a close up of a plane
The new Boeing 777X, expected to debut in 2024.

An engine so large, you could fit a Boeing 737 fuselage into it, with room to spare. After much focus and scrutiny, the Boeing 777X’s revolutionary new GE9X engine is now FAA certified, bringing the world’s largest single deck passenger plane a step closer toward actual flight. Now the 777X must battle to retain orders, as the greatest crisis in global aviation history continues.

GE9X Engine Certification

After scandalous findings involving the FAA’s relationship with Boeing on the doomed 737 MAX program, scrutiny into all elements of each aircraft reached unprecedented levels in the last year. Few planes in the history of flight will enter service on the first day with more testing of each and every component than the Boeing 777X.

A key part of this new world’s largest single deck aircraft, designed for ultra long haul customers including Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, British Airways and Singapore Air is the new GE9X engine, bringing 110,000 pounds of thrust, with a significant 10% savings on fuel, compared to previous iterations.

777X Delivery Timeline

The news is a huge boost for Boeing, which has seen dwindling demand for the mammoth 777X as airlines look to curb costs during the global pandemic, and its decimating effects on the airline industry.

Key early buyers of the 777X program, including Emirates and Cathay Pacific have already sought to reduce their order counts, instead swapping for smaller and more fuel efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s which bring less pressure to fill planes at a time airlines are desperately struggling to. Emirates, for one, has reduced its 777X order count from over 150 of the 777-9X, 777-8X variants to a combined tally under 100.

So when will the 777X take off for an airline near you? Final certification is expected sometime in 2021, and airlines have deferred orders until 2022 in hopes of riding out the worst of the financial storm. In other words, you won’t see the 777X transporting passengers in 2021, and even 2022 brings few guarantees. But an engine certified to fly is a big step, and Boeing is one step closer with the GE9X certification.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Silly question since I’m not an expert. Couldn’t they put two of those engines on the 747 and keep the Queen going ?

    1. Good question, Ive wondered the same myself. Currently the 747 400 has engines of 62500 lbs thrust each so 110000 lbs thrust would almost produce the same total thrust on each side. In fact, a version producing nearly 130000 lbs thrust per engine has already been successfully tested on a 777 so why not?

  2. With the previous issues with the 737 MAX and FAA – Boeing oversight, do you think it likely that separate European certification would be necessary?

  3. Not a silly question Sidi. I’m no expert but it was something that I wondered. If you consider 737max issues started because of ground clearance of the engines.

  4. I would never trust it.
    Now the 787 production is moving to problematic SC plant it will nix any 787 flights for me too.
    All airbus or just stay home and zoom

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