Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) announced at MEBAA 2018 the newest member of its family, the BBJ 777X, with a range “greater than any business jet ever built” and comfort and efficiency to match, according to the company. Able to fly more than halfway around the world nonstop, the newest BBJ can connect any two cities on Earth, in the process “redefining ultra-long range VIP travel,” said Greg Laxton, head of BBJ.
BBJ introduced the 777X at MEBAA, he said, because “of all the BBJs we sell, 29 percent come to the Middle East, and we also see 52 percent of widebody sales come to the Middle East.”
The new platform represents “the best of both worlds, combining almost the room of a 747 with the creature comforts of a 787,” said Alex Fecteau, BBJ’s director of marketing.
The hallmark of the 777X’s airframe advances over current Triple 7s is its fourth-generation composite wing with foldable wingtips. Instead of winglets, the wingspan has been increased to 235 feet—22 feet longer than the current wing—improving takeoff capability, reducing thrust requirements, and increasing initial cruise altitudes.
“Our engineers convinced us we get double the benefit [with increased wingspan] versus winglets,” said Fecteau. Folding wingtips ensure the new model can fit into any existing 777 gates and ground facilities. Contrasting the design with folding wings seen on earlier generation aircraft, Fecteau said, “It’s a very simple mechanism. The only connection that goes outboard is a wire for lights; no other electrics, hydraulics, or plumbing.”
The BBJ 777X will be available in two models: The BBJ 777-8 and BBJ 777-9.
The 777-8, with a range of 11,645 nm (21,570 km) with up to 75 passengers, has a spacious 3,256 sq ft. (302.5 sq m) cabin, while the larger 777-9, with an 11,000 nm range, offers 3,689 sq ft of cabin space.
The interior features the tallest and widest cabin, and as large a main deck as a 747, and windows larger than any airliner’s other than the 787. Additionally, the cabin altitude has been lowered to 6,000 feet. Engineers and designers determined that any reduction in cabin altitude below 6,000 feet produced insufficient improvements in passengers’ feelings of well being to warrant the cost of further lowering interior altitude.
The 777X also incorporates the Smooth Ride technology developed for the 787, which takes pressure readings from the pitot and static ports to determine turbulence levels and adjusts the fly-by-wire flight controls to dampen oscillations.
In the flight deck, 15-inch displays support advanced navigation and RNP and GPS approach capabilities.
The advanced GE9X engines offer a 5 percent lower specific fuel consumption than competing engines, coming in 15 dB below stage 4 noise levels, and delivering 29 percent lower emissions than CAEP/8 requirements.
BBJ also unveiled interior concepts from completion specialists Greenpoint Technologies and Jet Aviation, and from German design firm Unique Aircraft Design, illustrating how the BBJ 777X “can be transformed to meet the tastes of any VIP customer,” according to the company.
Jet Aviation’s concept, Shaheen, which means royal white falcon, is designed to accommodate 43 passengers plus a crew of eleven, and features lounges, a game and cinema area, a stately office, private workspaces, three guest bedrooms, and a master suite that includes its own lounge, luxurious bedroom, spacious dressing/bathroom area, and a large shower and hammam, or Turkish bath.
Greenpoint’s design, Lotus, features an open floor plan, with monuments attached only to the floor.
Samir Sahgal, managing director flight operations for Boeing’s Business & General Aviation Global Services division, established in 2017, stressed the life cycle support BBJ can offer its customers.
The 777X is nearing certification for the commercial market, and the first—a 777-9—is now in production; 340 777Xs have been ordered thus far.
No launch customer for the BBJ 777X has yet appeared. “We’re hunting the first,” said Laxton. The debut BBJ 777X will be available in the first quarter of 2021.