Boeing 777 making progress

Boeing has progressed with the development of the new 777 freighter by completing firm configuration of its design


Boeing has progressed with the development of the new 777 freighter by completing firm configuration of its design.

The company said the milestone has been reached after months of collaboration with airline customers and programme partners to determine the optimal configuration for the new cargo aircraft.

Boeing has now completed major trade studies to finalise the aircraft’s overall capacity, allowing it and its suppliers to begin detailed design parts, assemblies and other systems for the 777 freighter. Detailed designs will then be released to Boeing factories and suppliers to begin the actual production.

Lars Andersen, vice president of the 777 programme for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “Working together with our customers and programme partners, we designed the 777 freighter to the world’s most capable twin-engine cargo airplane.”

He added: “The 777 freighter will have the lowest trip costs of any large freighter and burn up to 35% less fuel per tonne compared to today’s freighters.”

Air France, which ordered five 777 freighters in 2005, has been closely involved in the aircraft’s design and development. Boeing said it will continue to seek input from Air France. The first 777 freighter is scheduled for delivery to Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Boeing claims the 777 freighter will have a range of 4985 miles, making it the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter. It will accommodate 27 standard pallets on the main deck, ten in the lower cargo hold and 600 ft3 of additional bulk cargo.

Coinciding with the news, Boeing also rolled out its first 747-400 large cargo freighter (LCF) out of the hangar at Taipei’s Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport.

The giant aircraft is the fi rst of three specially modified planes that will be used to transport major assemblies for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

“This is one of the most unusual modifi cations Boeing has ever done,” said Scott Strode, Boeing’s 787 vice president of Airplane Development and Production.

“We’ve relied on the world’s best talent to design and build the LCF and we can be proud today to see it standing on the tarmac,” he added.

Ground testing is underway to prepare the LCF for its first flight. After initial flight testing in Taipei, the LCF will be transported to Seattle to complete the fl ight test programme. First flight and the ferry flight to Seattle are expected to be completed by this month.

The modifications have been performed by Evergreen Aviation Technologies, a joint venture of EVA Air and General Electric and a part of Taiwan’s Evergreen Group. Boeing said the second aircraft continues to be modifi ed and will be completed this fall. The third airplane will begin modifi cation next year. The fi rst two LCFs enter service in 2007 to support the final assembly of the Dreamliners.

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