Boeing [NYSE: BA] today unveiled the first 777-200LR Worldliner -- the world's longest range commercial airplane -- at a celebration attended by more than 5,000 employees, airline representatives, suppliers, and government and community leaders.
"This amazing airplane will connect virtually any two cities in the world with nonstop service," said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 777-200LR Worldliner is the latest innovation in our highly successful 777 airplane family. The 777 family consists of five passenger models and a freighter version in development that safely and efficiently serve the needs of our customers, while providing passengers and cargo operators with more of what they want -- affordable, comfortable, nonstop flights to the destinations of their choice."
Extending the range of the market-leading 777 family by more than 1,500 nautical miles (2,775 kilometers), the 777-200LR (Longer Range) allows airlines to service nonstop routes such as New York-Singapore and Los Angeles-Dubai at full passenger capacity and carry revenue cargo. The 777-200LR can carry 301 passengers up to 9,420 nautical miles (17,446 kilometers).
The 777-200LR Worldliner is the first Boeing airplane entirely painted in the company's striking blue livery introduced last year. The airplane's unveiling at today's ceremony also revealed its new name: Worldliner, which highlights its revolutionary capabilities to connect cities around the world.
"The 777-200LR Worldliner will enable our customers to open new nonstop routes and explore new markets that once could only be accomplished with one or two stops," said Lars Andersen, vice president -- program manager, 777 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
With first flight scheduled for early March, flight-test employees are putting final touches on the systems they will use to monitor and evaluate the airplane. The seven-month flight-test program will include approximately 300 hours of ground and 500 hours of flight testing.
The 777-200LR and the 777-300ER (Extended Range) were launched in February 2000 by Boeing and GE Aircraft Engines in response to airlines that wanted new airplanes with additional flexibility to serve the nonstop routes passengers demand.
The first 777-200LR Worldliner is to be delivered to Pakistan International Airlines in January 2006. EVA Airways is also a launch customer.
The 777-200LR will also serve as the platform for the Boeing 777 Freighter, the world's largest, most capable twin-engine freighter. Authority to offer the 777 Freighter was announced in November.
The 777 family has captured over 60 percent of the market since the airplane's October 1990 launch. More than 38 customers worldwide have ordered more than 675 777s, including 104 Longer-Range 777s (777-300ERs and 777-200LRs). So far, two customers have ordered five 777-200LRs.