777X…even the name sounds sexy. After a rough year with the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing is forging ahead with modifications to its popular 777 line of wide-body aircraft aimed directly at the European aircraft maufacturer Airbus. Airbus has just announced that the new Airbus 350-900 will undergo flight tests over Toulouse starting today. The wide-body aircraft, powered by the newest Rolls-Royce Trent WBX engines is set to begin deliveries in 2014 should all go well. Boeing already has had much success in the current aircraft race with the popular 777 series and Airbus is hoping to claim some of their pie with this latest edition.
777x Future Designs
Boeings 777X is aiming for larger capacity aircraft by stretching the body of the initial 777 line. In so doing, the projected 777-X8 and the 777-X9 will carry 353 and 407 passengers in both 9 abreast and 10 abreast configurations, respectively. Already, the Chairman of Emirates Airlines, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, is calling the 777X an “excellent aircraft.” As the operator of 1 in 10 existing 777’s, he is in the best position to call the potential success of the aircraft. Indeed, airlines around the world are anticipating the latest innovations by Boeing because despite the problems encountered by the Dreamliner, the company is moving in the right direction. The new 777X series is expected to reduce per-seat costs by between 16% and 21%. This is big news for airliners seeking to control costs in an already thin-margined industry. The A350-900 only has a passenger capacity of 314.
In addition to greater passenger capacity, the 777X will also have a greater flight range, seeking again to compete directly with the Airbus A350-900, which has a range of 8,100 nautical miles. The 777-200LR currently has a range of 9,395nm and the projected 777-X8LR, planned for delivery sometime in 2020, should trump even that.
In order to accomodate the longer body, greater passenger capacity, and extensive range of the 777X next generation aircraft, Boeing found it necessary to extend the wingspan of the aircraft to a staggering 71m, which makes the aircraft 13 meters wider than the 777-200LR. This will naturally require longer runways and landing strips. This will naturally limit the locations to which this amazing jet aircraft will be flying to and taking off from, but customers of Boeing are not deterred. To gain the reduced fuel consumption per seat and the lower operating costs overall, this is just a part of doing business.
777X Service Entry
Boeing anticipates getting the 777-X8 and X9 in flight sometime late 2017 and into service by 2019. Although this may give Airbus a slight advantage should deliveries begin for the new Airbus A350-900 on schedule, this edge will be short-lived unless the company scrambles to catch up.
Clearly, there is a new race on for bigger, better jet aircraft to compete in the growing global commercial airliner marketplace. Boeing and Airbus are competing like never before and the grounding of the 787 Dreamliner now appears to be little more than a blip on the Boeing radar.
Of course, for anyone using commercial flights, this simply means more people onboard which equals reduced security and comfort. This is good news for us, for here at Charter Flight Group, though we applaud the efforts by these two companies to build greater capacity aircraft, we understand that our clients prefer the luxury and comfort of having their own private charter jets. Indeed, while the major manufacturers respond to the needs of commercial airliners to cram more people into larger jets, we see our business continuing to grow as more people opt for the security and comfort of smaller, private flights.
If you would like to arrange such a flight today, simply give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest.