has a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km).
The 777X will be very economical to fly
Boeing claims that it will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial aircraft.
The second aircraft of its type the 777X-8 will be able to seat 350 people with a longer range of 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km).
Previously it was assumed that the 777Xs new GE9X would be delivered to Boeing this year. However, General Electric has come up with some issues with the new engines that Aviation Week’s Guy Norris calls an anomaly.
“An anomaly was detected in the forward part of the 11-stage high-pressure compressor on a GE9X that was undergoing one of the final batches of certification tests.” “It’s a mechanical issue and nothing to do with the overall performance of the engine or the way it is set up. It is not an aerodynamic issue whatsoever,” GE Aviation GE9X General Manager Ted Ingling told Norris.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg calls the engine problem a “pacing item”
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg reassured investors during an earnings call, telling them that the engine issue remained nothing more than a “pacing item” while the aircraft was being manufactured.
“As we previously mentioned, GE, our engine supplier is working through some challenges with the engines that are putting risk on the overall test schedule. Based on GE’s latest assessment on what it will take to address these challenges, we are currently projecting that first flight will occur in early 2020 rather than in 2019 as we have previously mentioned.
“This scheduled flight is obviously disappointing given how well the aircraft has been performing in pre-flight tests and that we are on track on non-engine activities.”
Muilenburg looked to put investors at ease by telling them how well the pre-flight tests had gone and let them know that the Seattle planemaker had everything under control.