In the past, engineers started wind tunnel tests at QinetiQ's facility in Farnborough, U.K., where testing of the low-speed performance of the airplane continues.
"This is another important step forward in the development of the 777X," said Terry Beezhold, vice president and chief project engineer of the 777X program. "Data from these tests will allow us to validate our airplane cruise performance models in support of our ongoing design efforts."
Such data will help engineers with the configuration development of the airplane, validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions and support preliminary loads cycle development.
Necessarily, subsequent rounds of low-speed and high-speed testing will provide further design refinement and validation of overall airplane performance predictions. Also, wind tunnel tests for noise, icing and propulsion are scheduled in the coming years.
The company continues to make progress on the 777X program and is on track to reach firm configuration in 2015. The 777X program has 280 orders and commitments from five customers worldwide.