Emirates Boeing 777X. Photo: Boeing

MIAMI – With a total order of 125 aircraft, Emirates (EK) is not expecting to fly the Boeing 777X until at least 2022. That is a delay of twelve months on current delivery assumptions.

However, the Chief Operating Officer of Emirates is taking a realistic view of the problems besetting the production of the plane.  Yesterday, Adel Al Redha flagged a probable 2022 delivery date for Emirates (EK) first Boeing 777X.

Mr. Al Rheda said, “I don’t see that they will be able to deliver the aircraft in 2021. I think 2022 is a safe assumption to make.”

Boeing 777x final short in Everett Pain Field Airport (KPAE) Photo: Brandon Farris

Reasons for Boeing 777X Delays

Current delays concerning the 777X at Boeing can be attributed to a temporary production shutdown earlier this year due to COVID-19. There is also a lengthy certification process underway.

Boeing Spokesman said, “Boeing is working closely with our customers across the business as they continue to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

“We continue to execute our robust test program for the 777-9, which began flight testing in January… we remain pleased with the progress we are making and with the airplane.”

Boeing 777X first flight Everett Paine Field Airport (KPAE). Photo: Boeing

Emirates wants to restructure the order

Emirates was pivoting away from the A380 before COVID-19. The more fuel-efficient twin-engine Boeing 777X was part of that pivot. But with demand and revenues down, airlines like Emirates are turning towards yet smaller planes.

The gulf carrier is actively considering converting some of its existing Boeing 777X order to 787-9 Dreamliners.

Emirates converted some Boeing 777X into 30 Dreamliners (787-9), without knowing if they would be motorized with GEnx 1B-67 or with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 following the problems related to the compressors. The deal was signed at the Dubai Air Show in 2019.

Emirates Boeing 777-9x. Photo: Boeing

The Beating Heart of 777X

To respond to Airbus’ A350 XWB, in 2011, Boeing announces the new project: the Boeing 777X. The 777X will replace the first 777 series, introduced in 1995.

The two models introduced are the 777-8x and the 777-9x. The 777-9X is 3 meters longer than its predecessor 777-300ER (77 meters against 74) and has a wingspan of 72 meters.

The beating heart of the aircraft is the brand new GE9X, the engine of the Guinness World Records: in the maximum thrust stage it reached 597 kn (134.210 lbs).

It is equipped with 16 carbon fiber blades. In addition to having the record for maximum thrust, it is also the largest engine in the world with a diameter of 4.7 meters.

The mighty GE9X mounted on Boeing 777-9x. Photo: GE

New Winglet Technology

The wing, derived from the Boeing 787, holds wing-flex technology (the wing flexes upwards).
But also, on the end there is the extendable winglet: when the winglet is high, the wingspan is 65 meters, when extended it is 72 meters.

The opening and closing are automatic and, once the airplane reaches 20 knots during the landing phase, the winglet automatically rises.

The new winglet on Boeing 777-9x N779XW as WH001. This is the first prototipe. Photo: Wiki Commons

Less Fuel, Less Burn, Higher Efficiency

The autonomy of the Boeing 777-9x is 13.500 km while for the Boeing 777-8x it is about 16.170km. The costs of the aircraft dropped by 16% with a reduction in fuel consumption of 21%.

The Boeing 777-9x can carry up to 429 people in two classes, while the Boeing 777-8x 365. The windows on board are wide and bright and are equipped with a dimmer that allows you to change the intensity.

After a series of engine-related problems, Boeing made the first flight of the Boeing 777x one year late. This occurred on January 25, 2020. After passing a mountain of test hours, the plane will be certified. Deliveries will begin in 2021, but for one company, in particular, this is not the case.