Boeing on Monday afternoon began production of its first 777X, its next-generation widebody airliner.
The airplane will come in two variants — the 777-8X and 777-9X — and between the two will seat a maximum of 375 and 425 passengers.
The more fuel efficient 777 also features new engines from GE and a composite folding wing.
Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems said in a statement to The Eagle that it is providing the same content to Boeing on the 777X that it does on the 777, including the forward fuselage, nacelles and struts.
Help us deliver journalism that makes a difference in our community.
Our journalism takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work to produce. If you read and enjoy our journalism, please consider subscribing today.
But the 777X’s larger engines and new wing means Spirit has had to redesign some of its parts, the company said.
“We are making great progress with Boeing in terms of the development work,” Spirit said.
Boeing has 326 orders for the 777X from one unidentified customer and six airlines: ANA, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa and Qatar.
The first airplane is expected to be delivered in 2020.
Deliveries of Boeing's newest jetliner, the 777X, are expected to begin in 2020. (Video courtesy of Boeing Co.) McClatchyjsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com
Crews move an autoclave, used to harden aircraft parts made of composites, to Boeing's new 424,000-square-foot composite center in St. Louis, where workers will manufacture the 777X's composite wing edge and parts of its tail. (Video courtesy of B McClatchyjsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com