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Boeing’s newest long-haul aircraft is tantalizingly close to shuttling passengers around the globe. So far, 340 orders and commitments for the 777X are inked from an array of carriers, including All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. Now, for the first time, Boeing is giving us a glimpse at what the plane’s interior could feel like.
Besides a “spacious, wider cabin” and a smoother overall ride, Boeing promises that the 777X will deliver “more comfortable cabin air, better temperature and sound quality and new lighting.” Initial renders show a well-lit business class cabin with unique staggered seating configuration.
Boeing told TPG that the 777X will provide an “additional 4 inches of space in the passenger cabin.” This space would allow an airline “to offer a 7-abreast business class cabin while still meeting modern day expectations of privacy and a full lie-flat seat.” We inquired as to the official overall width of the aircraft, but were told that Boeing isn’t yet releasing that nugget to the public.
Below is a technical comparison between the incoming planes (777-8 and 777-9) and Boeing’s existing 777 aircraft (777-200LR and 777-300ER).
|Boeing 777-8||Boeing 777-9||Boeing 777-200LR||Boeing 777-300ER|
|List Price||$360.5 million||$388.7 million||$334 million||$361.5 million|
|Seats (2-class)||350 to 375||400 to 425||317||396|
|Range||8,700 nmi (16,110 km)||7,600 nmi (14,075 km)||8,555 nmi (15,843 km)||7,370 nmi (13649 km)|
|Length||70 m (229 ft)||77 m (252 ft)||63.7 m (209 ft 1 in)||73.9 m (242 ft 4 in)|
Windows, as you’d expect, are huge to allow more natural light to flow in, while a range of ceiling and stow bin choices enable airlines to “create distinct cabins that meet their passenger needs.” Speaking to the aircraft’s window size, we learned that they are 16% larger than the windows on the 777 while also sitting “higher on the fuselage.”
Boeing explained to us that it’s providing more flexible packages for the elements it controls — sidewalls, bins, ceilings and lighting — which it refers to as lining options. In other words, you could see an airline outfit a single plane with four different ceiling treatments to coincide with different cabins (for instance, first, business, premium economy and economy). Boeing wouldn’t shed any light on ongoing discussions with carriers, but it seems fair to assume that select airlines may look to significantly differentiate cabins with different ceiling treatments.
In a bid to improve the passenger experience and keep things quiet, “the ceiling panels themselves” will serve as the speakers, reducing the visible breaks in the interior, while “improved insulation in the sidewalls” work to dampen noise. Servicing both temperature and noise improvements are the redesigned air nozzles; Boeing explained to us that there will be “more of them operating with less velocity.”
Renders show a 3-4-3 seating configuration in the economy cabin, though the edge-to-edge tray tables and IFE displays do look larger than a typical 3-4-3 main cabin arrangement. While it shied away from specifics, Boeing did state that it fully expects airlines to consider a premium economy cabin on the 777X, with certain carriers also offering a bona fide first-class cabin. We’ve inquired as to the pitch assumptions that are being used in the aforementioned two-class seating specifications and will update this post when we hear back.
The first flight of the Boeing 777X is scheduled for 2019, with first delivery slated for 2020. If you’re impatient (and want to push the limits of your Centurion Card), we hear that Boeing Business Jets is taking orders for the private 777X right now.
All images courtesy of Boeing.
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