Boeing 777X: folding wing tips shown off as test plane makes runway debut

Test was the first time the highly-anticipated plane has moved on its own power

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Much of the publicity around Boeing in recent months has centred on its troubles with its 737-Max model following the fatal Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes in October 2018 and March 2019, respectively.

But behind the scenes, the US plane maker has been making progress with another of its models - the highly-anticipated 777X which is set to hit the skies with commercial airlines in June 2020.

The company has released a video of the 777X test aircraft making its runway debut, and added on Twitter that it "performed a series of low-speed taxi tests, marking the first time this plane moved on its own power. This is one of many tests before the 777X takes to the skies later this year."

The test also showed off the plane's folding wing tips in a separate video. The wing tips enable an extended span of seven metres, maximising fuel efficiency.

Boeing said that the 777X will have 12 per cent lower fuel consumption and 10 per cent lower operating costs than its competition.

Dubai airline Emirates ordered 150 777X at the Dubai Airshow in 2013 - nearly half of the total 334 orders worldwide since its launch.

However, Emirates confirmed last week that it is in talks with Boeing to renegotiate its order and may replace them with the smaller 787.

The plane is undergoing vigorous testing throughout this year ahead of its expected delivery in 2020.

It is set to come in two variations - the 777-8 and 777-9.

The 777-8 will seat between 350 to 375 passengers, while the latter can carry 400 to 425 passengers, both in a two-class configuration.


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The 777-8 has a range of 16,110km – far enough for it to create a new world's longest flight – and the 777-9 can travel 14,075km.

Cabin features include overhead bins that "are designed to enhance the passenger experience by allowing everyone on board easy access to their belongings" and added that the "designs create a more large and open feel inside the cabin".

Boeing said the windows are larger and higher, providing a better view for everyone on board.

Boeing has also said the 777X will have a "lower cabin altitude, improved humidity and smoother ride technology".