The new Boeing 777X jetliner has taken to the skies for the first time in front of thousands at Paine Field in Everett, Washington as the aircraft entered the next phase of its rigorous test program.

It flew for three hours and 51 minutes over Washington state before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

Captain Van Chaney, 777/777X chief pilot for Boeing Test & Evaluation said the 777X “flew beautifully” and that the test flight was “very productive”.

“Thank you to all the teams who made today possible. I can’t wait to go fly your airplane again,” he said.

Captain Chaney and Boeing Chief Pilot Craig Bomben worked through a detailed test plan to exercise the airplane’s systems and structures while the test team in Seattle monitored the data in real time.

“Our Boeing team has taken the most successful twin-aisle jet of all time and made it even more efficient, more capable and more comfortable for all,” Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said.

“Today’s safe first flight of the 777X is a tribute to the years of hard work and dedication from our teammates, our suppliers and our community partners in Washington state and across the globe.”

Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes

The test fleet, which began ground testing in Everett last year, will undergo series of tests and conditions on the ground and in the air over the coming months to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the design.

The newest member of Boeing’s market-leading widebody family, the 777X will deliver 10% lower fuel use and emissions and 10% lower operating costs than the competition through advanced aerodynamics, the latest generation carbon-fiber composite wing and the most advanced commercial engine ever built, GE Aviation’s GE9X.

It also combines the best of the passenger-preferred 777 and 787 Dreamliner cabins with new innovations to deliver the flight experience of the future.

Boeing777x

Passengers will enjoy a wide, spacious cabin, large overhead bins that close easily for convenient access to their belongings, larger windows for a view from every seat, better cabin altitude and humidity, less noise and a smoother ride.

Boeing expects to deliver the first 777X in 2021.

The program has won 340 orders and commitments from leading carriers around the world, including ANA, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines