Reported by Michelle Dunlop / Herald Writer
Last week, the Boeing Co. board gave the OK to begin offering to customers an updated version of the Everett-built 777, called the 777X. The company is pitching two 777X models, both believed to have composite wings with folding wingtips and new, more-fuel-efficient General Electric engines.
The Boeing 777-8X would carry some 350 passengers and could boast the longest range of any commercial aircraft. Reuters reported on Thursday that the aircraft could fly as far as 9,500 nautical miles. A larger version, the 777-9X, would seat about 400 passengers and likely would be the first of the two to enter service, in late 2019.
The 777X is Boeing’s counter to Airbus’ mostly composite A350-1000, which seats 350 passengers in a three-class configuration and 440 in a high-density layout. Airbus plans to deliver the first A350-1000 in 2017, about two years before Boeing would deliver the first 777X.
The larger 777X could “sound the death knell” for Boeing’s quad-engine 747-8. Although the jumbo 747-8 can seat up to 467, its only operator so far, Lufthansa, configures it for no more than 386 passengers.
Boeing widebody jetliners comparedWith 787 development nearing an end, Boeing is refreshing the 777, with plans to increase range and efficiency. The planned 777-8X and 777-9X will replace todayís 777-200LR and 777-300ER. The standard 777-200 is likely to be replaced by the 787-10. And the 777-9X could replace the poor-selling 747-8.
|Model||Three-class capacity||Range||Length||Wingspan||In service|
|787-8||240||7,650-8,200 nm||186 feet||197 feet||2012|
|787-9||280||8,000-8,500 nm||206 feet||197 feet||2014|
|787-10*||323||6,800-7,000 nm||224 feet||197 feet||2016|
|777-200LR||314||9,285 nm||209 feet||212 feet||2006|
|777-300ER||386||7,825 nm||242 feet||212 feet||2004|
|777-8X*||353||9,500 nm||228 feet||234 feet||2019|
|777-9X*||407||9,480 nm||250 feet||234 feet||2019|
|747-8I||467||8,000 nm||250 feet||224 feet||2012|
* Italicized models are not formally launched development programs, and specifications are speculative.
SOURCES: Boeing, Wikipedia and news reports