Boeing, known for some the best passenger airplanes has begun production of the latest 777X, which was revealed earlier in the 2013 Dubai air show. The production is free from human intervention as a robot equipped with a single arm began drilling into a 108 ft long composite wing spar to mark the beginning of production. This long-range prototype with a wide body, scheduled to fly in 2019, is termed as the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world.
The latest 777X is going to be built on the innovations introduced in its predecessors, the 777 and 787 Dreamliner. The latest airliner starts at a price of $350 million and comes in two different models, 777-8 and 777-9, have a range of 8,700 nautical miles, making them just north of 10,000 normal miles. The seating capacity ranges from 350 to 425 passengers.
What really differentiates the 777X from the previous models is the lightweight wing design, made up of 400 miles of carbon tape cured in a specially built autoclave. This results in a greater wingspan leading to increased fuel efficiency. This is coupled with GE9X high-bypass turbofan aircraft engine, which has 10% more thrust capacity than the previous model.
777X also has a unique design that allows the wingtips to fold, allowing it to use the standard airport gates. The 777X is also aesthetically pleasing from the inside with larger windows, new lighting, and more carryon luggage storage. 326 orders have already been placed for Boeing’s new mode from companies including Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines to name a few.
You can see the beginning of production in the video below.