Visitors to the Dubai air show were treated to the first real sight of the complete 777X configuration today just minutes after the project was officially launched by Boeing president and chief executive Jim McNerney. The launch followed an avalanche of 259 orders and commitments from four airlines worth potentially almost $100 billion, making it the largest single commercial launch by dollar value in the history of the industry.
Shortly after pronouncing the go ahead of the 777X McNerney unveiled a large scale model of the 777-9X and a smaller -8X model on the exhibit floor. Aside from the 787-like sweep and pronounced dihedral of the composite wing, the most notable external feature of the 777X is the revised shape of the vertical fin. While similar in overall size to the current 777 tail, the new unit appears to have a more rakish, 787-style fin.
The design reflects the aerodynamic and structural lessons learned with the 787 and, just as crucially, the integrated hybrid laminar flow control system from the 787-9 which will be scaled up for the leading edges of the vertical and horizontal tails of the 777X. More details about the 777X design, systems and configuration will be defined over the course of 2014.