Sunday, July 20, 2008

First Flight for the Boeing 777 Freighter

Boeing 777 FreighterLast week, the first Boeing 777 Freighter made its maiden flight, taking off and landing again at Paine Field in Everett, WA. The flight, which lasted more than three and a half hours, was under the command of 777 Chief Pilot Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, with 777 Deputy Chief Pilot Van Chaney in the right seat. They took the airplane to an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) and an air speed of 270 knots, or about 311 miles (500 kilometers).

A Boeing media release about the B-777 Freighter's first flight said that the aircraft performed well, and quoted Capt. Darcy-Hennemann who said, "The airplane handled perfectly."

"The 777 Freighter completed the scheduled three-hour inaugural flight with no airplane performance-related issues," said Dennis O'Donoghue, vice president of Flight Operations, Test & Validation. "The only issue was a data-communication problem between the airplane and the telemetry room at Boeing Field."

Boeing will identify and fix the problem to resume the flight test program as soon as possible. Following approximately 270 flight hours and more than 450 ground test hours, Boeing hopes to earn certification for the 'Triple-7' Freighter from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe's Joint Aviation Authority during the fourth quarter.

According to Boeing, the 777 Freighter, the sixth member of the 777 airplane family, will be capable of flying 4,885 nautical miles (9,047 km) with a full payload, making it the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter. The airplane's range capability will translate into significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops and associated landing feeds, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times.

So far there are 78 firm orders from 11 customers for the Boeing 777 Freighter. Boeing hopes to deliver the first B777 Freighter to its launch customer, Air France, soon after certification.

[Photo Source]