Boeing continues with its success streak as the 777x has taken to the skies for the second time. On January 29, 2020, the aircraft, registered WH001, took off just after 9:30am Seattle-time or 17:30UTC. According to sources, the flight was in the air for just under 4 hours and 45 minutes.
Image Credits: Boeing
The aircraft took off from Boeing Field and headed east. This flight was arranged to allow Boeing to conduct certain flight tests. After a few hours in the air, the 777x turned back towards Seattle and landed safely at Boeing Field. The aircraft maintained an altitude of just over FL190 (19000ft). This altitude might have be chosen so that the flight test would not interfere with commercial aircraft operations.
The first flight of the 777x was praised globally – we had waited long for the aircraft to take to the skies. Multiple tests will continue to take place over a period of almost one year as, after the 737 MAX crisis, FAA and other regulators are likely take a longer and harder look at the new aircraft. Flights like the one held today, and many more to come shall allow Boeing to find and rectify any design and performance issues in the aircraft.
Initial Flight Path of the Boeing 777x, as it took off from Boeing Field on January 29, 2020, as seen on FlightRadar24
Now that the aircraft has proven its capability of sustained flight, it will be thoroughly tested, both, on the ground and in the skies. This will include numerous tests like the aircraft’s flight envelope, extreme weather testing, emergency procedures testing, among others. The 777x program has been plagued with delays and impediments for almost a year, however, as the aircraft finally takes to the skies twice successfully, it seems that efforts have finally paid off for Boeing! The delivery of the aircraft is scheduled in 2021, with first of the many aircraft to be delivered to Lufthansa and Emirates.
We are closely following how the development continues for the 777x program. Mean while, let us know in the comments what is it that you love about the 777x – perhaps the grandiose GE9x engines, or the scintillating folding wingtips?