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Boeing Launches 777X fuel-efficient long-haul twin-engine jet program

Boeing launched the 777X program at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, announcing a record-breaking 259 customer orders and commitments for the newest member of its twin-aisle product family. The airplane will be 12% more fuel efficient than any competing airplane, Boeing claims, and deliver NOx levels 29% below limits (CAEP/8).

The GE9X is the most fuel-efficient engine GE has ever produced on a per-pounds-of-thrust basis, designed to achieve 10% better SFC than the GE90-115B-powered 777-300ER and 5% better SFC than any other twin-aisle engine in 2020. Click to enlarge.

The 777X features the new GE9X engine by GE Aviation (earlier post) with laminar flow nacelles, and an all-new fourth-generation, high-efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The airplane’s folding, raked wingtip and optimized span deliver greater efficiency, significant fuel savings and complete airport gate compatibility.

The 777X builds on the 777, which today commands 55% of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71% of the in-service fleet worldwide. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

Renderings of the two members of the 777X family. Click to enlarge.

The 777X builds on the best-in-class dispatch reliability from today’s 777, as well as offering more market coverage and revenue capability that surpasses the competition. The 777-8X competes directly with the A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself, according to Boeing.

The 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices. With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the airplane will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane.

The second member of the family, the 777-8X will seat 350 passengers and offer a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km). In addition, the airplane will have unmatched takeoff and payload capability compared to the competition.

Like the 787 Dreamliner which was launched as the 7E7, the 777X will be formally named at a later date. Design of the 777X is underway and suppliers will be named in the coming months. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

Representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value, 777X orders and commitments include Lufthansa with 34 airplanes; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 airplanes. The combined value of the agreements is more than $95 billion at list prices.


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