Boeing stretches its 777

  • By Bryan Corliss / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, July 14, 2004 9:00pm
  • Business

The Boeing Co. is stretching out the wings of one of its farthest-flying jets.

The company announced Wednesday that it will start offering improvements to the 777-300ER next year that will improve the plane’s aerodynamics and lower its weight.

The improvements will add another 200 miles to the range of the 365-passenger plane, which already is capable of flying more than 8,800 miles, the company said.

The 777-300ER is Boeing’s newest derivative. The company started deliveries of the new model three months ago, and five have entered service so far.

The improvements stem from issues identified during flight testing for the plane, Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said. They include upgrades to the plane’s GE90-115B engines, which are the most powerful ever put on a commercial jet, as well as adjustments to the wingtips. Boeing also is offering lower-weight interiors.

“They’re relatively minor changes to the airplane that yield some pretty significant results,” Birtel said.

The changes will be standard on all 777-300ERs starting in the fourth quarter of 2005. The package also will be offered for retrofit on planes delivered before then.

Some of the improvements also will be offered on the 777-200LR, which Boeing will start assembling later this year in Everett. That 300-passenger plane already is designed to fly more than 10,000 miles, which will make it the world’s farthest-flying commercial jet when it enters service in 2006.

Photo courtesy of Boeing

Engine upgrades and wingtip adjustments will enable the 777-300ER to fly 200 miles farther.

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