Boeing debuted its new, record-breaking 777X aircraft at its headquarters in Everett, Washington on Wednesday during a quiet, employees-only event.
The manufacturer was planning on debuting the aircraft to the public in a large ceremony but delayed those plans in the aftermath of last week’s Ethiopian Airlines crash involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. (More than 40 countries, including the U.S., have temporarily grounded the aircraft.)
This new aircraft will be the “world’s most efficient twin-engine airplane,” according to Boeing. Upon its debut, the aircraft will be the longest in the world, measuring 252 feet from nose to tail. It will be powered by the world’s biggest plane engine. The feature that will make the aircraft most unique is its folding wing-tip design.
But the 777X doesn’t just advertise differences for the airlines purchasing the planes. Passengers should notice a difference, too — especially in the cabin. The largest variant of the aircraft, the 777-9X, will be capable of carrying more than 400 passengers. The cabin will be four inches wider than Boeing’s current 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft, thanks to two-inch wall reductions on either side. The overhead storage bins are also shaped concavely, to make the cabin seem more open and to make the bins easier to close.
Its first test flight is expected to take place this spring. After that, Boeing will need to get certification from regulatory agencies. After completing testing this year, the first 777X aircraft is expected to be delivered in 2020 to Emirates.
There are already more than 300 confirmed orders for the aircraft from airlines like Qatar Airways, Etihad and Lufthansa.