Boeing engineers have released 50 percent of the design for the first of its two Longer-Range 777s, the 777-300ER (extended range) airplane. This means that half of the detailed design has been defined and handed over to Boeing factories and suppliers for the building of parts, assemblies and tools for the new airplane.
"This is an important milestone on our way to making this airplane available to the airlines and the flying public," said Lars Andersen, program manager for the Longer-Range 777 airplanes. "The popularity of the 777, customer demand and market conditions have called for a family of airplanes that meets just about every airline's requirements in the long-range, medium-capacity market segment."
The two new 777s, the 777-200LR (longer range) and 777-300ER will extend the range of the 777 airplane family, while providing airlines with the ability to increase revenue. For example, an airline flying a 777-300 with 365 passengers and 2,000 pounds of cargo (900 kilograms) from Los Angeles to Tokyo could carry an additional 43,500 pounds (19,700 kilograms) of cargo on the new 777-300ER. On longer routes currently served by the 777-200ER (extended range), such as from Paris to Los Angeles, the 777-300ER can fly that same route carrying an additional 78 passengers and 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) of cargo. On even longer flights, such as from New York to Hong Kong, the 777-200LR can carry 22 more passengers and 35,000 pounds (15,900 kilograms) more cargo than the 777-200ER.
In addition, when the 777-300ER enters service in 2003, it will have a lower empty weight than originally forecast, increasing maximum payload carried on all routes by 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) for both models.
"We've met our initial weight targets and have been working aggressively to beat those targets," Andersen said. "As a result of our successful weight reduction efforts, which allow airlines to carry additional payload without sacrificing range, these airplanes now offer even greater value and revenue potential to the airlines."
The Longer-Range 777s build on the features and capabilities that have made the 777 the market leader in the "intermediate twin-aisle" category. Like the current production models, the new longer-range airplanes are expected to outperform the competition economically. Going head-to-head with the Airbus A340-500/-600s, the Boeing Longer-Range 777s will have 14 to 18 percent lower seat mile costs and 21 to 22 percent lower fuel burn.
The fuel-efficient, twin-engine Longer-Range 777 airplanes will be powered by a higher-thrust derivative of the General Electric GE90 engine that is offered on the existing 777s. The derivative engine will provide 115,000 pounds of thrust - the most ever on a commercial jetliner.
The new models will have the same award-winning interior as the existing 777 models, giving passengers a more comfortable and spacious environment - wider seats, more head and shoulder room and more overhead stowage volume.
The 777 family of airplanes has captured 68 percent of its market, with more than 30 customers worldwide having ordered 581 airplanes. This includes 49 Longer-Range 777s ordered by six customers. The 777 worldwide fleet consists of more than 350 airplanes.