Boeing 777 Freighter takes shape
Production of the new 777 Freighter is expected to begin in early 2008 after the Boeing Company recently completed more than 90% of the aircraft's design.
Suppliers have already started production of parts and major components for Boeing's newest freighter with assembly of the first 777 Freighter soon to take place at the company's Everett facility in Washington.
Delivery of the aircraft to its launch customer Air France is due in the fourth quarter of 2008.
"We designed the 777 Freighter to be the most capable twin-engine cargo airplane," said Larry Loftis, vice president, 777 programme, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"We are excited to begin building the first 777 Freighter and to put the airplane into service so it can demonstrate its unmatched capabilities," he added.
Marketed as possessing greater range and more capacity than any other twin-engine cargo plane, the 777 Freighter is also designed with a main cargo deck able to facilitate easy direct transfer shipments with 747 Freighter aircraft. The sixth and newest model of the 777 family of airplanes has to date 11 customers with a total of 82 sales, accounting for more than 20% of the 777 programme's current backlog.
"Our customers have worked with us closely throughout the design of the 777 Freighter, providing valuable guidance in defining the airplane's performance," said Kim Pastega, deputy programme manager and engineering leader, 777 freighter programme. "As a result, the 777 Freighter has been well received by the marketplace, with a customer base of traditional cargo carriers and leasing operators."