The Boeing Company has lowered the 717-200's take-off and landing weights, giving the world's best 100 seat airplane a new level of competitive performance that translates into improved operating economics for airlines.
"We have essentially resized the airplane," said Rolf Sellge, director, 717 Product Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, during a news media teleconference today.
Maximum take-off gross weight has decreased from 114,000 lb. (51,710 kg) to 110,000 lb. (49,895 kg), and maximum landing weight has declined from 102,000 lb. (46,265 kg) to 100,000 lb. (45,359 kg) - while increasing the airplane's original pre-flight test range by 50 nautical miles. "This was made possible by better airplane performance," Sellge said.
The 717's fuel burn has declined eight percent from pre-flight test estimates, which equals 2,000 lb. (907 kg), and its empty weight has dropped 1,450 lb. (658 kg). Also, Boeing rules were changed to more accurately reflect 717-type short-range missions, reducing the operator item weight by 1,200 lb. (544 kg). Fuel saved from the lighter airplane has reduced another 550 lb. (249 kg).
"Adding it all up, the 717 now is using 10 percent less fuel and is nearly 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) lighter than originally predicted," Sellge said. "This results in a huge savings for airlines at today's fuel price of one dollar per gallon."
The 717's lower operating weight also reduces expensive navigation and landing fees.
"The bottom line is that airlines will save up to 3.5 percent in cash operating cost," Sellge said. "This makes the 717 an even more formidable competitor."