After a series of technical and weather delays, Boeing’s 777X finally took off for its inaugural flight at 10:09 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020
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, â€œAll flight controls are good. Very solid.â€ 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.
Boeing’s 777X taxies out on Friday, Jan. 24, for what would be five hours on the taxiway before the attempt was scrubbed due to poor weather
â€œThis 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,â€ Boeing tweeted after takeoff. And thus began what is hopefully a more positive direction for the Chicago-based company.
The 787-9 Dreamliner parked next to the Boeing Future of Flight and a sweet Dreamlifter!
A while back, I started to see photos of a purple and pink 787 and wondered what the heck it was all about. Then I saw that people had the chance to get up close and personal with the plane at the Boeing Future of Flight, and I realized that I needed to figure out the full story. It turns out that the special livery is inspired by the Employees Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing. And what is ECF, you might ask? Good question. According to Boeing:
“Since 1948, ECF has funded approximately $1 billion to local communities across the United States. The ECF has 20 chapters across Boeing, giving employees an opportunity to make a difference where they live and work. Each chapter is managed by local employees who make grants based on the needs of their communities. The special livery celebrates the commitment and generosity of our employees in their local communities.”
The ECF design is mostly a big decal.
The fun graphics near the rear of the 787.
I would say that is a pretty worthy cause to support this unique livery. This is also special, since it is not actually all paint, but is comprised of the largest decal ever on a composite aircraft.Â Boeing has certified the decal technology, so now airline customers can start using them. I am hoping it means more special liveries and please, oh please, I hope it means less European white designs.
Brand-new Air Italy 737 MAX 8 looking sharp – Photo: Air Italy
This past Friday, Air Italy received their first 737 MAX 8 aircraft at a delivery ceremony at Paine Field in Everett, WA. Dignitaries from Air Italy were joined by his Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO for Qatar Airways. In July of 2016, Qatar Airways agreed to purchase a 49% stake in the airline (known previously as Meridiana), with the brand being re-launched as Air Italy in March 2018. As with any event involving Mr. Al Baker, this was a fancy affair, and included a few priceless soundbites.
When the Air Italy brand launched earlier this year, they announced their goal to disrupt the Italian market, and create a â€œcredible alternativeâ€ for Italians. From their home base of Milanâ€“Malpensa Airport, Air Italy intends to offer both short- and long-haul routes. The airline will shortly be launching flights to the United States, with a daily service to New York (begins 6/1) and four-times-per-week service to Miami (starts 6/8). The next planned long-haul destinations for Air Italy are Bangkok and Mumbai, with service start dates yet to be announced.
Swiss International Air Lines took delivery on March 13 of the final Boeing 777-300ER of their 10-aircraft order
Swiss International Air Lines took delivery of its 10th Boeing 777-300ER on March 13, completing the now-expanded order it originally placed in 2013. That order was for six aircraft; three more were added in 2015, and the final 777 was added in 2016, the same year the first jet in the batch was delivered to the airline.
The new jets, with aÂ maximum range of 7,370 nautical miles, also offer lower operating costs than competing aircraft, making them a very attractive option on long-haul routes.
Swiss employees celebrate the delivery in Everett, Wash.
Swiss placed the order as part of a planned update to their long-haul fleet. TheÂ 340-seat 777-300ER is used on eight intercontinental routes, all making use of the airline’s Zurich hub: Bangkok, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, San Francisco, and Singapore. The airline also operates Airbus A330-300s and A340-300s on its long-haul routes.
A Boeing employee inspects a composite wing spar at the Building 40-02 spar shop
In a big milestone for the program, Boeing officially started production on its new 777x line on Oct. 23. The 777X will feature new GE9X engines, an all-new composite wing with folding tips, longer range, while leveraging technologies from the 787 Dreamliner.
The one-piece composite spars measure more than 100 feet long, and each aircraft requires a total of four spars – two per wing
777X chief project engineer and vice president Terry Beezhold said it’s taken Boeing seven years to get to this point in the project. The current project schedule calls for the first test flight to happen in the first quarter of 2019, and the firstÂ delivery about a year after that.