Seattle: The Boeing Company has said that it is on schedule to complete the detailed design work, and overall performance related commitments, for its new 777 Freighter. It said that its engineers had recently completed 50 per cent of the design work for the new aircraft, which meant that half of the detailed design had been released to Boeing factories, and its suppliers, who will now begin building parts, assemblies and tools for the new cargo aircraft.
"The 777 Freighter team has done a tremendous job working with our customers and programme 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."
According to Boeing, the 777 Freighter will provide more capacity than any other twin-engine freighter, and also 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 of these aircraft. The company said that it continues to work closely with Air France and other customers to complete the new cargo airplane's design. 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 also 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, according to Boeing.
The 777 Freighter, the sixth and newest model of the 777 family, is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner (Longer Range) passenger airplane. Boeing said that the plane would share the 777 family's advanced features, including a state-of-the-art flight deck, fly-by-wire design and an advanced wing design that includes raked wingtips.
The freighter will be powered by the GE90-110B1L engine, which is a de-rated version of the world's most powerful commercial jet engine, the GE90-115B.