Things in the world of Boeing haven’t been going so great lately and the company needed a win. A few weeks ago, on a cloudy Saturday, there was finally something for the airplane manufacturer to cheer about: The Boeing 777-9 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on its inaugural test flight. Once airborne, one of the two pilots reported, “All flight controls are good. Very solid.” A crowd of two hundred or so stood in awe as the big bird took off, then erupted in applause, high-fives, and hugs. For many, the excitement might have been as much about the new aircraft as it was for the company itself.
“This major milestone for the #777X airplane program begins the next critical phase of testing as we work towards certification and then delivery to customers in 2021,” Boeing tweeted after takeoff. And thus began what is hopefully a more positive direction for the Chicago-based company.