The 777 program

Fast Facts

Early phase 1989-1995 more...

Substantiation 1996-1999 more...

Success 2000-2007 more...

Future 2010+ more...

The Boeing 777 story

The 777 started her life as a sibling of the 767, nicknamed the 767-X, in 1986 with the ambition to become an airplane situated between the 763 for 269 passengers and the 744 with 420 seats. However, the 777 should not be trapped inbetween these two sizes, but to possibly grow to an even larger plane, the 773 with up to 550 seats in a one-class configuration. Boeing has done very extensive market research for this program, what resulted in a group of airlines which helped Boeing to design the new airplane right to the needs of an airline, named the Gang of Eight.
Under the slogan "Working together" United, American, Delta, British Airways, Japan Airlines, All Nippon, Cathay Pacific and QANTAS worked together with Boeing. During the design-phase the gang reduced itself to a Gang of Four, with only United, All Nippon, British Airways and Japan Airlines remaining but effectively being involved in creating the new airplane.
The 777 was designed from a clean sheet of paper or better from a blank computer screen. The 777 is Boeing's first plane which was completely designed on the computer using CAD and CAM programs.

The starting order for the 777-program was hand-written on a yellowish sheet of paper and is signed by executives from United and Boeing. This paper is now known as the B777 Objectives. Two weeks after this historic date, Boeing's board members gave the final authorization to offer the 777 to airlines.
On April 9th, 1994 the first 777 was rolled out in a ceremony with around 100.000 people attending it. Two months after the roll-out, the first 777 had its maiden flight which lasted 3h48min. This flight was the beginning of an eleven-months long flight-test-program.
In April 1995 the 777 received its certification from the FAA and the JAA. Becoming the first plane which receives both on a single day. The 15th May 1995 marks the 1st delivery of a 777 to an airline, United Airlines. Roughly a month later United had the 1st flight in regular passenger services, as flight UA921 from LHR to IAD. Two other United 777s had their inaugral flights the same day.
Three years after the first 777 had its roll-out, Boeing started production of the first stretched 777, the 777-300. Five months later the 1st 773 had its ceremonial roll-out. Cathay Pacific received the 1st 773 in May 1998.
The 500th 777, a 77W, was delivered as a "christmas present" to Air France in late December 2004.
The 777th B777 was ordered on the 24th November 2005 by Emirates, placed in the single largest firm order for 777s (43x).

The 777 program steadily improves and advances, this also lead into the production of the Longer-Range models (773ER and 772LR) and also a freighter variant of the 777, the 77F is based on the 772LR ".
Since 2003 Boeing and Jeppesen offer a fully integrated Class3 Electronic Flight Bag for the 777, which is integrated into the two side-consoles (one for the pilot and one for the co-pilot). The 777 is the first airplane to have such a system installed. The EFB reduces carry-on "paper" navigation charts and can calculate a better load sheet and therefore improves the 777s performance.

"This is a vital milestone in our effort to e-enable the air transport system," said Ray Marzullo, Boeing vice president, Flight Services during the press conference about the FAA Approval for the EFB. "The EFB will bring airlines significant gains in efficiency and situational awareness through the strategic application and integration of data."

Main features of the EFB are (source Boeing.com):
# Airport moving map which precisely displays the airplane's position on an airport tarmac.
# Performance calculator that allows to instantly calculate ideal speeds and engine settings, taking into account any weather, runway, and payload. This allows as much as 9.000 kg extra on a flight. This feature is also available for landings.
# Cabin surveillance systems.

The EFB is also available for already delivered 777s, because the position for this system was also built in earlier 777s.
KLM was the first customer to receive a EFB-installed 777 in 2003. More and more airlines are now receiving 777s with EFB installed.
Pakistan Int'l., Malaysia Airlines and Air New Zealand are some of the other customers. The EFB is already factory-installed in all 77Ws and 77Ls.
As of summer 2004 Boeing offers another improvement to the newer 777s (77E, 77W, and 77L).
In the yet-unused space between the cabin's ceiling and the airplane's crown, there is enough space to hold a restrooms for the crew.
This feature offers to the airlines more seats that are available for paying passengers.
There are different options available: The 77E and 77L are offered with a six-bunk rest station, while the 77W is offered with either six-, eight- or ten-bunk stations and a personal storage. The pilot's rest stations are built with two sleeping berths and two biz-class-comfort seats, a lavatory can also be integrated.


The Beginnings (1989 - 1995) / up

8th Dec 1989: Boeing's board of directors authorized the company to issue firm offers for the 767-X (development name for the 777)
15th Oct 1990: United Airlines and Boeing signed the launching order for 34 (+ 34) T7s
29th Oct 1990: Boeing's BoD gives formal approval for launchint the T7 family (including A- and B-market)
28th Sep 1992: The 777 team - 6.500 employees - is moving from Renton to Everett
13th May 1993: Arrival of 1st major body section from Japan (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Fuji HI, Kawasaki HI)
15th Dec 1993: First final body sections joining
9th Apr 1994: Ceremonial rollout of the 1st T7. A party for around 100.000 people (employees, customers, suppliers)
12th Jun 1994: 1st flight for the T7 - with PW4084 engines, duration 3h48m
2nd Feb 1995: 1st flight for the GE90 powered 777s
1st Apr 1995: Series of 90 flights by UAL and Boeing to demonstrate day-to-day capabilities
19th Apr 1995: The T7 receives certification from the FAA and the JAA. First time an airplane received both on the same day
15th May 1995: Formal delivery of the first 777 to United Airlines
26th May 19995: The first RR-powered 777 takes to the sky
30th May 1995: ETOPS approval for the T7. First airplane receiving this certification before EIS
7th Jun 1995: 1st commercial flight of the T7; UAL 921 from LHR to IAD. Two additional United 777s made inaugral flights the same day.
11th Jun 1995: The Boeing 777 had its debut at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.
9th Nov 1995: The GE90/777 combination is certified

Prospects / Features / Abilities (1996-1999) / up

25th Jan 1996: Roll-out of 25th 777
20th Feb 1996: Major assembly of first 77E begins
3rd Sep 1996: Roll-out of 1st 77E
7th Oct 1996: 1st flight of the 77E
6th Nov 1996: 50th 777 rolls out
6th Feb 1997: 1st delivery of the 77E to British Airways, which was only three days later introduced into commercial service
17th Mar 1997: Fatigue tests on a test 777 showed that the T7 is capable of two times the min. design service obejctive, simulating 60 years worth of service
2nd Apr 1997: Worldrecord in Flown-Distance, Seattle - Kuala Lumpur (12.455 nm) and onwards to Seattle with an average speed of 553 mph
7th Apr 1997: 1st assembly of the 773
9th Sep 1997: Roll-out of 100th 777
16th Oct 1997: 1st flight for the 773 - starting a seven-month test program
4th May 1998: Certification of the 773; 180min-ETOPS approval by FAA
22th May 1998: First 773 is delivered to Cathay Pacific. EIS: 5 days later on a flight HKG-TPE
17th Jun 1999: Boeing announces proceeding in plans for longer-range derivatives of the 777 (77L, 77W)

Success (2000-2010) / up

29th Feb 2000: Boeing's BoD approves formal launch of the longer-range derivatives
7th Jun 2000: The 777 celebrates five years of service
19th Oct 2000: T7-program logs its 500th-order (AA, 77E)
31st Oct 2000: 777 l/n 001 rolls out a second time, refurbished for CX
31st Dec 2000: record year for the 777 with 117 orders
15th Jan 2001: Final design confirmation for 77L and 77W
23rd Jan 2001: UAL becomes 1st airline to operate 50 777s
5th Mar 2001: CO flies first ever non-stop service between EWR and HKG via North Pole, Russia, China
8th Mar 2001: DL completes demonstration flight on polar route from New York to Beijing
25th Jan 2002: After six years and eight months in service the 777 has reached the one millionth flight
30th Apr 2002: 400th 777 rolls out
20th Jun 2002: Assembly of 1st 77W
14th Nov 2002: Ceremonial roll out of 1st 77W
24th Feb 2003: First flight for the 77W
24th Mar 2003: Resume of development for the 77L
19th May 2003: New record MTOW take-off for a twin-engined plane: 351.359 kg
16th Mar 2004: Certification for 77W
29th Apr 2004: 1st 77W delivery to AF/ILFC
27th Sep 2004: Start of manufacturing of the 77L
15th Nov 2004: BoD approval to offer the 777-Freighter
21th Nov 2004: Delivery of 500th 777 (an AF 77W)
15th Feb 2005: Ceremonial rollout of the 77L
8th Mar 2005: 1st flight for 77L
7th Jun 2005: 777 celebrates 10th year in service with 30 operators
8th Aug 2005: 77L completes "Going the Distance"-tour; 129.640km flown, 38 flights, 24 cities in 17 countries in 61 days
9/10th Nov 2005: New world record for distance traveled non-stop; HKG-LHR eastbound for 21.601 km in 22h42m.
20th Nov 2005: Emirates places single largest firm order for 42 777s
31st Dec 2005: New record year in orders for the 777: 154 orders
21st May 2008: Ceremonial roll-out of the 777-Freighter
14th Jul 2008: First flight of the 777-Freighter
6th Feb 2009: Certification of the 777-Freighter
20th Feb 2009: First delivery of the 777-Freighter
28th Feb 2009: First commercial flight of the 777-Freighter
Apr 2009: Delivery of 777th B777 (AF 77W FGZND)

The Future (2010+) / up

2011+: B787-family improvements for the 777?
20th March 2012: Delivery of the 1.000th 777; a 777-300ER for Emirates
November 2013: Launch of the -8X and -9X programs at the Dubai Air Show
December 2013: start of low-speed wind tunnel tests (QinetiQ, Farnborough UK) with a 777-X scale model (5,5% of size)
January 2014: start of high-speed wind tunnel tests in Boeing's Transonic Wind Tunnel near Seattle.

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