Boeing’s third 777X testbed completed its first flight less than a week ago. The aircraft, registered as N779XY, is bound for Germany’s Lufthansa after spending some time running flight tests.
Lufthansa will take the third 777X
The third Boeing 777X made its maiden flight just a few days ago. This plane will head to Lufthansa once it has finished its flight tests with Boeing. It is unclear when exactly the handover will be completed, but Lufthansa stated that specific aircraft would join Lufthansa’s fleet “later on.”
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The plane will likely spend some time with Boeing doing test flights and helping the company push its latest and greatest widebody towards certification and broader commercial service. Once Boeing does not need the aircraft anymore, it will be painted in Lufthansa’s livery and outfitted with the German airline’s new interior before finally being ferried to Germany, where it will be able to enter commercial service.
Is it common for testbeds to enter commercial service?
Testbeds serve Boeing well at the start when an aircraft is entering certification or when a company is testing out new technologies. After that, however, its an airworthy plane that can carry passengers. As a result, testbeds do often head over to an airline.
For example, the first Boeing 777 ever produced went to Cathay Pacific. After about 18 years in service, that plane was retired and preserved at an air museum. And, according to data from Planespotters.net, Mexico’s VVIP Boeing 787-8 formerly served as Boeing’s testbed before becoming the luxury aircraft it is today (which Mexico is trying to offload).
Testbed aircraft will sometimes be painted in a slightly different livery or with fewer decals, to make it easier to put the final customer’s livery on the jet. This usually occurs when an airline, per delivery schedules, knows it will take the testbed aircraft. For example, the first high-weight Airbus A330-900neo was painted in a simple livery because it will head to a customer after its flight testing duties are complete.
Lufthansa’s Boeing 777X
Lufthansa’s Boeing 777X is one of the most hotly awaited new aircraft in the world. The airline will not be taking any until 2022 at the soonest as Boeing has officially delayed the introduction of the plane. Nevertheless, the environment in 2022 will likely be better for the 777X to enter service as soon as possible. The first 777X for Lufthansa was spotted back in May under development.
Once it does, it will be a treat for passengers. Lufthansa is installing an all-new business class onboard the aircraft. The seats will be lie-flat and have a stellar amount of privacy. For those looking for something a little more, there will be some spacious throne seats available in the center section of the cabin.
In premium economy, Lufthansa is also debuting a brand new seat. The official unveiling of the cabin is about two years away. However, passengers can still expect that the aircraft will have the latest and greatest interior.
Lufthansa has 20 Boeing 777-9s on order. These jets will go to replace some of the Boeing 747-400 operated routes.
Are you looking forward to flying Lufthansa’s Boeing 777-9? Let us know in the comments!