Boeing’s 777X, the next-generation flagship for Boeing, is still trying to make its first flight happen.
The 777X experimental, WH001, which was supposed to take off on its first flight first on Thursday, January 23 and then moved it to Friday, January 24, 2020, could not carry out the flight yesterday as well. It pushed back and departed, and then held short of the runway for more than an hour. After keeping everyone waiting, it came back to the gate. The reason? Strong winds.
The aircraft, which will be the world’s biggest twin-jet to enter service when ready, taxied out of the Boeing Delivery centre in Everett to the Paine Field runway on time for a 10 AM flight. Amidst gushing winds, the aircraft passed by Boeing employees and VIPs and the waiting media to get to the entry point of the Runway. It then held short there and continued to do so for a very long time.
Many other aircraft came and went, including Boeing’s Dreamlifter transport aircraft, but the test aircraft won’t move. This being a test flight, and the first one at that, Boeing needed a windspeed of under 10 knots, but the speed went all over from 15 to 22 to more, but never reached the desired levels. The aircraft needed to fly north to avoid populated areas and head over the sea, however, the wind was blowing out of the south. That meant strong tailwinds, which would not help the case for a take-off. Other aircraft continued to fly in and out in the South direction.
As per Boeing, they will try again on Saturday at the same time 10 AM Pacific, which is about 11:30 PM India time.
Answering your questions: 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.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) January 24, 2020
You can catch the next attempt here. Let’s hope Boeing makes their video feed better this time.