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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Boeing Makes 777X Technology Choices

Woodrow Bellamy III 

[Avionics Today July 15, 2014] Boeing made some major announcements regarding the cabin design and flight control avionics for its next generation long-range passenger jet, the 777X, on the second day of the Farnborough Airshow. Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems have been selected to provide the aircraft's flight control electronics. 
 
 
Computer rendering of future Boeing 777X cabin. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.
 
Rockwell Collins and BAE had worked together before for Boeing's previous generation 777 platform. The two companies also supply the primary flight control electronics and Autoland systems for that aircraft. 
 
Under this new selection, Rockwell Collins will provide the Flight Control Module (FCM) of the 77X fly-by-wire system, which manages high-lift devices, folding wing-tips and load alleviation.  
 
"The flight controls we’re providing for this innovative new aircraft will efficiently and smoothly maneuver the aircraft through the most complex procedures and challenging environments,” said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Flight Controls and Information Systems for Rockwell Collins.
 
BAE will provide the integrated flight-control electronics and air data function to manage the overall fly-by-wire system, which will be a derivation of the system developed for the 787. Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of commercial aircraft solutions at BAE Systems said the 777X will feature "one of the most advanced fly-by-wire systems on any commercial aircraft."
 
The selection of the fly-by-wire system is a critical element for the 777X supply chain, which already features GE Aviation with the GE9X engines and Heroux-Devteck for the landing gear. Several Japanese suppliers have also been selected to produce the 777X fuselage panels. 
 
Boeing also revealed the cabin design for the 777X on the second day of Farnborough. The cabin will also be similar to the 787, with LED lighting and customizable cabin class architectures.  
 
"We're already getting very positive feedback from our customers about the 777X's design concepts, and we think passengers' preference for the 777-300ER and 787 will continue with the 777X," said Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager for 777X program at Boeing. 
 

Production for the 777X is scheduled to begin in 2017, with the first deliveries expected in 2020.  

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