What’s Next For The Boeing 777X Following Its First Flight?

On Saturday, the Boeing 777X made its first flight after months of delays. While clearly a huge milestone for the American manufacturer, there is still a large mountain left to climb.

Boeing 777X, Test Program, First Flight
The Boeing 777X took its first flight back on Saturday. Photo: Boeing

Getting an aircraft from the drawing board and into service is no small task. Once the aircraft has been designed, and the first few built, it needs to be put through its paces. This involves a number of tests, some of which may seem extreme, in order to ensure that the aircraft will be able to fly safely. The Boeing 777X will now need to undergo these tests prior to its estimated delivery in 2021. This will allow Boeing to find and rectify any design problems in addition to confirming the final design.

First flight

The first hurdle, which the 777X has already cleared, is to make its first flight. This can have some strict rules attached, one of which led to the first flight being called off. In case anything unexpected was to occur during takeoff, an unpopulated area is required beyond the runways.

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For this reason, the 777X had to take off toward the north on runway 34L despite having a tailwind. On the aircraft’s first attempt to take off, the winds were well above the ten-knot maximum that Boeing needed to observe. As a result, after a prolonged wait at the end of the runway, the flight was called off until the next day.

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Boeing, 777X, First Flight
The aircraft’s first flight didn’t leave the state of Washington. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

What’s next?

Now that the aircraft has proved it is capable of sustained flight, the real testing begins. The aircraft will be put through its paces both on the ground and in the skies. This will include testing the aircraft’s flight envelope, cold and hot weather testing, among other things. As a result, instead of being filled with seats, the aircraft will be full of sensitive testing equipment.

2021 and beyond

Once the aircraft has been certified by the relevant authorities, Boeing will then commence deliveries of the aircraft. Lufthansa will be the launch customer for the aircraft, meaning that the German flag carrier will be the first to fly it. While they had expected their first delivery this year, the date is now expected to be in 2021 due to the delay in the program.

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Boeing 777X, Test Program, First Flight
The aircraft will undergo a period of testing before deliveries are scheduled in 2021. Photo: Boeing

Despite flight testing only just beginning, Lufthansa’s first aircraft has already largely been built. Other airlines which will receive the aircraft include Emirates, British Airways, and Qatar Airways. However, the list goes on. Now that the aircraft has flown, there is also the possibility that more orders will be received, potentially at the big air shows such Farnborough this summer!

Are you looking forward to flying on the Boeing 777X once it enters service? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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High Mile Club

I’ll grab a ticket if possible to fly in one; if I decide to travel anywhere.

Richard Browne

The Boeing 777 is probably the worst of all large twin engine powered Jumbo Jets! Airbus build a far better aircraft.

High Mile Club

Please stop trying to spread false information. Those near 1500 deliveries say otherwise and you know it.

Max

Grow up clown

Andy

I don’t know about being the worst, but having travelled on the A350, A330ceo, 777 and 787, I found the Airbus jets noticeably quieter, although the 787 runs the A330 pretty close.

TonytTDK

The article says; “The Boeing 777X will now need to undergo these tests prior to its estimated delivery in 2021. This will allow Boeing to find and rectify any design problems in addition to confirming the final design” This seems reasonable. In the space during pre-production testing, the opportunity remains to ‘tweak or clater aspects of the aircraft, should any issues be shown-up during testing. So for Tom Boon to then tell us that; “Lufthansa’s first aircraft have already largely been built”, strikes me as between counter-intuitive & over-enthusiastic by Boeing to the point of assumption, that the FAA will… Read more »

Sam

Nah. Things like this are common. Both Boeing and Airbus start building frames way before delivery.

Manny

Amazing looking aircraft let’s hope Boeing got this one right it shouldn’t be all about the big wings in Chicago they need to let the engineers build the aircraft

Manny Cunha

Amazing looking aircraft let’s hope Boeing got this one right it shouldn’t be all about the big wings in Chicago they need to let the engineers build the aircraft

John

It won’t enter service in 2021, if ever. Boeing will need to earn type certification for each and every major regulator in the world, since the FAA has ruined the trust they earned. The 777X will need to be signed off one by one by the Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, and on and on. All hopefully on Boeing’s dime. Said regulators should audit every aspect of the airliner – computers, manufacturing, processes. Everyone in the process from managers, to design, engineer, pilots, and factory workers should be interviewed under oath. This is not only a test of the airplane,… Read more »

High Mile Club

The 777x is more likely to enter service with just about everyone unlike the MAX. It’ll be under more scrutiny than the previous model, but the 777 is a real trustworthy aircraft unlike its its smaller brother.

It may have been built during a time of uncertainty with Boeing, but the design process is similar to that of the 747-8; and nothing went wrong with that aircraft aside from the lack of new orders at this point.

Neil

I have to side with John, I don’t think international regulators are just going to rubber stamp it’s airworthiness certificate off the back of the FAAs approval. I believe that trust in the FAA to actually do their job and thoroughly inspect the aircraft has been totally eroded and global regulators see them for what they are: toothless and in the pockets of the companies they are supposed to regulate. I think we will see each individual regulator demanding full inspections, test flights etc before any new US manufactured (but especially Boeing) aircraft is allowed to fly in the regulators… Read more »

Dan McNiven

Look forward to flying in the 777x and GE x thrust.
Our airline Wardair Canada enjoyed bringing the first Boeing to Canada
A 727-100 then two B707 and Four B747 and two 747s had the first GE CF6 -80
C2
Excellent problem free and the new 777 has a quieter cabin and lower cabin altitude for greater cabin comfort and lower cost per pax seat mile
Boeing just gets better and better

Gerry S

First they piled on the MAX. It has problems we all admit. Now the pile on is on 777X an a/c still in development. Real avionphiles like all airplanes. And then there are those looking to spread hate and malice simply because they don't like the manufacturer. Nuff said.

Andy

Has the 777X got MCAS? And, if so, does it have at least two sensors?

High Mile Club

Take a long, hard look at the plane and tell us. If you think it does, you weren’t looking hard enough.

Pradeep Menon

Its yet another game changer from Boeing. Barring minor glitches that may pop up, the 9X should be an ideal replacement to 747s, 380s and 340s. Beware, AB 350 1000X may be a challenger but then theres enough space up there to fight for. Exciting times ahead. 💐

Neil

I will be doing all I can to avoid the 777X, we all saw how many shortcuts Boeing took with the 737MAX, I do not want to end up as another statistic in a Boeing aircraft failure. Since the disaster, I’ve been trying my best to avoid Boeing aircraft altogether. Airbus feels like a safe pair of hands compared to Boeing and I certainly don’t trust the FAA to get it’s certification right. One just hope the CAA in the UK and the EASA for the whole of Europe can grow a pair and not just follow the FAAs lead;… Read more »