Today Boeing's new 777X aircraft completed its maiden flight, reports CNBC:The plane is the largest twin-engine jet ever built and has a wingspan so widemore than 235 feetit features folding wingtips that reduce that width by more than 20 feet so the plane can fit into various airport taxiways and gates. The 777X-9 is slightly longer than Boeing's most iconic plane: the hump-backed 747, which is fading away as airlines opt for twin-engine aircraft that require less fuel... The 777X, which lists for $422.2 million although airlines usually receive discounts, can fit up to 426 passengers in a two-class configuration. Boeing had 344 firm orders for the 777X at the end of the third quarter, according to a company filing, and Emirates is its biggest single customer. By allowing more passengers on a single flight, the plane's wide-body design achieves a smaller carbon footprint, Forbes reports. And an expected shortage of trained pilots might also help convince airlines to use the new plane.The decision may also be driven by future airport and airspace congestion. With passenger numbers expected to double over the next 20 years, it will be a real challenge for infrastructure to keep up. Fewer planes required to fly all those people would be an advantage... More planes flying requires more pilots trained to fly them and an over-reliance of narrow-bodies exacerbates the problem. The 777X can be flown by current generation 777-trained pilots, Boeing says. It's a claim that will no doubt undergo more serious scrutiny by regulators following the 737 MAX tragediesas will the whole aircraftbut that may be in Boeing's favor, helping to restore confidence.Read more of this story at Slashdot. Click here to read full news..