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Second Boeing 777X Test Aircraft Completes First Flight
On April 30, Boeing announced the first successful test flight of the second Boeing 777x aircraft had been completed. The announcement marked yet another important step toward the aerospace giant’s latest twin heavy jet entering service.
Often referred to among pilots and aviation enthusiasts as the “Triple Seven,” Boeing’s 777 family is comprised of the world’s largest twin-jet aircraft and is regularly operated on many long-haul and ultra-long-haul routes across the globe.
In command of the aircraft — designated by the temporary tail number WH002 — were Captains Ted Grady and Van Chaney. The two guided the flight in the skies over Washington, staying airborne just under three hours in the journey from Spokane, Washington, to Seattle. The flight was completed when the test aircraft landed at Boeing Field at approximately 2:02 p.m.
WH002 is the second of four 777x test airplanes and is outfitted with a suite of sensors in its cabin to allow documentation and evaluation of the aircraft’s response to test conditions.
The second #777X jet has completed its first flight. One of four dedicated flight test airplanes, WH002 is testing handling characteristics as part of our rigorous test program. pic.twitter.com/h0zRBe82FA
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) April 30, 2020
The first flight of WH002 comes after nearly 100 hours of flight testing completed with the first 777x test airplane. That testing focused on initial airworthiness, with flights operated at different speeds, altitudes, flap settings and system settings. Now that the initial airworthiness of the 777x has been demonstrated, WH002 can carry personnel onboard during flights to monitor testing.
The first successful flight of the second 777x test aircraft is surely a welcome accomplishment for Boeing at a time where the company, like many others, has struggled in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. In March, Boeing was forced to suspend commercial aircraft production at its Puget Sound-area facilities as well as production at other facilities. Thankfully for the manufacturer and its’ bottom line, Boeing was able to start bringing employees back to work at their plants in the area on April 20.
The 777x family will have two variants, the 777-8 and the larger 777-9. Originally announced in November of 2013, the 777x will utilize the capacity and range of the 777 family and combine it with many of the innovative technologies found in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Customers for the 777x include All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. According to Boeing, the first delivery is currently on pace to occur in 2021.
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