Boeing to Launch World’s Longest-Range Jet “777-8X”
May 5, 2013 9:14 PM
It will have a range of 9,500 nautical miles
Boeing has started selling a new aircraft family – codenamed 777X – which will feature the world’s longest-range jet for passengers.
The new family will be upgraded versions of Boeing’s popular 777 wide-body jet. Its most popular (and profitable) plane is the 777-300ER, which is a 365-seat jet that launched in 2004.
As for the new 777X family,
Boeing has been showing off
two members to airlines – the 400-seat 777-9X, and the long-distance 777-8X.
While the 777-9X is meant to be the competitor to the Airbus A350-1000, the 777-8X would be the king of distance with a range of 9,500 nautical miles.
The 777-8X would be the successor to Boeing’s current winner of distance, the 777-200LR.
While long-distance jets are considered a niche (mainly due to the fact that the first few hours of long flights are spent burning fuel to carry even more fuel needed for the remainder of the flight), Boeing plans to offer the plane as an option for long trips from places like the Middle East to South America.
Sales of long-distance jets haven’t been too impressive. For instance, Boeing has only sold 59 777-200LRs since its debut in 2007. However, it has sold 687 short-range 777-300ER planes.
Because of this, Boeing expects to sell more 777-9X jets than 777-8Xs, but the two could go hand-in-hand as the 777-9X’s extra powerful engines and larger wings could give airlines more efficient use of the 777-8X.
The main model of the 777-9X is expected to be in service toward the end of the decade. There’s no word on when the 777-8X will be available.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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