First Boeing 777 delivery goes to United Airlines.
Culminating a five-year partnership to design and build the most advanced and service-ready twinjet in commercial aviation history, United's first 777 has been appropriately named "Working Together."
"We're delivering the 777 on time and ready for service," said Boeing President Phil Condit. Condit led the initial effort to collect airline input and design the 777 -- the first airplane of the 21st century. "This is a terrific day for us because we now have very tangible evidence that the business philosophy we've come to call `Working Together' works."
"The Working Together concept was very dynamic," said United 777 Program Manager Gordon McKinzie. "Working closely with Boeing, we helped resolve hundreds of design elements. The result is that the 777 is the exact plane we wanted. And we're proud to have been part of it."
United was among the first of the major airlines with whom Boeing held discussions to define and develop the aircraft's configuration. The participating airlines represented a full-range of operations in terms of route structure, traffic loads, service frequency and climate.
"Their input to the design process has clearly resulted in the right airplane, for the right market, at the right time," Condit said, noting also that since the program was launched, the 777 has captured more than 75 percent of its market.
Developing A Service-Ready Aircraft
The first 777 delivery follows the most complete flight-testing program in commercial jetliner history. As of April 27, five 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney engines had completed 1,658 flights totaling 3,220 hours. To further reflect a normal airline environment, the latter 90 flights were flown by United Airlines to simulate day-to-day flight maintenance and operations procedures. In addition, two General Electric GE90-powered 777s have completed 65 flights totaling 222 hours, and 777s powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines soon will begin a test of 1,000 flights. In total, the 777 flight-testing program will comprise more than 4,900 flights totaling 7,000 hours.
As a result, the big twinjet earned simultaneous type-design certificates from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Joint Aviation Authority (JAA), and a production certificate from the FAA. The type-design certification formally acknowledges that the 777 has met the latest safety standards and is ready to enter service. The production certificate approves Boeing manufacturing methods and allows the 777 to go into full production.
"Airline demand has sized, shaped and brought to market the newest member of the Boeing family," said Dale Hougardy, vice president and general manager of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group 777 Division. "This airplane is designed to be the preferred airplane in its class, offering features, innovations and approaches to aircraft development that will set the standard well into the next century."
Technological innovations include the most aerodynamically efficient airfoil design ever developed for subsonic commercial aviation, new lightweight structural materials, advancements in flight-deck ergonomics and efficiency, new levels of interior flexibility, and the ability to fly extended-range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) when the airplane enters service.
Setting The New Standard In Comfort
"In addition to its engineering advancements, this is the most passenger-oriented aircraft ever developed," said United Airlines Chairman Gerald Greenwald. "When it came to comfort, we put ourselves in the passengers' seat and asked, `how can we make the experience better?' And not just a little better, but a lot better? This aircraft is the answer."
Passengers on the new 777 will enjoy a bright, roomy fuselage resulting in wider aisles and the widest seats in its class. Large overhead compartments, which open downward for convenient loading, will provide increased stowage capacity. When closed, the units fit neatly into the streamlined contours of the interior architecture and allow ample overhead clearance.
"The aircraft has what we call the `oh-my-gosh' factor," said Greenwald. "That's because when people get their first glance at the passenger cabin, they all say, `oh-my-gosh!'"
Boeing launched the 777 program on Oct. 15, 1990, after receiving United Airline's order for 34 aircraft and an option for 34 more. This followed an intensive four-year market survey of airline requirements for a jet sized between the 767-300 and the 747-400.
"This `Customer-In' approach has proven so valuable that we are going back and using it on derivatives of our other products, including successful programs such as the 767 Freighter and the new 737-600, 700 and 800 series," Condit said. "And we're applying it to our employee-to-employee and work-group-to-work-group relationships inside the company to improve our products. Today, `Working Together' is how Boeing does business."
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4084 engines, United's 777s have range capabilities of 4,350 statute miles and will be configured to carry 292 passengers in three classes.
United 777 Route Schedule
United will begin revenue service on June 7 with Flight Number 921 between London's Heathrow Airport and Washington D.C.'s Dulles Airport. United's 777 initially will service the following routes:
Boeing will deliver 19 777s this year, including 10 more to United Airlines.
CONTACT: United Corporate Communications:
Joe Hopkins, 708/952-5770
Nick Milham, 206/965-0512
Brian Ames, 206/294-2002
United Investor Relations Contact:
Lynn Hughitt, 708/952-7501
United West Coast Contact:
Kimberly Goolsby, 714/755-0400
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|Date:||May 15, 1995|
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