EVERETT, WA—Although Boeing has delayed the public reveal of its new 777X-9 airplane out of respect for the families of victims of two recent 737 MAX 8 crashes, last month the company invited staff to come in and view close-up Boeing's new flagship aircraft.
The 777X-9 can carry 414 passengers in a two-class configuration, and fly 7,525 nautical miles on a single tank of fuel. This capability is due to the plane's massive engines, which are the biggest ever placed on a commercial aircraft and have a diameter bigger than the Boeing 737 MAX series.
Designed to replace the 747 series, the 777X-9 is Boeing’s largest commercial aircraft and the company's answer to the Airbus A350. The 777X-9 is so massive, in fact, that the wings don’t fit into normal airline gates at airports.
As a result, Boeing has given this new plane folding wing tips, a technology that has only been previously used in military aircraft. The folding wing tips give the Boeing 777X-9 to have the largest commercial wingspan in the world.
The 777X-9 shown to employees will soon undergo flight tests, and then be repainted for Lufthansa (the launch customer of this aircraft) later this year. The official date of the aircraft's public debut remains unknown.