Boeing postpones rollout ceremonies for 777-X

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An artist’ s impression of the Boeing 777-X. (Boeing)

Boeing has postponed the rollout of its 777-X aircraft in response to the crash {of an|of the|of your} Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8.

{The official|The state|The required} unveiling was due to occur at Boeing’ s Everett facility in Washington State just outside Seattle on March 13 in front of company staff, suppliers, invited guests and media.

However , the public ceremonies and media events for the external debut of the aircraft {of the|from the|in the} 777-X have been cancelled as Boeing focused on supporting Ethiopian Airlines after its Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday March 10.

Boeing indicated it would look for {an opportunity to|a chance to|a way to} mark the new aircraft {with the|using the|with all the} world in the near future. There was no date for the rescheduling of any events related to the 777-X rollout.

Launched in 2013 , the 777-X {family of|category of|group of} aircraft comprise the 777-8X and 777-9X variants. The pair is an upgrade from Boeing’ s in-production 777-200LR and 777-300ER.

The 777-8X and 777-9X will be powered by General Electric GE9X engines. Flight tests for those engines began in March 2018.

GE Aviation’s flight test bed with the GE9X engine. (GE Aviation)

GE Aviation’ s flight test bed with the GE9X engine. (GE Aviation)

Other {new features|news} include composite wings with folding wingtips to maintain its Code E rating at airports, as well as in-cabin enhancements such as larger overhead stowage and a wider cross section.

The 777-9X is 77 metres {in length|long}, has a total wingspan of 72 metres and is {capable of|effective at|able to} flying 7, 600nm when carrying 400-425 passengers {in a|inside a|within a} two-class configuration according to Boeing figures.

{It has been|It is often|It is} pitched as the ideal {replacement for|alternative to} the very large aircraft segment of the market.

Meanwhile, the 777-8X {is still|continues to be|remains} in development and yet {to reach|to achieve|to get to} firm configuration. The Boeing website lists the aircraft as having a range of 8, 700nm and a passenger capacity of 350-375 passengers. The aircraft is expected to enter service in 2022.

Boeing regarded the 777-8X as a potential {replacement for|alternative to} the in-service 777-300ER.

The 777-X {is a|is really a|is actually a} contender for Qantas’ s Project Sunrise ambition {for an|to have an|for the} aircraft to operate nonstop from Australia’ s east coast to London and {New York|Nyc|Ny}. Airbus has put forward its A350 platform for Project Sunrise.

{The first|The very first|The initial} completed 777-9X, used for static testing, emerged from final assembly in September 2018.

On February 20, Boeing released pictures of four 777-X flight test aircraft undergoing final assembly on its Twitter account.

The rollout ceremony for the first 777-9X represented the latest step in {the program|this program|this software}, with the flight test campaign expected to kick off later in 2019 and first delivery set for 2020. Boeing revealed the rollout date of March 13 on Twitter on March 5.

There were 326 orders for the 777X program at January 31 2019, {according to the|based on the|in line with the} Boeing website. The figure does not include British Airways’ recent signing for 18 777-9X and options for up to 24 more aircraft.

Other airlines that have ordered the aircraft include, Cathay Pacific (21 777-9X), Emirates (35 777-8X and 115 777-9X), Lufthansa (20 777-9X) and Singapore Airlines (20 777-9X).

{While the|As the|Even though the} 326 figure included 25 aircraft for Etihad Airways –   comprising eight 777-8X and 17 777-9X – it was reported in February 2019 that the Abu Dhabi-based carrier was restructuring its order book and committing to take only six of the 777-X aircraft {over the|on the|within the} coming years.