Engineers at The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] have recently completed 50 percent of the design for the new 777 Freighter. The completion of this work means that half of the detailed design of the 777 Freighter is defined and has been released to Boeing factories and its suppliers to begin building parts, assemblies and tools for the new cargo airplane.
"The 777 Freighter team has done a tremendous job working with our customers and program partners to define what will be the world's most capable twin-engine freighter," said Kim Pastega, deputy program manager and engineering leader, 777 Freighter Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are seeing strong market acceptance for the 777 Freighter, along with a growing cargo market around the world. We have a broad set of customers for the new airplane that includes traditional cargo operators, airlines and leasing companies."
Boeing is on schedule to complete the detailed design work and is on track to meet its commitments for the 777 Freighter's performance capabilities, Pastega said.
The 777 Freighter will provide more capacity than any other twin-engine freighter and the lowest trip cost of any large freighter. The 777 Freighter has a revenue payload capability of 229,000 lbs (104 metric tonnes) and a range of 4,885 nautical miles (9,045 kilometers) with a full payload and general cargo market densities, making it the longest-range twin-engine freighter.
Boeing launched the 777 Freighter in May 2005 with an order from Air France for five freighters. Boeing continues to work closely with Air France and other customers to complete the new cargo airplane's design.
"We have been pleased with the strong partnership we have had with Boeing throughout the development of the 777 Freighter," said Pierre Vellay, vice president of New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning, Air France. "We look forward to introducing this new airplane into our cargo fleet that will increase our business performance with its fuel efficiency."
The first 777 Freighter will be delivered to Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008. To date, Boeing has 71 orders for the 777 Freighter from 11 customers, including Air France, Avion Group, Emirates, FedEx Express, Qatar Airways, Guggenheim Aviation Partners, Korean Air, GE Commercial Aviation Services, Oak Hill Capital Partners and two unidentified customers.
The 777 Freighter is designed to complement 747 cargo operations with the ability to transfer shipments directly between the two airplanes. The main cargo door of the 777 Freighter will be sized to accommodate 10-foot-high (three-meter) pallets for easy interlining with 747 freighters. The 747 freighter fleet comprises about half of the world's freighter capacity.
The 777 Freighter, the sixth and newest model of the 777 family, is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner (Longer Range) passenger airplane. It will share the 777 family's advanced features such as: state-of-the-art flight deck, fly-by-wire design and an advanced wing design that includes raked wingtips. The airplane will be powered by the GE90-110B1L engine, a de-rated version of the world's most powerful commercial jet engine the GE90-115B.