Boeing Completes Half of Design Work for World's Longest-Range Jetliner

Boeing [NYSE:BA] recently completed half the design work for its 777-200LR (Longer Range) passenger airplane, which will fly farther than any commercial jetliner.

Engineers provided the design work to Boeing factories and suppliers so they can build parts, assemblies and tools for the world's longest-range passenger airplane, which will enter service in 2006.

"This milestone brings us even closer to building an airplane that will provide non-stop service to almost anywhere in the world," said Lars Andersen, Longer-Range 777 program manager. "We have been designing an ultra-long range airplane that uses 20 percent less fuel per passenger, features 17 percent more cargo volume, and carries 21 more passengers than the A340-500."

The first 777-200LR is scheduled to enter production in October. It rolls out of the factory in the first quarter of 2005. Following a six-month flight test program, first delivery is scheduled during the first quarter of 2006.

Carrying 301 passengers in a three-class configuration, the 777-200LR can fly 9,280 nautical miles (17,170 kilometers). That means that the 777-200LR will extend the range of the market-leading 777 family by more than 1,500 nautical miles (2,775 kilometers), making new non-stop routes such as Singapore-New York, Dallas-Sydney and Dubai-Los Angeles possible.

The twin-engine 777-200LR will be powered by a high-thrust derivative of the General Electric GE90 engine that is offered on existing 777s.

Offering airlines additional flexibility in serving the non-stop routes that passengers demand, the Longer-Range 777s (777-300ER and 777-200LR) have accumulated 76 orders from eight customers worldwide. Orders for five 777-200LR airplanes have been booked by two customers.

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Marc Birtel