Some of the world’s most prestigious airlines are on tenterhooks as the first flight of an aircraft that could change long-haul travel for decades looms ever closer.
Executives at Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airways, among others, will have their eyes cast to the skies this spring when Boeing is expected to fly one of its new 777X planes for the first time.
The 777-9, the first of the X family to be developed, will have the biggest jet engines ever seen, attached to the longest wings of any aircraft ever made by the Seattle-based manufacturer.
The 777X has been said to be the result of the very best of the existing 777 plane, as favoured by the likes of British Airways et al, and the game-changing 787 Dreamliner, which has been praised as one of the most technologically advanced aircraft in history, garnishing plaudits from passengers on BA, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic alike.
It’s an “absolute peach”, said Emirates president Tim Clark of the aircraft. The Dubai airline has staked its future on the 777X, ordering 150, the largest single firm order in history. “It is a step change in aircraft design and a step change in propulsion. We are very happy we have got what we wanted,” he told Australian Aviation.