7 SEPTEMBER 2015
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Now called the Boeing 777-9, what was the 777X, has reached a "firm configuration", meaning the aircraft's basic design and capabilities have been determined, setting the stage for design of specific parts and systems.
Boeing expects to build the first 777-9 in 2017. Output of the current 777 will not slow during the transition, the company has said. The aircraft, the successor to the 777 wide-body introduced in 1995, will have carbon composite wings with folding wingtips and a metal fuselage. It will use 12% less fuel and be 10% cheaper to operate than competing jets, according to Boeing.
The 777-9 will carry 400 to 425 passengers and have a range of 7,600 nautical miles (14,075 km), making it the largest aeroplane in Boeing's line-up by seat capacity. It will be the largest twin-engine aircraft, though smaller than the four-engine Airbus A380.
Boeing is using automated technology to help assemble the 777X, and installing autoclaves, or industrial ovens, in a massive new building in Everett, Washington, to cure the wings under heat and pressure, next door to the assembly line.
Boeing said the 777X wingspan will be 235ft 5in (71.8m) with wingtips extended and 212ft 8in (64.8m) with wingtips folded.
The 777X has 306 firm orders and 14 commitments. www.boeing.com/commercial
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