The Boeing [NYSE:BA] 777-300ER (Extended Range), the newest airplane in the 777 family, has recently completed refused takeoff testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California. A refused takeoff is where the pilot prepares for a takeoff, but then uses maximum brake energy to stop the fully-loaded airplane -- 775,000 pounds (351,534 kilograms) for these tests. Because the tests measure braking performance, thrust reversers are not used. The brakes become hot and "glow" due to the amount of energy they absorb during the tests. Often during these types of tests small fires can occur due to the hot brakes, but no fires occurred during the 777-300ER tests. Certification tests were completed using 100 percent of maximum brake energy with fully worn brakes. Two different 777-300ER brake systems -- manufactured by Goodrich and Messier-Bugatti -- were certified successfully.
Two 777-300ER airplanes currently are undergoing 1,600 hours of flight testing. Certification of the 777-300ER by U.S. and European regulatory authorities is slated for early next year. The first 777-300ER will be delivered April 2004 to International Lease Finance Corp.'s customer, Air France.