First Boeing 777X to start static tests

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The first fully assembled 777X test aircraft has rolled out of Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington.

The non-flying airplane, which left the factory on July 7, 2018, will now undergo almost a year of testing to verify its design strength.

This first test 777X aircraft does not have a nose cone, engines, horizontal or vertical stabilizer, or avionics systems.

The 777X long-range wide body aircraft family will initially consist of the 777-8 and the longer and higher capacity 777-9. Boeing engineers have developed folding wingtips so the 777X’s 235ft (72m) wings can fit in at airport gates currently used for the company’s 777-300ER.

Speaking in a video published by Boeing, Doreen Bingo, director of engineering and 777X test program manager at Boeing, said, “We’ve been in tests for several years for different components of this aircraft, starting with wind tunnels, into smaller component structure and the systems integration laboratory.

“The static test really represents the home stretch of our test program because we build the full-scale articles for lab and flight test.”

A reaction structure made of 1,500,000 lb of steel will be used to receive the static test aircraft and form part of the structural testing of the wings, strut and fuselage.

Six test aircraft are being built for the 777X test program. The second test aircraft currently being built in Everett is planned to start flight testing next year. The 777-9 is expected to enter service in 2020, with the 777-8 following a few years later.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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