Boeing has brought together the major fuselage sections to form the first 777X aeroplane that will take to the skies in 2019.
In a major production milestone called ‘final body join’, Boeing teams connected the aeroplane’s nose, mid and aft sections in the company’s factory in Everett, Washington. The jet now measures 252 feet long (77 metres) from nose to tail, making it the longest passenger jet the manufacturer has ever produced.
The 777X builds on the 777 and the 787 Dreamliner to offer airlines “the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world,” according to Boeing. The plane provides 12 per cent lower fuel consumption and 10 per cent lower operating costs than competing aeroplanes, Boeing says.
The aircraft includes a GE9X engine; an all-new composite wing design; and folding, raked wingtips for aerodynamic efficiency.
“The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system,” said Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X. “With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development programme sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected.”
The 777X first flight is scheduled for 2019. First delivery is slated for 2020.