Boeing 777X Aircraft: Russia, US Come Together for New Design

Image: Boeing 777X Aircraft: Russia, US Come Together for New Design Boeing Vice President Scott Francher describes the upcoming Boeing 777X shown in the background.

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 12:22 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Moscow will play a part in the design of Boeing's new 777X aircraft, the Seattle-based aircraft company announced Wednesday.

Agence France-Presse reported that its design center in Russia will contribute to the new design of the aircraft, as will facilities in five American cities — Charleston, S.C.; Huntsville, Ala.; Long Beach, Calif.; Philadelphia and St. Louis, Mo. 

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Boeing Commercial Airplanes established multiple design centers as part of their long-term strategic vision, according to Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel.

"BCA will utilize these engineering design centers, as well as engineers from non-BCA sites, to design the 777X," Birtel said. "At this time, no decisions have been made about 777X design or build in Puget Sound."

Bloomberg Businessweek reported Wednesday that Boeing is talking to four airlines for  for the redesigned 777X aircraft that they estimate will cost $87 billion. The talks come ahead of November's Dubai Airshow. 

The orders could include as many as 255 airplanes, with 100 to 150 for Emirates, about 50 for Qatar Airways Ltd. and as many as 30 for Etihad Airways, sources told Businessweek. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd is considering 25 jets as well.

"They’ve got a very strong product and they’ll get a very strong launch," Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the consultant Teal Group, said, adding that he believed Airbus will soon "have to do something in that segment" to keep up with Boeing's 777X.

Businessweek reported that the Dubai expo, which runs Nov. 17-21, is important to industry insiders because it showcases wide-body planes like the 777 to Persian Gulf carriers that depend on long-haul flying.

With those talks ongoing, executives told AFP that they are "leveraging lessons learned" from the 787 and 747-8 programs to ensure continuity across the 777X program.

"Our goal is to leverage skills from across the Boeing enterprise," AFP stated, according to a memo signed by Boeing engineering vice president Michael Delaney and Scott Fancher, vice president of airplane development. "A program of this size requires that we bring together all of the talent that Boeing has to offer."

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Related stories:

Boeing 747: End of the Line for Four-Engine Gas-Guzzling Plane?

Boeing Dreamliner Woes: Polish 787 Diverted by Antenna Problem

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