What it’s like inside Boeing’s new 777X

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(CNN) — Described as “the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet,” the Boeing 777X was originally scheduled to enter service in 2020, but the jetliner’s launch has been plagued by delays.

Now expected to debut in 2025, the airplane’s most striking exterior feature is undoubtedly its folding wingtips — a first for commercial aviation.

But what will the inside look like? This month, Boeing displayed a test-version of the 777-9X, one of two 777X variants, at the Farnborough Airshow, a UK-based aviation trade event, giving a hint of what passengers can expect.

The 777 has been a huge success for Boeing since it entered service in 1995, and has been the best-selling wide-body aircraft. The 777X succeeds the popular but aging 777-300ER, and looks poised to become one of the aircraft manufacturer’s flagship airliners.

The most remarkable thing about the experimental plane, aside from the fact that it is loaded with monitoring equipment, is how huge it is.

Huge plane

Visitors onboard the 777-9X, the test version of Boeing's 777X, during the Farnborough Airshow in the UK.

Visitors onboard the 777-9X, the test version of Boeing’s 777X, during the Farnborough Airshow in the UK.

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Measuring 251 feet, the aircraft seats 426 passengers in a standard two-class configuration, and is longer than both its predecessor, the 777-300ER (242 feet 4 inches) and the Airbus A350-1000, which is just over 242 inches in length. foot

In demonstrator planes, most of the space inside the cabin is currently taken up by testing stations, which use large water tanks to balance the aircraft during testing conditions.

Although the aircraft has the same exterior width as a 777, its side walls are thinner, so there is enough room for 10 18-inch-wide seats in economy.

Then there are the windows. Not only are they about 16% larger than those on the 777, they are also installed higher on the fuselage to provide passengers with more natural light and a better view.

No overhead bins were on show inside the demonstrator 777-9X, but Boeing said bins fitted on board would hold twice as much as normal bins and require 40% less force to close.

According to Boeing, the best features of the 777 and 787 Dreamliner families have been brought together for the 777X, with additional advancements, and the similarities are obvious.

Large windows

The windows on the 777X will be about 16% larger than those on the 777.

The windows on the 777X will be about 16% larger than those on the 777.

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

“It has the same passenger amenities as the Dreamliner,” explains Julie O’Donnell from Boeing’s commercial airplane communications team. “Hence LED lighting and better humidity.”

Like the Dreamliner, the 777X can maintain a lower cabin altitude of 6,000 feet, which “helps with fatigue,” a member of the flight testing team told CNN Travel during a tour of the aircraft, along with improved technology to “deal with turbulence.”

The 775,000-pound plane is fitted with a General Electric GE9X engine, the most powerful engine ever installed on a commercial airliner. This burns 10% less fuel than the current 777.

Inside the cockpit, the flight deck includes a touchscreen display that can support multiple touch points, allowing two pilots to simultaneously interact with their lower display section.

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James Henley, one of the test pilots aboard the aircraft, was full of praise for the “sophisticated” system, indicating that it was a hit with the pilots.

Rigorous testing program

One of the many controls fitted inside is used to operate the plane’s folding wings, which have a span of just over 233 feet (71 m).

There were carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer wings specially designed To enable the aircraft to fit the same doors, taxiways and runways as the 777.

While this design feature is not uncommon on Navy fighter jets built for landing on an aircraft carrier, this is the first time a commercial airliner has been fitted with folding wingtips.

The folding wingtips of an airliner are the first for commercial aviation.

The folding wingtips of an airliner are the first for commercial aviation.

Justin Tellis/AFP via Getty Images

As a result, the US Federal Aviation Administration has drafted new regulations for its sister aircraft the 777-9X and 777-8X.

The 777-9 is undergoing “rigorous” flight testing both on the ground and in the air, and is making good progress, according to the test team.

The plane took its maiden flight Back in January 2020 And now more than 2,400 flight hours have been logged.

Aerial Show

It wasn’t just part of the static display at the first Farnborough Airshow to be held from 2019.

Attendees were treated to a spectacular aerial display in which the aircraft flew at a near-vertical angle, before performing several impressive manoeuvres, much to the delight of the crowd below.

“I never get tired of watching people fly,” O’Donnell told CNN Travel shortly before the awe-inspiring show.

The aircraft is now back at Boeing Field in Seattle and has “resumed normal operations.”

The latest high-profile appearance comes months after Boeing announced that its deliveries had been pushed back to 2025 due to an “updated assessment of the time required to meet certification requirements.”

Large order?

An aircraft flies through the sky during a demonstration flight at the Farnborough Airshow.

An aircraft flies through the sky during a demonstration flight at the Farnborough Airshow.

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Boeing has received about 376 orders for the 777X.

Qatar Airways will be the first airline to receive the aircraft, according to Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who told reporters at the Farnborough Airshow that he was considering placing a “large order”.

Qatar’s state-owned flag carrier Airlines finalized an order for 25 of Boeing’s 737 MAX 10 airliners, while Delta Air Lines announced that it plans Buy 100 of the largest variants of Boeing’s 737 Max, which was also on display at the aerospace event.
In March 2019, MAX was Ground for 20 months Following two fatal crashes. This was removed in November 2020 after software updates and improved pilot training. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal says the aerospace company has seen “strong demand” for the MAX since it returned to the skies.

Chris Sloan also contributed to this report.

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