The forthcoming 777X large widebody jet will have an interior cabin with the same pleasant passenger features that have been a hit on the 787 Dreamliner: large windows, less dry air, and a lower cabin altitude pressurization.
All those features were introduced with the Dreamliner and touted as an advantage of the carbon fiber composite that’s used to make the fuselage. That material is stronger and lighter than aluminum and doesn’t corrode when the surface is wet.
The 777X will have a traditional aluminum fuselage, yet it will have the same features, including a cabin pressurization equivalent to an altitude of 6,000 feet, not the 8,000 feet typical on other planes besides the 787. The windows will be 15 percent bigger than on todays 777 model and they’ll be repositioned to offer every passenger a view of the horizon without ducking down.
How did Boeing now acheive this on a metal fuselage?
At a briefing at the Air Show, Scott Fancher, Boeing senior vice president of airplane development, was enigmatic.
“It’s because we know the (current 777) fuselage really well,” said Fancher. “We understand how much design margin the fuselage has. So we figured out a way, with very modest investment, to embed those capabilities in that fuselage.”
There you go. It’s Boeing engineering magic. And they’re not telling you how they do it. Just sit back and enjoy the more comfortable flight.
Soon after Fancher spoke, airplane leasing kingpin Stephen Udvar-Hazy, at a press conference announcing that he’d bought some 777-300ERs and some 737 MAXs, said he had pushed Boeing to improve the cabin pressure on 777X.
Yet speaking with reporters afterward Hazy expressed doubt that Boeing would achieve the touted 6,000 feet altitude cabin pressure. He thought it would more likely to end up at an intermediate level between the 6,000 feet of the 787 and the 8,000 feet current norm.