Boeing's massive foldable-wing 777X jet completes its first test flight
Boeing's newest airplane has finally taken to the skies with one very unique feature, fold up wings.
First on Thursday then on Friday when it was forced to wait hours on the runway due to high wind.
But after that disappointment, yes, I watched the plane on the tarmac for four hours, the 777X successfully took off from Everett Washington on Saturday and completed it's first flight.
The brand new airplane is based on the design of Boeing's famous 777 aircraft And features technologies like a composite fuselage from Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
But this new aircraft is set to be the largest and most efficient twin engine jet in the world, according to Boeing, and those fold up wingtips, they're a world first.
So why make a foldable airplane?
Well, by making the plane bigger and longer, it needs a bigger wingspan A bigger airplane needs more lift, but it also needs to be able to fit in at the regular airport gate just like the old triple seven.
By making a fold up wingtip Boeing was able to increase the span on each wing by 11 feet.
When the tips fold up, the massive wingspan drops from 235 feet down to 213.
That's a pretty big deal for airports.
When Airbus launched its supersized A380 in 2007 airport terminals around the world had to make expensive modifications to accommodate the new jets, by flipping the tips Boeing solves that problem.
But the 777X has had its share of issues in the months since it rolled out of the factory in March 2019.
Back in June last year, the company revealed that issues with the aircraft's new GE9X engine meant the first test flight would have to be pushed back.
That new engine is one of the key features of the 777X.
It's supposed to offer 5% less fuel consumption than competitors, which is a big selling point for commercial airline.
And it September the plane experienced an explosive depressurization during testing.
It was an extreme pressure test, but the Seattle Times obtained pictures showing a massive tear through the [UNKNOWN] In a segment of the paper, Boeing said the results wouldn't have a significant impact on the design or preparations for first flight.
And then, of course, there's the elephant in the room Boeing 737MAX.
The plane involved in two crashes that killed 346 people remains grounded around the world until at least the middle of this year.
Authorities put the blame for those disasters on a flight control system called Mcast that Boeing developed for the MAX MCAS isn't in the 777X, but the ongoing fallout of the Boeing safety record has cast a cloud over the company.
So, we haven't seen a big song and dance for the 777X launch.
Saturday's test flight was a pretty quiet affair Boeing says the 777X could begin passenger service as early as next year and the plane is already on order from the likes of British Airways, [UNKNOWN] and Emirates.
So your next long call flight could look very different.
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