Last week, the Boeing 777X Â took a major step towards becoming a reality as Boeing and General Electric (GE) made an announcement that they would be working together in studies about the new aircraft.
At this point, GE Â is expected to be the only provider of an engine for the 777X, just as they are currently with the 777-300ER and 200LR variants.
“This decision to work with GE going forward reflects the best match to the development program, schedule and airplane performance,” said Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager, 777X Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are studying airplane improvements that will extend today’s 777 efficiencies and reliability for the next two decades or longer, and the engines are a significant part of that effort. Our focus is on providing the most competitive offering to our customers in the large twin aisle market.”
The 777 is an ultra-long haul aircraft for Boeing that many have deemed killed the future need for the 747-8I and eliminated the Â Airbus A340 program. The 777 is able to hold about as many passengers as the 747-8 and A340, but is able to efficiently operate on only two engines cutting down weight and cost.
The development work on the next-generation 777 continues and includes airline customers from around the world. “We have had strong and productive engagement with a broad set of customers in the marketplace to understand their future needs. We are pleased with where we are in the process,” Feldmann said. “We are aggressively moving forward on our plan and will continue to refine requirements with customers.”
The next steps for the 777X is get a final nod of go ahead from the Boeing Board of Directors and probably the easiest step in finding a launch customer. Rumor has it that Emirates will likely be that since they fly over 10% of all 777â€™s made to date and are the largest customer of the aircraft, but Lufthansa is also another potential.
With the difficulties of the totally re-vamped 787 Dreamliner program, it is more likely that the 777X will be more of an evolution, like the 737MAX is to the 737NG.
|This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent. Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.|