It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Boeing 777 was introduced – when it took its first flight in 1994, and flew for United Airlines a year later in 1995 between Washington DC and London Heathrow.
Well, the Boeing production line has been cranking the aircraft out, one at a time, with 1500th aircraft exiting the production line, and being readied for delivery to its customer.
This aircraft is for United Airlines – and it’s a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
The Boeing 777 family has evolved with 6 main variants
- Boeing 777-200 – The original Launch Model of the 777 type (Launch Customer: United Airlines)
- Boeing 777-200ER – The first Extended Range Model, with an increased gross weight and a range of 7,065 nautical miles. (Launch Customer: British Airways)
- Boeing 777-200LR – The ultra-long haul variant, able to cover up to 8,555 nautical miles. (Launch Customer: Pakistan International Airlines)
- Boeing 777-300 – The first stretch of the 777 model (Launch Customer: Cathay Pacific)
- Boeing 777-300ER – The first stretch, with extended range of the -200ER model – covering up to 7,370 nautical miles (Launch Customer: Air France)
- Boeing 777F – The Freighter version for those who need to shift cargo around the world (Launch Customer: Air France)
As time has gone on, the Boeing 777-300ER has become the backbone of many a long haul fleet, providing lower costs that operating Boeing 747s (and in some ways, the 777-300ER killed the 747 project due to fuel efficiency, and the ability to maintain two less engines, whilst maintaining operations by ensuring the planes meet ETOPS standards).
The Boeing 777 forms the backbone of many long haul airlines, with Emirates, United Airlines, Air France and Cathay Pacific using it as their primary long haul aircraft.
I think anyone flying long haul will encounter a Boeing 777, and they’re not bad planes. They ferry people from A to B in varying level of comfort – whilst lowering costs on the way.
Economy passengers are feeling the squeeze – as airlines are putting in 10-across seating down the back of the plane – which does take away from the passenger experience.
But as a successful method for transporting passengers long distance and in an efficient way – it’s a welcome sight to see one.
Header image: 1500th Boeing 777 – Image, The Boeing Company via Twitter