Capts. Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann and Van Chaney
land the Boeing 777 Freighter Demonstrator
(N5020K) at Paine Field to conclude its first
7/14/2008 - EVERETT, WA -- The first Boeing 777
Freighter, the world's most capable twin-engine cargo
airplane, today successfully took to the sky for the
first time and completed an initial series of tests
during a flight lasting more than three-and-a-half
hours. The airplane performed well.
"The 777 Freighter completed the scheduled three-hour
inaugural flight with no airplane performance-related
issues," said Dennis O'Donoghue, vice president of
Flight Operations, Test & Validation. "The only
issue was a data-communication problem between the
airplane and the telemetry room at Boeing Field."
Boeing will identify and fix the problem to resume
the flight test program as soon as possible. Due to
the data-transmission issue, the 777 Freighter was
unable to complete all of the first-flight tests and
was returned to Paine Field in Everett, Wash. per
Federal Aviation Administration procedure. The
original first-flight plan called for a landing at
The newest member of the 777 airplane family took off
at 10 a.m. (PDT) from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. It
landed at 1:38 p.m. at Paine Field.
During today's flight, 777 Chief Pilot Suzanna
Darcy-Hennemann and 777 Deputy Chief Pilot Van Chaney
took the airplane to an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,486
meters) and an air speed of 270 knots, or about 311
miles (500 kilometers) per hour, customary on a first
flight. Typically, the 777s cruise altitude is 35,000
(10,668 meters), and its cruise speed is Mach 0.84,
about 484 miles (779 kilometers) per hour.
"This is the moment that thousands of Boeing
employees have worked towards in the design, build and
test of the 777 Freighter. The airplane handled
perfectly," said Darcy-Hennemann after the flight
ended. "Being at the controls of a commercial airplane
on its maiden flight is a rare and unique opportunity
and it was a great day."
The 777 Freighter, the sixth member of the 777
airplane family, will be capable of flying 4,885
nautical miles (9,047 km) with a full payload, making
it the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter.
The airplane's range capability will translate into
significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops
and associated landing feeds, less congestion at
transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter
cargo delivery times.
"I'm very proud of our 777 team and what they've
accomplished with this airplane," said Larry Loftis,
vice president 777 program, Boeing Commercial
Airplanes. "By working together with our customers and
suppliers we have built the best possible new cargo
airplane. I couldn't be more pleased."
The flight-test program will involve the airplane
flown today and a second one. The two aircraft will
prove the airplane's safety, reliability and
service-ready condition during approximately 270
flight hours and more than 450 ground test hours.
Boeing's plan is to earn certification from the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration and Europe's Joint
Aviation Authority during the fourth quarter and
deliver to launch customer Air France shortly
To date, Boeing has secured 78 firm orders from 11
customers for the 777 Freighter.
Source: Boeing Press Release