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The Boeing 777 'Triple Seven' is the largest twin-engined airliner in the world and it is intended to fly medium to ultra-long distances with 300 to 400 passengers.
Boeing used the newest computer aided design technology (Dassault's CATIA system) to build a 'virtual airplane' first. Thanks to this system Boeing engineers could make sure that all parts of the aircraft fitted without building a traditional mock-up. The 777 became Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner and the first Boeing jetliner with a circular cross section.
Boeing 777-200, -200ER, -200LR, -F
Boeing developed several versions of the 777. The first was the 777-200, which was soon followed by an extended-range variant, the 777-200ER (initially designated as 777-200IGW - Increased Gross Weight). The 777-200ER made its maiden flight on 7 October 1996 and was introduced by British Airways in early 1997. The 777-200LR 'Worldliner' has an even longer range, the longest range of any airliner currently in operation. The Worldliner first flew on 8 March 2005 and the first example was delivered to PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) in February 2006. With the 777-200LR a world distance record for commercial aircraft was set in November 2005: 21,601 kilometers (14,438 nm). The aircraft was 22 hours and 43 minutes in the air and flew from Hongkong to London Heathrow in eastern direction.
Boeing 777-300, -300ER
The 777-300 is a 10.13 m (33ft 3in) stretched version, primarily intended as a replacement for early generation Boeing 747 aircraft. It is even longer then the 747, but has a narrower fuselage. The 777-300 offers almost the same passenger capacity and range as the four-engined 747, but fuel burn is lower as are maintenance costs. The 777-300 can accommodate 368-451 passengers depending on cabin layout, but even high-density seating up to 550 passengers is possible. Compared with the 777-200 the -300 has a strengthened undercarriage, airframe construction and inboard wing. A tailskid was installed to prevent tail-strikes during take-off and landing, and ground manoeuvring cameras were mounted on the horizontal tail and underneath the forward fuselage to make taxiing easier for the pilots. Further changes were minimal to keep maximum commonality with the 777-200.
Two future versions are the 777-8X and the 777-9X, which were officially launched at the Dubai Air Show in November 2013. The 777-8X is to become the successor of the 777-200ER. It will have a somewhat longer fuselage than the 200ER and carry 350 passengers over up to 17,222 km (10,702 nm). The 777-9X will be stretched a number of frames compared with the 777-300ER, seat more than 400 passengers and fly up to 15,185 km (9,436 nm). Both versions are expected to enter service in 2020. The new versions will get a new carbon fibre wing with a bigger span and tips that can be folded to match the aircraft with existing airport parking stands. The first airline that ordered the 777X is Lufthansa with 34 of the 9X-version. Other early customers include Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific.
In Spring 2014 Boeing had sold a total of more than 1700 777s of all versions, of which 1200 were delivered. Most popular are the ER-versions. The 777-200ER sold more than 400, the -300ER more than 700.
Boeing 777-100X and 777-250
Boeing studied several versions which were never built. In March 1995 Boeing proposed a short-body aircraft, the 777-100X. It was to become 6.40 meter shorter than the 777-200 and intended for ultra-long ranges of more than 15,500 km with around 250 passengers on board. Wing, tailplane and tail would have the same dimensions as on the 777-200, but in the end it appeared that the 777-200 was a more economic platform for ultra-long ranges. In 1999 Boeing proposed the 777-100 to Singapore Airlines, hoping to prevent the airline to buy A330-200 aircraft to replace its Airbus A310s. The 777-250 is a proposed but never-built version with a fuselage length in between that of the 777-200 and 777-300.
777-200, 200ER & 200LR
Air New Zealand
ANA - All Nippon
Delta Air Lines
JAL Japan Airlines
PIA Pakistan Int.
ANA - All Nippon
JAL Japan Airlines