Boeing launches 777X, features 787 Dreamliner composite wing technology

Boeing officially launched the 777X programme at the Dubai Airshow on 17 November. (Picture © Boeing.)
Boeing officially launched the 777X programme at the Dubai Airshow on 17 November. (Picture © Boeing.)

The 777X builds on the success of Boeing's 777 aircraft.

"The 777X builds on the heritage of the 777-300ER and incorporates many advanced technologies designed for the 787 to create a new standard for widebody airplanes."

Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

The 777X will not adopt the composite fuselage technology developed for the 50% composite Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which entered service in 2011, keeping the 777's metal, but it will feature a longer, "high-efficiency composite wing" based on the 787's wing.

The wing features a folding, raked wingtip. The folding wing-tip increases the wingspan by 6 m (from 64.8 m on the ground to 71.1 m in flight) to maximise fuel efficiency. It also allows access to all aircraft gates currently accessible to the 777-300ER. 

The aircraft will be powered by GE Aviation's GE9X engine, which features carbon fibre composite fan blades.

Greater fuel efficiency

According to Boeing, the 777X will be 12% more fuel efficient than any competing aircraft and offer 10% lower operating costs.

Design of the 777X is underway and suppliers will be named in the coming months.

Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

At the Dubai AirShow Boeing announced agreements for a total of 259 aircraft from customers Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, and Emirates.

Airbus A350 competitor

The 777X family comprises two models:

  • the 777-8X offers seating for 350 passengers and a range of >17,220 km, and competes directly with the 53% composite Airbus A350-1000;  
  • the 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers and a range of >15,185 km.

Like the 787 Dreamliner, which was launched as the 7E7, the 777X will be formally named at a later date.

The 777-8X has a list price of US$349.8 million, and the 777-9X $377.2 million.