Airline manufacturer Boeing is utilizing strong crosswinds in the Texas panhandle to test its latest commercial aircraft.
Boeing’s new 777X landed at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport on Monday, according to ABC 7 Amarillo.
Test pilots will be flying until Wednesday, when winds are expected to blow at 30-45 mph in the afternoon with gusts over 60 mph and possibly as high as 75 mph, according to the National Weather Service, reported ABC 7 Amarillo.
Amarillo was a preferred choice for Boeing due to the high winds and its long runway, according to ABC 7 Amarillo.
The 777X is the longest commercial aircraft ever built, coming in at 251 feet, 9 inches, and can carry up to 426 passengers, the outlet reported.
Boeing recently resumed testing of the plane after it was halted for four months last year to resolve engine issues, according to Simple Flying.
The company plans to begin delivery of the 777X in 2025, but the certification process may extend this expected launch date, Simple Flying reported.
“Everything is on course for the 777X. And I think the only issue that has created some concern over the last couple of years has been our agreement with the ASO [Air Safety Organization] and some of the design principles that we think we’re making terrific progress with ASO,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call last month.
Boeing currently has 350 orders for the 777X aircraft from airlines including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa, according to Simple Flying.
On Monday, Emirates announced on Twitter that it is investing $135 million in a pilot training center in Dubai in preparation for its future Boeing 777X and Airbus A350 fleet.
“This US$ 135 million investment to build a new pilot training centre will ensure Emirates’ readiness to commence its pilot training ahead of the delivery of its new aircraft fleet starting from 2024. The building will be equipped with the latest, technologically advanced simulators to provide the best training for pilots, while using solar power to reduce energy consumption,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, in a press release.
Last week, Air India also announced that it is adding 10 Boeing 777X to its fleet, according to a press release from Boeing.
Boeing said in the press release that the new plane is “unmatched in every aspect of performance.”