Boeing’s new 777X airliner made its first flight as an inaugural take off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington on January 25 as the manufacturing company tries to restore public confidence amid the 737 MAX crisis. The Boeing had already postponed the first flight of 777X twice, owing to the weather conditions.
After a series of in-flight tests, Boeing will file for approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the agency currently looking into the issues of 737 MAX. Around 340 orders for the 777X have been placed by some major airlines including Emirates, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways. With a range of 16,200 to 13,500 kilometres, the aircraft has maximum capacities of 384 to 426 passengers depending on the configuration.
The Boeing has been under scrutiny for the 737 MAX production which has been grounded for months after two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Recently, Boeing Co submitted employees' internal communications to the US Congress and the FAA which revealed the culture of “arrogance” and focus on cost-cutting.
One of the employees said that he/she won’t put his/her family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft, in an instant messaging exchanged months before two fatal crashes. Another employee asserted that the company will not allow simulator training a requirement if any regulator asks for it.
There were claims that all the messages were about meeting schedule, not delivering quality to which a colleague replied that the company put them in the position by picking the lowest-cost supplier and signing up to impossible schedules.
Meanwhile, the FAA and Boeing are reviewing a wiring issue in the grounded 737 MAX that could potentially cause a short circuit. Boeing spokesperson Gordon Johndroe said that the issue was identified by the aerospace company during a ‘rigorous process’ and they are analysing it further with the help of FAA.
In a statement, the FAA said that they are “analyzing certain findings from a recent review of the proposed modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX”. But Johndroe said that it is too soon to claim that it would lead to any design changes.