Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Boeing begins major assembly of first new 777 Freighter
Article Type: Mini features From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 3.
Boeing mechanics recently began major assembly of the new 777 Freighter at the company's Everett, Wash., facility. The 777 Freighter will it is stated fly farther and provide more capacity than any other twin-engine cargo aeroplane.
“We are excited to begin production of the 777 Freighter so we can put the aeroplane into service with our customers,” said Larry Loftis, Vice President, 777 Program, Boeing Commercial Aeroplanes. “The 777 Freighter's unmatched range, efficiency and capacity as a twin-engine cargo aeroplane will significantly enhance our customers' ability to deliver freight.”
Workers took the first step in major assembly for the new 777 Freighter by loading its 97-foot-long wing spar into a tool that automatically drills, measures and installs more than 5,000 fasteners into the spar. The spar is the internal support structure that runs through the full length of the wings and provides support to the wing.
The first 777 Freighter will be delivered to launch customer Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008.
“Our vision to develop the 777 Freighter as the world's most capable twin-engine cargo aeroplane is now becoming a reality with the start of major assembly,” said Kim Pastega, Deputy Program Manager and Engineering Leader, 777 Freighter Program. “Our customers and suppliers worked closely with us to reach this important milestone.”
In addition to its range and capacity, the main cargo-deck door of the 777 Freighter is sized to facilitate easy direct-transfer shipments with the 747 freighter fleet, which provides about half of the world's freighter capacity.
Pastega said the 777 Freighter has been well received by the marketplace, with a customer base that includes traditional cargo carriers and leasing operators. To date, Boeing has sold 80 777 Freighters to 11 customers, accounting for more than 20 percent of the 777 Program's current backlog.
The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner passenger aeroplane and will be built along the same production line as all other models of the 777. Some of the changes in manufacturing for the 777 Freighter include installation of items such as the main-deck cargo door; a new monolithic aluminium floor; an enhanced, lightweight cargo-handling system with built in test equipment that continually monitors the operational health of the system; and a rigid cargo barrier located in the forward section of the aeroplane.
Other design changes to the 777 Freighter include the strengthening of certain aeroplane structure, a manoeuvre load alleviation system to help distribute the load on the aeroplane in flight and the removal of certain passenger-related items such as windows and doors.
The 777 Freighter will have a range of 4,885 nautical miles (9,045km) with a full payload and general cargo market densities. With a maximum takeoff weight of £766,000 (347,450kg), the 777 Freighter will have a revenue payload capability of more than £226,000 (103 metric tons).
The 777 Freighter is the sixth and newest model of the 777 family of aeroplanes. The aeroplane will be powered by the GE-90-110B1L engine.