Boeing has delivered the 300th 777-300ER, recording the milestone with an October 21 delivery to first-time customer Biman Bangladesh.
The Boeing 777-300ER is the highest-selling variant of the 777 family. As of September 30, 2011, Boeing had received orders for 543 777-300ERs; the 777 program (all models) had received orders for a total of 1,288 aircraft and the program had a backlog of 325 aircraft still to be delivered.
“Introduced into service in 2005, the 777-300ER is the best seller for a reason,” said Larry Loftis, Boeing’s 777 vice president and general manager. “It is distinguished by its fuel-efficiency, award-winning cabin interior, range – it can fly point to point bypassing crowded hub airports – and its commonality with the Boeing 767 and 787.”
The 777-300ER has been ordered by 37 customers around the globe. By October 2011, 27 customers were operating the 777-300ER; 10 additional customers will take delivery of their first 777-300ERs before the end of 2014.
Approximately 35 per cent of the 777-300ER was changed from earlier Boeing 777 models. Each wing was extended by 6.5 feet (1.98 m) by adding raked wingtips, which reduce take-off field length, increase climb performance and reduce fuel burn.
The body, wing, empennage and nose gear of the aircraft was strengthened and new main landing gear, wheels, tires and brakes were installed. Semi-levered landing gear permits take-offs on shorter runways.
The struts and nacelles were modified to accommodate the 777-300ER’s significantly higher-thrust engines. Every 777-300ER is powered exclusively by the General Electric GE90-115BL engine, the world’s largest and most powerful commercial jet engine, producing 115,300 pounds (512 kilonewtons) of thrust.
“The newest generation of the 777 delivers exceptional value,” Loftis said. “It is consistently ranked at the top of operator and investor polls, and the 777 generates more revenue, providing more payload and range capability, while setting the standard for twin-aisle reliability.”
Added Loftis: “As the leader in the 300- to 400-seat market with nine out of the world’s top 10 airlines flying the 777, Boeing will continue to lead the market by incorporating new technology and innovations to improve operating costs, airplane performance and the passenger experience.”
Boeing’s updated Current Market Outlook forecasts the twin-engine, twin-aisle market as the fastest-growing segment of the airliner market over the next 20 years, with a demand for 7,000 new aircraft in the 777 and 787 size range.
Rival Airbus is competing in the sector with its high-selling A330 family (which has garnered a similar number of orders as has the 777 family, over a similar period of time) and its forthcoming A350 XWB family, the design of which was finalized much later than that of the 787. The Airbus A350 XWB family is basically a family of slightly larger aircraft than the models in the 787 family.