Boeing postponed the planned first test flight of its newest wide-body product, the 777X, previously expected on January 23, 2020. The issue is not a technical one, stated the company, as the flight is delayed due to current weather conditions in the Seattle, Washington (United States) area, where Boeing conducts its test flights.
The manufacturer noted that it is still assessing whether to conduct the test on January 24, 2020. Prior to the first test flight of the 777X, the aircraft was spotted doing taxi tests at Everett Paine Field (PAE):
One more taxi test today for Boeing 777-9 WH001 N779XW. Turn the volume up pic.twitter.com/PTFPRBaTKC— Jennifer Schuld (@JenSchuld) January 22, 2020
While weather delays are nothing out of the norm, Boeing’s newest twin-aisle jet has faced a fair share of technical issues in 2019.
Previously, the 777X was supposed to take to the skies in June 2019, with a planned entry into service in 2020. However, issues with the General Electric GE9X engine put a stop to those plans: premature deterioration in the second stage of the high-pressure compressor forced GE to go back to the drawing board.
In September 2019, during final load testing on a static 777X frame, a cargo door blew out, putting a temporary stop to the certification process. While initially, Boeing expected the incident would not have a “significant impact on aircraft design or on our overall test program schedule,” the company delayed the aircraft’s entry into service date to early-2021 when it announced its Q3 2019 financial results.
At the time, the delay angered a few people, including Emirates’ Group President, Tim Clark. In November 2019, the Dubai-based carrier announced that it was reducing the 777X order and opting for more Boeing 787 Dreamliners instead.