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PICTURE: Boeing joins first 777X flight test aircraft

Boeing has joined the fuselage sections of its first 777X test aircraft, ahead of first flight in 2019.

The airframer connected the nose, mid and aft sections of the 777-9 variant at its facilities in Everett, Washington. At a length of 77m (252ft) from nose to tail, it is the longest passenger aircraft ever manufactured by Boeing.

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Powered by the GE9X, the aircraft has a wingspan of 72m when its folding wingtips are fully extended.

A separate test 777X aircraft for static ground testing was completed in September 2018. Boeing says three additional flight test aircraft will be built after the maiden test flight in 2019.

Boeing is scheduled to deliver the 777-9 to launch operator Emirates in 2020. The aircraft, offering a range of 7,600nm (14,075km), can seat 400 to 425 passengers.

The airframer has so far logged 340 orders and commitments for the 777X.

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