Growing interest among airlines in Latin America has prompted The Boeing Company to take its newest twinjet, the 717-200, to AeroExpo Acapulco '99. The Boeing presence at the airshow also includes a cross-section mockup of the 717, with a full cabin interior.
"The 717-200 is ideally suited for Latin America's regional market," said Rolf Sellge, Boeing Commercial Airplanes director - 717 Product Marketing. "We're seeing strong interest in the 717 among airlines in the region, and it's only fitting that this airplane make its first international appearance in Mexico."
The 717 is the only new 100-seat passenger jet now in production and has a head-start of at least four years on any potential competitor. With a standard arrangement of 106 seats, the 717-200 fits a growing, worldwide airplane market that demands full-size jetliner comfort, low costs and low risks, and high reliability and long structural life. It meets the airlines' needs for a 100-passenger transport to serve high-frequency or low-traffic, short-to-medium-range routes.
The 717-200's spacious, all-new passenger cabin features five-across economy-class seating, illuminated overhead handrails and the largest stowage bins in its class.
Flight deck features in the new-technology 717-200 include an electronic instrument system, a dual Flight Management System and Global Positioning System. It is configured around six liquid-crystal display units and advanced Honeywell VIA 2000 computer systems, similar to those in other new Boeing jetliners. The 717 will have all-weather autoland capability.
Two advanced BMW/Rolls-Royce BR715 high-bypass ratio engines power the 717-200. The engine is rated at 18,500 to 21,000 pounds of takeoff thrust, with lower fuel consumption and significantly lower noise and emission levels than the powerplants on comparable airplanes.
The 717-200 flew for the first time on Sept. 2. The second 717-200 entered the flight test and certification program Oct. 26; the third airplane on Dec. 16. All three airplanes are making good progress toward certification and, combined, have recorded more than 600 flights to date. There are currently seven customer-production planes in final assembly, including the first 717 recently painted in the colors of launch customer, AirTran Airlines.
AirTran holds 50 orders and 50 options for the 717 and will take delivery of the first 717-200 in the summer of 1999. Other customers are Trans World Airlines (TWA), also with 50 orders and 50 options; Pembroke Capital Ltd., with 10 orders; and Bavaria International Aircraft Leasing Co., with five orders.