Introduced back in September 2011, the Boeing 777X is designed to be a stretched version of the current 777-300ER variant with a lower gross weight for fuel economy and a higher capacity for better payloads.
Models – 777-8, 778-LX, 777-9
Boeing announced two variants for development. The 777-8 and 777-9 as they are called currently will share the same fuselage length with the 777-300ER at 20ft 4in (6.20m). Other measurements will change significantly. The following is a sortable table on the published details so far:
[table id=7 /]
Highlights of the specifications:
- To achieve a lower gross weight, Boeing will incorporate carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer that was used with success on the 787 aircrafts.
- The 777-9 wingspan of 250ft 11in (76.5m) will claim the the longest airliner from the 747-8 measured at 250ft 2in (76.3m).
- The overall width of 19 ft 7 in (5.97 m) allows for 10 across in the economy cabin with an 18in width.
Boeing announced on August 25, 2015 that it completed firm configuration for the 777-9, the first member of the 777X generation.
“It’s great to see the airlines and industry team side-by-side with us as we achieve this important milestone,” said Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager of the 777X program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The team has followed a disciplined process to complete all of the requirements for this stage of the program.”
“The program is right where we want it to be,” added Feldmann. “We have an airplane and production system that are on track and on schedule, and we remain laser focused on meeting our commitments to our customers.”
With designs and configurations confirmed, Boeing will next work with vendors to source parts and start production by 2017 with tentatively rollout planned for 2020.
As of August 2015, there are 306 total orders of the 777X aircrafts with the -9 holding the lead at 243 (79.4%) and the -8 with 53 (20.6%).
The launch customer is Etihad Airways (EY) with 8 of the -8 variants.[table id=8 /]
Breakdown the orders by region, Middle East leads the way as all three major airlines in the region (Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) all have firm orders. This was followed by Asia and Europe. There are no airlines from the Americas, Africa or Australia/Pacific that have firm order listed (though ten are unspecified).
Based on the firm orders,tThe following is an analysis how airlines can utilize the 777-8 and 777-9 at 8,700nm and 7,600nm respectively (using Great Circle Mapper – the leading map and distance display engine):
Dubai International Airport (DXB) – Major Airline: Emirates
The following is also applicable to AHU and DOH as they are located very close to DXB. EK, EY and QR can utilize the 777-9 to for destinations around the world comfortably except for Hawaii, most of Mexico and western South America. The -8 variant can go to these places without problems.
Narita Airport (NRT) – Major Airlines: All Nippon Airways / Japan Airlines
All Nippon Airways with 20 firm orders of the -9 variant which can take the Japanese airline to cities around the world except for more of South America and parts of western/southern Africa (including Cape Town (CPT). The -8 can help the airline reach the latter city in South Africa but most of Brazil and western South America will stay elusive. Given Brazil has the second highest Japanese population, All Nippon Airways will likely push Boeing to stretch the range further before committing to more orders.
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) – Major Airline: Lufthansa (LH)
With a firm order of the 20 -9 variant, Lufthansa can comfortably reach major cities around the world except for those in eastern Australia and New Zealand. The range -8 can offer currently would not be helpful.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) – Major Airlines: Cathay Pacific Airways (CX)
Cathay Pacific Airways also have -9 variant on firm order. Based on its geographic locations, it can reach most of the world except for Florida and all of South America. Getting the -8 variant would add Florida cities like Orlando and Miami, Mexico and most of Central America.
We will end this part of the 777X Insight with a new video released by Boeing showcasing the 777X’s wing design (follow this link). In a future post, we will explore more of the 777X interior designs and which airlines can benefit from ordering this new variant.