Watch the amazing aircraft in the video below.
Video credit: Boeing
Boeing has just unveiled the longest passenger plane in the world.
The company introduced the new plane, Boeing 777X, in its main wide-body manufacturing facility in Everett, Washington, on March 13.
Boeing had initially planned to unveil it earlier, but the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Ethiopia delayed the event.
The 777X boasts an incredible length of 252 feet, which is longer than its predecessor, the 777-300ER, as well as the Airbus A340-600.
With its enormous length, the airplane can easily accommodate around 425 passengers in two classes, flying routes of over 14,000 kilometers.
Its maiden test flight is likely scheduled later this spring. The 777-9 is the larger of the two 777X models that the company will be launching shortly.
The 777-8, smaller but equally impressive as the 777-9, will seat up to 375 passengers and will have the capability to fly over 16,000 kilometers. It will challenge the Airbus A350ULR as the world’s longest-range plane.
So far, eight airlines have placed 358 orders for the new planes.
Although the outer fuselage diameter of the 777X is the same as that of the older 777, the company has re-engineered the inside of the barrel so as to update its interior.
“The new cabin wall design has the potential to allow wider seats, especially in economy, and it’s a great thing if airlines choose to take advantage of it,” travel analyst Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research Group told CNN.
“My expectation is that out of a desire to keep things consistent and keep costs down, airlines will probably put the same economy seats on the 777X as they have on the legacy 777,” Harteveldt said.
— Sam Chui (@SamChuiPhotos) March 13, 2019
The overhead bin will be larger in the new planes so that passengers can easily store their ever-increasing amount of luggage that they take on board in most flights.
The 777X will also have bigger windows, providing airlines the option to install electronically dimmable window shades (EDW), like the ones on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing says the interior architecture, comfort, conveniences, and lighting of the new 777Xs will be “inspired” by the 787 Dreamliner.
And like the Dreamliner, the long flights will be made easier for the passengers by pressurizing the cabin to a low 6,000 feet.
The company has invested more than $1 billion in a new factory, located at the airframer’s Everett twin-aisle aircraft production plant, to build advanced, carbon fiber composite wings for its new planes.
With a wingspan of over 235 feet, the new wing is incredibly enormous, allowing the 777X to fly more efficiently and with less fuel.
However, huge wings will come with their own challenges.
The airlines will be operating the 777Xs at airports which are designed to serve today’s 777 jets, having a much smaller wingspan of 213 feet.
To solve this issue, the engineers created an extremely unique wing-fold mechanism, that will enable the aircraft to vertically fold up 12 feet of each wing once it’s on the ground.
The wing folding system will thus allow the new planes to use the existing gates.
Needless to say, the 777X boasts two supersized engines needed for huge wings and a super-stretch fuselage.
Two massive General Electric GE9X engines, having 134-inch diameter turbofans, will power the 777X, with each generating around 105,000 pounds of thrust.
At this point, one might wonder why the company didn’t come up with a new name for its up-coming super plane.
“Naming an airplane is a bit arbitrary, and there’s an argument to be made that the 777X is indeed an evolution of the original 777, but different enough to justify the ‘X’ identity here,” Harteveldt says.
“Certainly, there’s also a lot of consumer awareness and equity within the 777 aircraft in name.”
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