Aeroplane manufacturer Boeing has released footage of the first completed 777X jetliner, which promises to be the “largest and most efficient” two-engine jetliner worldwide.
Boeing said the 777X builds on the company’s successful 787 Dreamliner, but will feature a bigger cabin, new lighting and larger windows.
The new plane will also carry more passengers than the Dreamliner, with the 777X-8 model seating 350 to 375 passengers, while the slightly larger 777X-9 model will have space for 400 to 425 passengers.
Additionally, Boeing claims the 777X will be the first commercial jet to feature touch-screen technology on the flight deck.
This particular plane however will never fly. Instead, it has been built as a ‘static test plane’ to undergo a gruelling year-long testing phase to assess the strength of the plane’s structure as well as several other important features.
Boeing test and evaluation 777X test program manager Doreen Bingo explained the plane will be taken to a testing facility where the company’s engineers will replicate the kinds of conditions the plane will experience in the air, but do so while safely on the ground.
The tests will include placing weight on the wings, gears, and fuselage to see how they’ll handle the physical stress of flying.
The static test plane will be followed by four more planes to be used for flight testing, followed by a sixth for so-called ‘fatigue testing’, Ms Bingo said.
Nevertheless, the static test plane represents the first completed plane to roll out of the 777X program that was announced in 2013.
Boeing structures engineering lead Daniele Hovington said she was pleased to see the static plane she worked on take shape.
“After years of hard work it is exciting to see the static aeroplane come together,” she said.
“This is just the beginning. With testing expected to start in the next few months, the rewarding part of the job is yet to come.”
The completion of the first plane in the 777X program comes only months after The New Daily reported Boeing’s iconic 747 model (the original ‘jumbo jet’) looks to be entering the last phase of its life as a commercial jetliner.
The 747, first launched in 1970, is steadily being replaced by Boeing’s smaller Dreamliner models, with Qantas slated to retire four of its remaining 10 747s at the end of this year when it welcomes four new Dreamliners into its fleet.
Similarly, rival aeroplane manufacturer Airbus was almost forced to cease production of its 550-passenger A380 model after no new orders for the plane were received through the entirety of 2017.
Fortunately for the beleaguered plane, Airbus was able to strike a $US16 billion ($22 billion) deal with international airline Emirates for a further 20 A380s, keeping the model in production for a few more years.