It’s official: Boeing 777X will take to the skies Thursday

Jan 21, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

UPDATE (Thursday, Jan. 23): Boeing delays first 777X flight

ORIGINAL POST: Boeing’s updated 777 wide-body is set to fly for the first time Thursday, beginning a series of test flights needed before the aircraft can be certified for commercial service.

The flight is to take off around 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) at Boeing’s assembly line facility near Everett, Washington.

The 777X is the latest update to the wide-body airframe that took its maiden flight in 1994 and first came into service about a year later with United Airlines.

Thursday’s flight signals the start of “the next phase of its rigorous test program,” according to Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman. But, he added, the flight could still get pushed to another day.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news.

“Flight testing is dynamic,” Bergman wrote in a statement. “The date could change due to weather and other factors.”

The test flight has already been delayed due to issues with General Electric’s GE9X engines, which have had to undergo a redesign.

This newest version of of the 777 will be the biggest twin-engine passenger jet ever built, capable of seating well over 400 passengers for the larger variant, known as 777-9. The smaller 777-8 will be able to fly farther. Collectively, the two are referred to as 777X. Only the 777-9 has been built so far.

Overall – at 251 feet, 9 inches for the bigger “dash-9 variant” – the 777X will be longer than Boeing’s current-generation 777 models.

Related:Video: Watch the Boeing 777X test aircraft stretch its wings

The 777X also will feature a wider wingspan. That’s led to what’s sure to become on of the jet’s signature features: folding wingtips. The jet’s wingspan of 235 feet is wider than any other Boeing – including the 747-8. It’s so wide that the 777X would face a tight fit finding a gate at some airports. But, with the wingtips folded up, the wingspan drops to 212 feet, 8 inches – an easier fit for when it needs to navigate to a gate at a congested airport.

Boeing’s 777X will compete most directly with Airbus’ new A350 model, though it likely will become a candidate for airlines looking to replace older aging older jumbo jets like Boeing’s own 747 and Airbus’ discontinued A380.

The European-produced A350 has already gained favor among passengers, and operates on high profile routes like Singapore Airline’s nonstop to Newark, the current longest flight in the world. Boeing also lost out to Airbus when Qantas announced it favored the A350 for its proposed Project Sunrise flights, which would provide nonstop service from Sydney to New York and London.

The 777X’s range is listed at about 8,400 miles (7,285 nautical miles) for the dash-9 model, according to Boeing. The dash 8 would have a range of about 10,000 miles (8,730 nautical miles).

The 777X’s story is also inextricably intertwined with the ongoing 737 MAX saga. The 777X was rolled out to the public on March 13 of last year, the same day that the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the narrowbody in response to two crashes that combined killed 346 people.

The test flight will present Boeing with its first relatively high-profile opportunity to exhibit the renewed commitment to safe engineering its new CEO has promised. In the last few months, the manufacturer’s safety culture has been under scrutiny as internal communications were released that showed employees questioning the safety of the jets they were working on.

Featured image courtesy of Boeing.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.