Article by Richard Holme

It’s been a long four years since the last edition of the Farnborough Airshow, where aerospace and defense companies come together to show off their wares on the ground and in the air at the world’s largest airshow.  

One of the highlights of 2022’s edition of the show was the massive Boeing 777X, the world’s largest twin-engine jet, which the manufacturer showed off in both static and flying displays.  

exterior view of nose of 777X at farnborough

Credit: AeroTime Team

The widebody aircraft, powered by GE9X engines, is so wide that Boeing has even had to create foldable wingtips so that it can fit into airports.  

With the wingtips extended, the 777X has a wingspan of 71.75 meters (235 feet and 5 inches). That’s a couple of meters more than the width of a FIFA soccer pitch!  On the ground and when the wingtips are folded, the aircraft has a wingspan of 64.82m (212’ 8”). 

777X wingtip seen from inside the aircraft at farnborough

Credit: AeroTime Team

The folding mechanism is controlled by a knob in the flight deck, which is shaped like a wing tip, for easy recognition.  

777X overhead panel including the wingtip switch

Credit: AeroTime Team

The 777-9 is 76.72 meters long (251’ 9”) and has a range of 7,285 nautical miles (13,500 kilometers). At list prices the 777-8 costs $410.2 million and the 777-9 $442.2 million. 

The 777-9 at the Farnborough Airshow is one of four test aircraft that Boeing uses to demonstrate the technology, with each performing slightly different roles.  

777X test aircraft flight deck at Farnborough

Credit: AeroTime Team

This one, with registration, N779XW, is used to test the controls, the second for automated flight-testing systems, such as autoland. The third aircraft is used more for propulsion and the fourth for testing cabin interior systems.    

The 777-9 can seat up to 426 passengers, while the 777-8 can carry up to 384 passengers in a typical two-class configuration.  

Interior of 777X test aircraft at Farnborough

Credit: AeroTime Team

Launched in November 2013, the program is several years behind schedule and made its first flight only in January 2020. Boeing said in April 2022 that it now expects the first delivery to be in 2025.  

Did you get to see the 777X at Farnborough? Let us know what you think! 

 

777X engine seen from behind at Farnborough Airshow

Credit: AeroTime Team

Rich by engine of 777X at Farnborough 2022

Credit: AeroTime Team