Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 February 2020

Boeing 777X test flight delayed for a second time due to weather

The US plane maker will try again at 10am on January 25

Boeing was forced to delay the first test flight of its much-anticipated 777X jet for a second time due to bad weather.

The US plane maker had originally scheduled the flight for January 23, but was forced to delay due to the conditions.

And when it tried again on January 24, it was once again thwarted by the weather at its production facility in Everett, Washington.

It was providing updates on Twitter and appeared and confirmed it was "on track" as it made its final checks.

However, the company then confirmed the plane was "holding at the end of the runway due to inclement weather", and hours later confirmed that the flight had been cancelled for the day. Boeing said it would try again at 10am local time on January 25.

"Wind levels prevented us from flying today. We will continue to provide updates on our website and through social media," Boeing tweeted.

Boeing then explained why other aircraft were able to fly in the locality, but the 777X had to stay grounded.

"Flight tests, first flights in particular, have special requirements that are more stringent (like wind strength & direction for takeoff) than for certified airplanes. For this reason, commercial flights departed Paine Field today but the #777X couldn't," it said.

The 777X programme is already behind schedule after a number of mishaps during production. It was originally slated to be delivered during the middle of this year, but is instead expected to be delivered in 2021.

Emirates, the biggest customer of the 777X, ordered 24 fewer planes of the 777X from a total of 126 planes during the Dubai Airshow in November, down from an original order of 150 jets in 2013.

The jet will come in two variations – the 777-8 and 777-9. The 777-8 will seat between 350 to 375 passengers, while the other variant can carry 400 to 425, both in a two-class configuration.

Boeing said it will have 12 per cent lower fuel consumption and 10 per cent lower operating costs than its competition.

Its features include folding wing tips, allowing an extended span of seven metres to maximise fuel efficiency, larger windows and "smoother ride technology".

The aircraft faces extra scrutiny from regulators amid Boeing's crisis with the 737 Max which has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes that resulted in the death of 346 people.

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50 years of the Boeing 747

Updated: January 25, 2020 11:11 AM

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