Boeing [NYSE:BA] is expanding its popular 777 commercial airplane family and now is offering a cargo model that will be the world's largest and most capable twin-engine freighter.
Due to enter service in fourth quarter 2008, the new Boeing 777 Freighter is based on the technologically advanced 777-200LR (Longer Range), the world's longest-range commercial airplane. The 777 Freighter will fly farther than any other freighter and will provide more capacity than any twin-engine cargo airplane.
"The efficiency, operating economics and range of the 777 are unsurpassed, and cargo carriers around the globe will now share in the value of the 777 family," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally. "The 777 Freighter further strengthens our leadership position in the world cargo market."
The new freighter brings Boeing's 777 family to six models. Boeing selected the 777-200LR platform for the new Freighter because it offers the preferred mix of range and payload capabilities for cargo operators. The first 777-200LR will enter passenger service in 2006.
Boeing is currently in discussions with several potential customers for the 777 Freighter and foresees a strong market demand for an efficient, long-range, high-capacity twin-engine freighter.
The 777 Freighter will have a revenue payload capability of 222,000 pounds (101 metric tons) and will accommodate 27 standard pallets (125 x 96 inch; 244 x 318 cm) on its main deck and 10 in its lower cargo hold. It can fly 5,200 nautical miles (9,630 km) with a full payload and market-preferred cargo load density. Delivering the lowest trip cost of any large freighter, the 777 Freighter will meet QC2 noise standards for maximum accessibility to noise-sensitive airports.
The 777 Freighter complements the Boeing 747-400 Freighter family, which is the air-cargo industry's standard. Both the 777 and 747 Freighters accommodate 10-foot-high (3.1 meter) pallets, providing operators with maximum flexibility.
The Boeing 747 Freighter family currently constitutes more than half of the world's total freighter capacity. Boeing freighters of all models comprise more than 90 percent of the total worldwide freighter lift. Boeing forecasts that large widebody freighters (65 metric tons and above in capacity) will comprise 31 percent of the market by 2023.