Boeing’s new 777X made its maiden flight Saturday (25 January) as it begins its flight-test programme. The plane took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, at 10:09am local time for a three-hour, 51 minute flight over Washington state before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field.
“The 777X flew beautifully, and today’s testing was very productive,” said Capt. Van Chaney, 777/777X chief pilot for Boeing Test & Evaluation. “Thank you to all the teams who made today possible. I can’t wait to go fly your airplane again.”
Capt. Chaney and Boeing Chief Pilot Craig Bomben worked through a detailed test plan to exercise the airplane’s systems and structures while the test team in Seattle monitored the data in real time.
“Our Boeing team has taken the most successful twin-aisle jet of all time and made it even more efficient, more capable and more comfortable for all,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Today’s safe first flight of the 777X is a tribute to the years of hard work and dedication from our teammates, our suppliers and our community partners in Washington state and across the globe.”
The first of four dedicated 777-9 flight test airplanes, WH001 will now undergo checks before resuming testing in the coming days. The test fleet, which began ground testing in Everett last year, will endure a comprehensive series of tests and conditions on the ground and in the air over the coming months to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the design.
Boeing expects to deliver the first 777X in 2021. The programme has won 340 orders and commitments from leading carriers around the world, including ANA, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.