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Boeing 777X completes first international flight for Dubai air show

written by Isabella Richards | November 10, 2021

WH003 performs its first test flight. (Boeing)

Boeing’s latest 777X aircraft has completed both its longest and first international flight to Dubai for the biennial air show.

The 777-9 twin engine test aircraft travelled 15 hours nonstop from Seattle’s Boeing Field to Dubai World Central, landing at 2:02pm GST Tuesday, 9 November.

The Dubai Airshow 2021 will be the first major international aerospace trade show to return following the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit under capacity restrictions.

The United States planemaker’s jet will be on “static display and featured in the show’s flying program”, which begins on 14 November.

Despite the high-profile cancellation of the 2021 Paris Air Show, which was set to occur in June, the Dubai Airshow will run until 18 November, showcasing emerging aviation technologies, start-ups, future transport and sustainability.

The event is set to reach new levels of strategic importance in the aerospace sector, with support from the UAE government.

This year, the show will focus on 5G, AI, robotics, future transport and cargo.


Built on Boeing’s older models, including the 777 and 787 Dreamliner, the 777-9 is slated to become the “world’s largest” twin-engine aircraft, operating on better fuel efficiency.

The variant was announced in 2013 and completed its inaugural flight in January 2020, but its commercial debut has been plagued with numerous delays and mishaps.

In June, the Federal Aviation Administration flagged Boeing that the 777X would likely not receive certification until late 2023 due to the lack of data and a preliminary safety assessment.

It was supposed to enter service last summer, however according to a letter, the aircraft is not ready to receive its crucial Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) readiness clearance.

Over the past year, Emirates, that is slated to become the 777X’s launch customer slated to replace its current 777s has made several complaints to Boeing for continuous delays.

The airline currently has 126 of the jets on order, but Boeing is two-and-a-half years behind its original schedule for the aircraft to arrive in June 2020.

In May, Emirates warned if Boeing falls short on its contractual performance commitments with the 777X, it would refuse delivery of the aircraft.

The state-owned airline’s chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told Reuters last week he intends to have a discussion with the planemaker during the Dubai Air Show.

“There will be a discussion … before and during the air show.”

Despite a 40 per cent fall in orders for the aircraft in February, Boeing now boasts the 777X family has a total of 351 orders from eight customers across the globe.

The US planemaker expects the first delivery of the aircraft will arrive in late 2023.


  • Adrian P


    Still not happy with a design that means the aerodynamic forces in flight are trying to push the folding wings into the position required for taxiing.
    Does the 777X have enough aileron to control an asymmetric failure of the wing tips?
    Will the software which prevents the aircraft from taking off with wings folded stop the pilots from folding the wing tips inflight to laterally stabilise the aircraft in event of an asymmetric wing tip failure?

  • GeorgeB


    Have there been any asymmetric wing folding of any US Navy carrier types in flight? Just wondering if it’s possible.

    • Adrian P


      Perhaps Boeing could tell us?
      Mean while from WIki something not thought possible.
      On 3 July 1968, BKS Air Transport Flight C.6845, an Airspeed Ambassador registration G-AMAD of BKS Air Transport crashed at Heathrow Airport, damaging two parked Trident airliners as it cartwheeled into the incomplete Heathrow Terminal 1, then under construction. Six of the eight people on board the Ambassador were killed, along with the eight racehorses being transported on it.[1] The crash was blamed on the failure of a flap-operating rod due to metal fatigue, resulting in asymmetrical lift.

  • Bob Broome


    Most wing fold mechanism’s have a large locking pin that secures the fold once it is in the extended position. Unless the pin doesn’t engage and the flight crew miss all the indicator’s, including (I presume) a look at the manual indicator built into the wing to show that the pin has engaged, asymmetric lift may not be an issue, as with all the computing power onboard, I imagine that the flight controls will compensate.

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