The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

The incredible 777

After consuming three meals, two sandwiches and four glasses of orange juice, I landed in New York – nothing remarkable about it except that it had been a non-stop fourteen-hour flight.

 

What’s more, this aircraft had just two engines.

 

This was in the year 2000, and the aircraft was a Boeing 777.

 

boeing-777

 

The original 777-200 first entered commercial service in 1995, followed by the longer range 777-200LR and 777-300LR versions.

 

The 777th delivery of this amazing aircraft was made a few days ago to Air France. And there are another 325 on order as of the moment.

 

Compare this with it’s older brother, the Boeing 747, that was introduced in 1970 – as of February 2009, 1,412 aircraft have been built, with 112 more in various configurations on order.

 

The Boeing 777 holds the record of longest distance flown by an unrefueled commercial airplane. In November 2005, a 777-200LR flew a non-stop distance of 11,664 nautical miles (21,601 km), traveling eastbound from Hong Kong to London (Heathrow). The flight lasted 22 hours and 42 minutes.

 

Some interesting facts about this great aircraft include :

 

  1. Digital Fly-by-wire flight controls (Airbus has this, too)
  2. First commercial aircraft to use fiber-optic avionics network
  3. Composite material in the aircraft’s construction – 9% of its original structural weight.
  4. The largest landing gear and the biggest tyres ever used in a commercial jetliner.
  5. The GE90-115B turbofans used on the 777-300ER are the world’s most powerful jet engines, with up to 115,300 lbf (513 kN) thrust
  6. The largest diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft.
  7. The largest windows in any current commercial airliner

Long-haul flights require two sets of flight crew, and Boeing introduced overhead crew rests as an option on the aircraft, featuring seats and bunk beds.

 

Why am I going into all these statistics and details?

 

Because, this is a truly remarkable aircraft.

 

Whenever I travel on-board a 747, I always wonder when the lumbering hulk will get off the ground. It’s a really long take-off roll.

 

On the 777, however, you do not feel that at all, and you are airborne very quickly – I understand it accelerates to 60 mph in 6 seconds!!!

 

And, the cabin comfort is surprisingly good. It’s huge, yes, but there is a feeling of space, and you do not feel that you are in a packed tube, something that happens in some other wide-bodied jets.

 

It’s also incredibly quiet on the inside.

 

I have flown on other wide-body aircraft – the Airbus family (A300, A330, A340), the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, etc. The Boeing 777, however, is the most comfortable of the lot, by far.

 

It’s a truly amazing piece of work.

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April 12, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that, Aviation | , ,

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