The Boeing Company said today it has reached an agreement with General Electric for the development of a 115,000-pound-thrust engine to power longer-range 777 airplanes.
Boeing projects the market for the 777-200X and 777-300X to be about 500 airplanes. The size of this market would not support development of more than one engine.
"All three commercial engine companies offered good solutions for the new longer-range 777 airplanes," said Alan Mulally, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "GE was chosen to develop a GE90 derivative engine because it best met the overall evaluation criteria, including technical, schedule, customer service, and business requirements."
Boeing currently is in discussions with airlines that are considering the longer-range 777 models to provide more frequent, non-stop flights between more cities. The 777-300X airplane also would provide an efficient replacement airplane for early 747s.
"Program go-ahead for the 777-200X and 777-300X will depend on customer timing requirements," said John Roundhill, vice-president of Commercial Airplanes' Product Strategy and Development. "For planning purposes, we are currently assuming entry into service in 2003."
The 777-200X would be the longest-range commercial airplane ever designed. It would fly 10,100 statute miles, approximately 1,200 miles farther than today's 777-200ER (the world's longest-range, in-service airplane), opening long-range, transpacific non-stop service. The same size as the 777-200, it would carry approximately 300 passengers in a three-class configuration.
The 777-300X would fly 8,300 statute miles, about 1,800 miles more than the 777-300 that entered service in 1998. The same size as the 777-300, the new derivative would carry about 360 passengers in a three-class configuration and provide the improved economics of twin-engine operations as a replacement for earlier 747s and tri-jets.
Both airplanes would have increased maximum take off weight (MTOW) up to 750,000 pounds, with engine thrust up to 115,000 pounds on the -300X model. Changes would include a strengthened fuselage, tail and main landing gear, and a new wing tip section with 76 inches additional span on each side.
The 777-200X and 777-300X would be powered by the GE90-115B engines and have the passenger comforts of the highly popular 777 interior.
"Because of the commonality of the two, we would be able to design the new family members simultaneously," Roundhill said. "With the 777-200X and 777-300X, we would be extending our 777 family as planned from the outset of the 777 program. The newest members would help airlines optimize intercontinental growth markets as well as replace the older airplanes currently serving those routes."
The 777, the world's largest twinjet, responds to market needs and customer preferences. The result is a market-leading airplane, offering cabin spaciousness and flexibility found in no other jetliner.