MIAMI — Boeing revealed the first look of a fully assembled, non-flying 777-9X, which will be used to perform all the static testing to verify the design’s
The tremendously large airplane—longer than the Airbus A380, A340-600, and younger sibling, 777-300(ER)—came out of the assembly line with its all-new wingtips folded and without a tail and engines.
The hinged wingtips, which is a new feature for the 777X, will measure 12 feet alone, with locking pins to prevent them from folding during flight.
When the wingtips are deployed in operational mode, the plane boasts the widest wingspan (235 feet, five inches) of any aircraft Boeing has produced in its 99-year history.
This particular airframe is to undergo one year of static testing on the ground before further testbeds are allowed in the skies.
The 777-9X must complete tests on its structural strength and the accuracy of its design.
“Static test is our opportunity to verify the design of the structure and load bearing components of the airplane, ensuring the final product is safe for our customers and the flying public,” said Doreen Bingo, Boeing’s Test and Evaluation 777X Test Program Manager.
“Using a full-scale airplane, we’ll run various load conditions on the wings, gears, the struts, and the fuselage.”
The aircraft is expected to debut in 2020, with it aiming to seat between 350 and 425 passengers.
Boeing is aiming to produce a cost efficiency of 10% lower than the Airbus A350-1000.
Although most of the Boeing 777-9X is already visible, it will be fascinating to see what the plane will look like when its massive engines and tail are installed.