On January 25 Boeing successfully flew its new giant 777X commercial airplane for the first time.
Originally unveiled at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, the 777X is an advance on the engineering and interior innovations of the 777 and 787 Dreamliner. The twin-engine jetliner is available in the 777-8 and 777-9 variants with ranges of up to 8,700 nm (10,012 mi/16,110 km) and seating between 350 and 425 passengers.
The key innovation of the 777X is its lightweight wing design based on a composite spar made from over 400 miles (644 km) of carbon tape cured in a specially-built autoclave. This allows the aircraft to have a wingspan of 235 ft (72 m) – a span so long that the wings have folding sections at their tips so the plane can fit in conventional boarding gates.
The test flight lasted just under four hours. The pictures at the link illustrate clearly emphasize the lightweight wings, which look tiny compared to the two engines.
Boeing desperately needs a success, considering the string of problems almost all of its major projects have been having recently.