EVERETT — For a second straight day, the Boeing Co. on Friday postponed the first flight of the new 777X jetliner due to weather at Paine Field. The company said it would try again on Saturday at about 10 a.m.
The problem Friday was wind gusts as high as 34 mph. For a test flight, calmer air is preferred. Over a three-hour period, the airport also saw sometimes-heavy rain, sun breaks and rainbows. Rain and clouds led to Thursday’s postponement.
The National Weather Service forecast for Saturday is a 60% chance of rain and winds of 8 to 10 mph.
The twin-aisle, twin-engine 777X, built at Boeing’s main wide-body assembly plant in Everett, is a highly evolved version of the classic 777. It’s bigger than previous 777 models and has carbon-composite wings with folding tips so it can fit at existing airport gates.
The test flight was originally scheduled to take place last summer but was delayed due to problems with the GE Aviation GE9X turbine engines. A component in the front of the engine’s compressor was prematurely showing signs of wear. GE redesigned it but had to go through another round of tests and certification.
Certification of the 777X is expected in 2021, about a year later than originally planned.