Will The 777X Be Like The 787 Dreamliner?

There’s been a lot of buzz around the 777X. With the first flight scheduled for 2019, we’re getting closer to passenger flights in 2020.

There are 53 orders for the smaller 777-8 version. Future operators include Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad….although Etihad has been seeking to reduce aircraft orders amid financial struggles.

The larger 777-9 is more popular with 273 orders from Lufthansa, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qatar, ANA, and Singapore Airlines.

All of the airlines with the 777X on order are known for their excellent hard and soft products. Qatar, Etihad, ANA, and Singapore Airlines also operate 787s. With so many luxury operators, it will be interesting to see what configurations the 777X will take.

new business class seats
Lufthansa will be the launch customer of the B777x.

787 Technology

The 787 came with a lot of fanfare and has become one of the most efficient and comfortable planes in the sky. The likes of long-haul low-cost carrier Norwegian and 5-star airlines like Qatar Airways operate 787s.

The 787 was the first commercial airliner made mostly with composite materials. Airbus soon followed suit with their A350 as airlines were keen on increasing the fuel efficiency of their fleet. As Boeing innovated the exterior, they also designed an all-new interior.

One of the most overlooked features is the ambient LED lighting on the 787. The lighting allows the cabin crew to create different moods for sleeping or eating without the bright jolt passengers received on older aircraft where there were only two light settings: on and off.

Boeing also designed windows with a dimmable system at the push of the button. The crew has complete control over how much light to let in the cabin to minimize disturbances from passengers opening and closing window shades on daytime trans-oceanic flights. That’s not where Boeing stopped with the windows. The 787 has windows that are as much as 65% larger than other aircraft. This gave the impression of an airy, and open-feeling aircraft.

Economy class on a Virgin Atlantic 787-9 with larger windows and ambient LED lighting.

Other comfort and convenience features include larger overhead bins and cabins pressurized to a lower altitude for a more comfortable long-haul flight. The engines on the plane are quieter and Boeing designed technology to make turbulence less of a nuisance to passengers.

Overall, the 787 proved to be a success. There have been over 1,400 orders for the 787 of which more than 760 have been delivered. Passengers also enjoy the comforts of flying such a state-of-the-art plane. 

777X Features

With the success of the 787, many of Boeing’s groundbreaking technologies will be found on the 777X. Boeing has already touted the composite configuration, new and more efficient engines, and an airy, open interior. In addition, to compensate for the larger wingspan, Boeing introduced folding wingtips. This is a first in the aviation industry and we are keen to see them in action!

boeing 797
The 777X will have folding wing tips.

We can expect an economy class laid out in a 10-abreast, 3-4-3 configuration on the 777X. This configuration ends up being tight on the current 777 series, but the 777X has a wider cabin width. We can expect to see wider seats and aisles on the 777X.

With a larger cabin width, it will be interesting to see what airlines do with their premium classes. Lufthansa has introduced an entirely new business class hard product set to debut on their 777Xs.

new business class seats
New Business Class seats on Lufthansa’s 777Xs

All of the airlines with orders for the 777X are rated four or five stars by Skytrax. This means we can expect many more luxury improvements for premium cabins on the 777X.

Ultimately, the 777X will build off of the technological advances on the 787. We expect to see wider seats and a more spacious cabin that will make for a smooth and enjoyable long-haul ride.

Are you looking forward to flying on the 777X? Let us know in the comments below!

    1. The 777-300s are much quieter than the 200s. Let’s see what Boeing pulls off. The composite wings will dampen the noise. The engines are lower thrust and have chevroned nacelles, so they’ll be quieter too. And insulators materials have come a long way too in the last 15-25 years.

    2. How can you relax in a 787 unless you are in business or first class? In Economy, the 787 with 9-seat abreast is a nightmare.

  1. It appears that the cabin width has grown by only 9″. That is not even equal to 1″ per seat in economy. Of course, add any more , and some airlines will take it to 11 across….

    1. A few years ago, Boeing and Airbus had a little spat as Airbus called for a standardized 18” seat width for widebody aircraft. Boeing initially refused, but pointed out that their 777X can seat 10-across with 18” seat width compared to the current 17” seat width. Should some airlines choose to maintain the 9-abreast layout, we can expect even wider seats and aisles.

      11-abreast would be interesting as you’d most probably have to do a 3-5-3 layout.

    2. Mind you Singapore Airlines fits wider seats in their 787 than their A350 in spite of the same 3-3-3 layout and the A350 having a wider cabin. You can reduce the aisle width a bit if you want to give people bigger seats. Though that can impact flight attendants’ back health in the long run. It’s a tough balancing act.

      1. This is just plain wrong. The economy seats on Singapore Airlines 787-10’s are 17.5 inches vs 18 inches on their A350’s.

  2. Boeing’s 787 is by far the nicest aircraft I have ever been on.

    The ambient lighting and the innovative, large windows were excellent.

    Very comfortable in business class!!!

    1. The large electric dimmable windows have been a huge success among passengers and crew alike. We can most certainly expect these to be present on the new 777x!

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