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Old March 12th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nephasto
^That's the other side of the story.

Take for example a 18 hours flight(ultra long haul, like Singapore-NYC). I love the idea of a plane being able to fly all that without a stop, but if i was a passenger, i would probably think twice about doing it nonstop or with a stop in between. In that I understand FM 2258 point of view.
Yeah, it's like I know I'd probably die sitting for 18 hours in an Economy Class seat. Now if I was in Emirates First class then I'd probably be happy about the 18 hour flight.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #82
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How about to ride this rocket around the world
But seems to be old feshioned from now



and this one would BETTER

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Old March 12th, 2005, 10:35 PM   #83
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^ Well the top one's the ol' Boeing 2707, scrapped in the late 60s or early 70s when environmentalists went nuts. Unlike the Concorde, this would've seated up to 300 people making it economically viable. Lockheed also entered the contest with the L-2000 but it lost. That must be a pic of the one that was partially built and saved by a museum.

The bottom one's the Sonic Cruiser, which was really cool looking but still subsonic.... and I don't think I would've cared if my 18-hour flight was shaved down to 16.5 hours. Awful idea.

New technology can soften the sonic booms that aircraft like Concorde used to make, but even today I think a new SST would burn massive amounts of fuel, which makes it worthless. Boeing/Airbus'll have to switch over to hydrogen fuel before we see SSTs again.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:11 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258
Yeah, it's like I know I'd probably die sitting for 18 hours in an Economy Class seat. Now if I was in Emirates First class then I'd probably be happy about the 18 hour flight.
Hehe! Emirates first on their 340-500's is just absolutly outstanding!! Nothing compares to it!

Anyway, I must tell you that there's no regular economy on that NYC-Singapore 18h flight (longest comercial flight in the world).
Singapore's 340-500's only have business(raffles) and premium economy.
Premium economy seats have a 37' pitch and are 20' wide, so it's much better than regular economy.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 05:12 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK4EVER
^ Well the top one's the ol' Boeing 2707, scrapped in the late 60s or early 70s when environmentalists went nuts. Unlike the Concorde, this would've seated up to 300 people making it economically viable. Lockheed also entered the contest with the L-2000 but it lost. That must be a pic of the one that was partially built and saved by a museum.

The bottom one's the Sonic Cruiser, which was really cool looking but still subsonic.... and I don't think I would've cared if my 18-hour flight was shaved down to 16.5 hours. Awful idea.

New technology can soften the sonic booms that aircraft like Concorde used to make, but even today I think a new SST would burn massive amounts of fuel, which makes it worthless. Boeing/Airbus'll have to switch over to hydrogen fuel before we see SSTs again.



On New year's Eve 1966, after more than 14 years of study, design work and competition, the federal government selected Boeing to build the prototype for the country's first supersonic transport (SST).

Twenty-six airlines ordered 122 of the transports. The final design featured a double-jointed, needle-shaped nose that would drop during takeoff and landing for improved pilot visibility.

Government funding was withdrawn in 1971 before the prototype was finished. However, the Boeing SST fostered advances in supersonic transportation, leading to the High Speed Civil Transport project.


Specifications
Classification: Proposed supersonic transport
Length: 318 feet
Cruising speed: Mach 2.7
Altitude: More than 60,000 feet
Power: Four 60,000-pound-thrust engines
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Old March 24th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #86
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Air New Zealand orders Boeing Electronic Flight Bag for New Boeing 777s, 787s
22 March 2005


Air New Zealand is to install the Boeing Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on its Boeing 777 and 787s. The order makes Air New Zealand the first airline to have fully certified, Class 3 EFBs on order for two different aircraft.

ANZ will have an EFB system installed, certified and delivered on the eight 777-200ERs it has on order, and also will receive EFBs on the two 787 airplanes it has ordered. Boeing is making the EFB standard equipment on the 787. The airline will receive its first EFB-equipped 777 in September 2005.

“We are delighted to have the introduction of the EFB into Air New Zealand on our 777 aircraft,” said ANZ General Manager of Operations, Captain David Morgan.

“As a company we are always keen to find cost effective technological solutions, and the EFB will support us to achieve our goal of a paperless flight deck.”

The EFB contains all documentation and forms that pilots carry, aeronautical maps and charts, manuals or fault reporting and operations, minimum equipment lists and logbooks, in digital format, and puts them at the crew’s fingertips.

EFB also includes an on-board performance tool that allows the pilot to instantly calculate the ideal speed and engine setting for an aircraft, in any weather, on any runway, with any payload. Such calculations could increase the payload of a 777 taking off from a wet runway by as much as 9,000 kg (20,000 lbs.).

In addition, the EFB includes an Airport Moving Map application, which combines high-fidelity, geo-referenced airport taxi charts and precise navigational signals to show flight crews exactly where they are on the surface of an airport. It also gives flight crews a viewer for cabin surveillance systems, helping meet new and anticipated regulatory requirements.

ANZ will use a hard-mounted “Class 3” version of the EFB on its 777s comprising Jeppesen software, and electronics and display hardware from Astronautics Corp. of America.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 05:12 AM   #87
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Air France to order seven Boeing cargo planes for 1.5 bln dollars: report

Thu Mar 24, 4:38 PM ET


PARIS (AFP) - Air France is about to place a 1.5-billion-dollar (1.16 billion euros) order for seven Boeing 777 freight planes to replace part of its fleet.

The planes will go into service in 2008 to replace part of the Boeing 747 cargo fleet, the French economic daily La Tribune said, without providing sources for its report.

An Air France spokesman contacted by AFP would not confirm the report, but noted that "the director of Air France cargo, Marc Boudier, showed his interest for this plane in a recent meeting with the press."

Air France last month exercised an option to buy four Boeing long-haul 777-300 passenger planes, with a combined catalogue price of 872-982 million dollars (673-758 million euros).

Air France-KLM is the world's biggest airline after a merger last year of the French and Dutch flag carriers.

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Old March 30th, 2005, 03:09 AM   #88
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Air France to buy cargo 777s
Freighter version likely to replace eight older 747s

By ALLISON LINN
Associated Press

Air France said Friday it plans to replace part of its aging fleet of cargo planes with Boeing Co.'s new 777 freighter, but the airline would not say whether it will become the launch customer for the proposed new airplane.

Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel confirmed that Air France is among the airlines interested in the new plane, but he also would not speculate on when the French airline might bring the airplane into its fleet.

Air France spokesman Jean-Claude Couturier said the 777 freighter is the favored option to replace its eight Boeing 747-200s. But Air France would not comment on a report in financial daily La Tribune that the carrier is about to become Boeing's launch customer by ordering seven of the 777 freighters.

Chicago-based Boeing said in November that it would begin offering a 777 freighter to customers, aiming to put the airplane into service by the end of 2008. But the company, which makes commercial airplanes in the Seattle area, has yet to snag a launch customer that would make the new freighter program a reality.

Airbus weighs in
The 777 freighter would be based on the passenger version of the long-range 777-200LR, which is scheduled to enter service in early 2006. The freighter would be able to carry 222,000 pounds of cargo up to 6,400 miles.

Rival Airbus has said its new superjumbo A380 freighter will be able to carry 341,000 pounds of cargo the same distance. It's also scheduled to enter service in 2008.

Boeing's biggest freighter offering is the 747-400ER, which could carry 248,000 pounds of cargo 5,700 miles.

Analyst Richard Aboulafia with the Teal Group said a key advantage of the 777 freighter for commercial airlines such as Air France is that it has just two engines, compared with four engines for the A380 and the 747 freighters. That could be a big cost savings for an airline that doesn't need as much space as the bigger planes offer.

But he said the 777 freighter could steal business away from airlines who might otherwise buy Boeing's 747 freighter, at the same time as the A380 freighter is also squeezing 747 business with airlines interested in more cargo space.

"You're getting into the 747's niche, and that's probably the biggest single complication behind introducing the 777 freighter," Aboulafia said.

Big on cargo
The A380 freighter has already won orders from UPS and FedEx Corp., and some analysts say the big airplane has huge potential for ferrying goods around the world. Meanwhile, Boeing's 747 program has become increasingly reliant on cargo orders, having seen very little interest in the passenger version of the jumbo jet in recent years.

Birtel said it believes the 777 freighter will complement, rather than compete against, its 747 offering.

Air France, now part of Air France-KLM, the world's largest airline, also is looking to replace four of its larger 747 freighters, which could provide another opening for Airbus.

But although Air France has ordered 10 A380 passenger jets, Couturier suggested that a decision on whether to buy "superjumbo" freighters was some way off.

"Air France has not yet given any consideration to the A380," he said.

An Airbus spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 05:21 AM   #89
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Boeing 777-300ER could damage runways - report
Wednesday, 13 April 2005

Boeing's 777-300ER plane could damage the runways at Paris's Orly Airport by exerting too much pressure, especially at take-off, Paris airports operator Aeroports de Paris (ADP) said.

Air France KLM has ordered seven such planes to replace its Boeing 747s to fly from Orly to France's overseas territories in the summer of 2007, La Tribune newspaper reported.

ADP said the B777-300ER, a new version of the Boeing 777, was lighter than the Boeing 747 or the upcoming Airbus A380 superjumbo jet, but its mass was centered on 12 wheels compared with 22 for the Airbus A380.

Such concentrated pressure could ruin the runways, ADP said.

ADP said it had begun discussions with Air France to find a solution.

A Boeing spokesman said that 14 B777-300ER planes are being flown by four major airlines, and that none of them have damaged runways.

"To date the B777-300ER has not experienced significant operational difficulties at any of the large airports where it is expected to operate on a normal basis," Boeing spokesman Mark Birtel said.

The cost of strengthening the runways could be high and the work lengthy, La Tribune said. For Air France, switching overseas territories flights to Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport could cannibalize some future expected capacity, La Tribune said.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #90
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Boeing 777-300ER Celebrates One Year Serving World’s Airlines and Passengers

EVERETT, Wash., May 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) passenger airplane today marked one year in revenue service, during which it reinforced the 777’s unsurpassed record of reliability and efficiency.


EVERETT, Wash., May 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) passenger airplane today marked one year in revenue service, during which it reinforced the 777’s unsurpassed record of reliability and efficiency.

The technologically advanced 777-300ER flew more than 32,000 hours during its first year, amassing a 99.2 percent average schedule reliability rate that surpasses previous 777 model introductions and is in line with the 99.3 percent overall rate for the 777 family.

Air France is currently the largest 777-300ER operator and was the first to put the airplane into service one year ago.

"The 777-300ER has met our ambitious requirements in delivering expected performance, reliability and efficiency," said Pierre Vellay, Air France senior vice president, new aircraft and corporate fleet planning. "It has proven itself as a passenger-pleasing moneymaker."

The largest long-range twin-engine jetliner, the 777-300ER carries 365 passengers up to 7,880 nautical miles (14,594 kilometers). To date, 17 have been delivered to Air France, ANA, Japan Airlines, and Emirates and Boeing has received 108 orders for the 777-300ER from eleven customers, not including recently announced commitments from Air Canada and Air India.

"Dispatch reliability and fuel efficiency are critical to an airline’s success in long-range markets," said Lars Andersen, vice president - program manager, 777 Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "In service, the 777-300ER has demonstrated best-in-class reliability and unmatched efficiency."

The 777-300ER carries the world’s most powerful commercial jet engine, GE’s GE90-115B. In service, the GE90-115B engines have experienced no unscheduled engine removals and no in-flight shutdowns -- a remarkable achievement for an entry into service of a new jet engine.

"This is arguably GE’s best ever entry into service of a new commercial jet engine," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of GE’s GE90 Engine Program. "The engine reliability has been outstanding, and our fuel burn is better than predicted, which contributes to the excellent economics of the aircraft. Our customers are truly delighted with the engine performance."

The Boeing 777 family continues evolving with the recent addition of the world’s longest range airliner, the 777-200LR Worldliner, and the 777 Freighter. More than 35 airlines have placed orders for 681 777s, making it the most preferred airplane in its class.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:14 PM   #91
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BOEING to build NEW 777LRF FREIGHTER

Boeing has said it will creat an new freighter with the longest range and payload for a two engines aircraft.

SEATTLE, May 24, 2005 – Boeing [NYSE:BA] today officially launched the Boeing 777 Freighter, the world's largest and most capable twin-engine freighter, following the completion of a launch order from Air France.

Air France ordered five 777 Freighters, with options for three additional airplanes, to replace its 747-200F fleet. The first 777 Freighter is scheduled for delivery to Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008.

"The acquisition of the Boeing 777F will enable us to take advantage of the 'family effects' and technical uniformity found in the 777-200ER and the -300ER fleet which has already proved its capacity for on-time performance and fuel-saving," said Jean-Cyril Spinetta, chairman and chief executive officer of Air France. "This aircraft will considerably increase flown tonne revenues and will therefore heighten the profitability of our cargo division."

Air Canada also announced in April the inclusion of the 777 Freighter as part of its selection of 777s and 787s to renew its long-haul fleet. Upon completion of that agreement, Air Canada will join the 777 Freighter launch team.

"The world wants the 777 Freighter and we're going to build it," said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Air cargo is the fastest-growing segment of commercial aviation and a critical enabler in our global economy. The 777 Freighter will deliver tremendous value to owners and operators, and we are delighted to have Air France and Air Canada leading our launch team."

Launch of the new freighter brings Boeing's 777 family to six models. Working with cargo operators worldwide, Boeing selected the 777-200LR Worldliner as the platform for the 777 Freighter because it offers the range and payload capability operators want. The first 777-200LR Worldliner will enter passenger service in January 2006.

The 777 Freighter will be capable of flying 4,965 nautical miles (9,195 kilometers) with a full payload and market-preferred cargo load density, making it the world's longest-range freighter. With the lowest trip cost of any large freighter and excellent ton-mile economics, the 777 Freighter will build on the 777 family's demonstrated success in delivering lower fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and operating costs than other airplanes in its class.

The new airplane will feature capacity never seen before on a twin-engine freighter. With a maximum takeoff weight of 766,000 pounds (347,450 kilograms), the 777 Freighter will have a revenue payload capability of 229,000 pounds (103 metric tons).

The 777 Freighter will be powered exclusively by the world's most powerful commercial jet engine, General Electric's GE90-110B1L. The 777 Freighter will meet QC2 noise standards for maximum accessibility to noise-sensitive airports.

The 777 Freighter complements the Boeing 747-400 Freighter family, which is the air-cargo industry's standard. Both the 777 and 747 Freighters accommodate 10-foot-high (3.1 meter) pallets, providing operators with maximum flexibility.

The Boeing 747 Freighter family currently constitutes more than half of the world's total freighter capacity. Boeing freighters of all models comprise more than 90 percent of the total worldwide freighter lift. Boeing forecasts that large widebody freighters (65 metric tons and above in capacity) will comprise 31 percent of the market by 2023.




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Old June 13th, 2005, 05:18 PM   #92
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Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner starts 20-city ‘Going the Distance' world tour
10 June 2005


Boeing's 777-200LR Worldliner completed its first intercontinental flight today, arriving at the Le Bourget, France, airport for the 46th Paris Air Show.

This week in Montreal, the 777-200LR kicked off its "Going the Distance" tour, which will have it visit more than 20 cities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America through August.

"Recent sales successes demonstrate that demand for the 777-200LR is climbing," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President and Program Manager, 777 Program, Lars Andersen. "During our tour, airlines around the world will have the opportunity to experience the comfort, capability, and efficiency of this tremendous airplane."

Later this year, the Worldliner will attempt to set a new world record for distance traveled nonstop by a commercial airplane. The current record -- 10,823 nautical miles (20,044 kilometers) -- was set in 1997 by the 777-200ER (Extended Range).

The 777-200LR, capable of connecting almost any two cities in the world nonstop, is the fifth 777 model. In service it can carry 301 passengers and baggage up to 9,420 nautical miles (17,445 kilometers).

Each section of the 777-200LR Worldliner showcases the latest 777 interior offerings and cabin layouts that allows airlines to differentiate their product offering to passengers.

Launch customer Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is to receive the first 777-200LR Worldliner in January. To date, four airlines have ordered or announced commitments for the 777-200LR -- PIA, EVA Airways, Air Canada and Air India.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 05:32 AM   #93
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Friday, June 24, 2005

Boeing 777 launched: PIA should improve service: PM
Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Thursday urged Pakistan International Airlines to improve its services according to international standards to compete in the international business environment.

Aziz said this at the launch ceremony of Boeing 777-200LR aircraft at Chaklala Air Base. The prime minister noted that PIA’s performance had improved over the years but it was time to transform the airliner from an ethnic carrier to an international carrier.

He said that overseas Pakistanis provided the core of PIA traffic but the airlines should also attract more business travellers and tourists to Pakistan. Aziz praised PIA’s medium and long-term plans to give the airlines a new look. He expressed confidence that the new reservation and marketing system and better management would enable the national carrier to grow. The prime minister hoped that with the purchase of Boeing long distance aircraft, PIA would take passengers from Pakistan to any destination in the world.

He said that PIA already had three Boeing 777 aircraft and it would get two more in the next few months while three more aircraft would be delivered to it in 2008, adding that the airlines was close to making a decision to replace its obsolete fleet of Fokker aircraft with modern planes. PIA Chairman Tariq Kirmani said the induction of Boeing 777-200LR aircraft was a momentous decision.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nephasto
Hehe! Emirates first on their 340-500's is just absolutly outstanding!! Nothing compares to it!

Anyway, I must tell you that there's no regular economy on that NYC-Singapore 18h flight (longest comercial flight in the world).
Singapore's 340-500's only have business(raffles) and premium economy.
Premium economy seats have a 37' pitch and are 20' wide, so it's much better than regular economy.

Hmmmm, maybe I could stand that. It's amazing how we have the luxury of talking about long flights when these journeys used to take many months to several years.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 04:03 PM   #95
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Boeing Worldliner makes Qatar stop on global run
Published: Monday, 27 June, 2005, 01:38 PM Doha Time
Business Reporter


DOHA: The world’s longest range jetliner – the Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner – touched down at Doha International Airport yesterday morning as part of a global test run prior to its commercial launch in early 2006.
Qatar Airways is looking to add the Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner to its fleet with the national carrier announcing at the recent Paris Air Show its intention to purchase up to 20 Boeing aircraft in the next few years.
The $210mn Worldliner was unveiled in February. Pakistan International Airlines will be the launch customer for the Worldliner in January 2006.
Four airlines have so far ordered or announced commitments for the Worldliner the Seattle-based plane-maker said. They are PIA, EVA Airways, Air Canada and Air-India.
Addressing a press conference on board the aircraft, which is one of the two Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner manufactured by Boeing so far, top company executives said the latest product offer from the Boeing 777 family is capable of connecting virtually any two cities in the world non-stop, such as Dubai-Los Angeles or Sydney-New York. The latter route covers a distance of 16,200km, which is more than a third way round the planet.
Boeing’s regional director (product marketing, commercial airplanes) Bradley D Till said the extended-range capability will allow buyers of Worldliner to service long-haul routes non-stop at full 301-passenger capacity and revenue cargo.
“Orders and commitments for the 777-200LR have more than tripled since the airplane was unveiled in February 2005,” he said.
About 35% of the 777-200LR’s designed has been changed from the earlier 777 models. Each wing has been extended 6.5ft by adding raked wing tips. This improves overall aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
The raked wing tips help reduce take-off field length, increase climb performance and reduce fuel burn. The Worldliner is powered by the GE90-110B1L jet engines, which can produce up to 115,300 pounds of thrust.
The other Worldliner features are “strengthened body, wing, empennage and nosegear, new main landing gear, wheels, tyres and brakes, modified struts and nacelles to accommodate the significantly higher thrust engines.
Till said the 777-200LR Worldliner featured industry-leading economics. Seat-mile costs are 14 to 16% lower than for competing aircraft. Fuel burn is also about 22% lower per seat. Advanced 777 technology reduces maintenance costs and makes maintenance more efficient.
The Worldliner offers overhead crew and attendant rest areas in the fuselage crown above the passenger cabin, freeing space for either four to seven revenue passenger seats or up to six LD-3 cargo containers.
A recent worldwide survey conducted by numerous airlines among 6,000 passengers, three out of four passengers prefer the 777 cabin. Some 517 Boeing 777s are in service now, Till said.
Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplane vice-president (sales, Middle East and Africa) said the 777-200LR would enable airlines to launch new non-stop routes and explore markets that once could only be accomplished with one or more stopovers.
“Non-stop travel is set to grow over the next couple of decades and Boeing’s product strategy, which includes the Worldliner, will help airlines leverage this trend,” he said.
The Worldliner’s test run named ‘Going the Distance’ will involve some 20 cities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America over an eight-week period. Before coming to Doha, the Worldliner touched down at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
The Worldliner will soon visit China, Hong Kong and India among other places.
Meanwhile, Boeing yesterday hosted prominent citizens, diplomats and airline executives on board the Worldliner during its visit to Doha International Airport.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 05:27 PM   #96
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Etihad Interested In Cargo 777
June 23, 2005

Abu-Dhabi based Etihad Airways is in talks with Boeing to purchase the freight version of the long-range 777 airliner, an official said in remarks published on Thursday.

"We are definitely interested in the cargo version of the Boeing 777-200LR. We have initiated talks and right now we are looking at the numbers," Werner Borchert, vice-president of operations at Etihad, told the English-language daily Gulf News.

"Etihad is also interested in the 777-200LR passenger version because we have plans to launch non-stop routes and we are looking into it but it is too early to say anything more," he added.

Last year, state-owned Etihad signed a USD$1.09 billion deal with Boeing for five wide-bodied 777-300ER planes and a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to acquire up to 36 planes worth as much as USD$7 billion.

Borchert told the newspaper that with the delivery of the five Boeing aircraft between October and December 2005, the airline would have a fleet of 14 aircraft.

Etihad, launched in 2003, is one of several fast-growing airlines in the Gulf, where big state budgets and a desire to boost tourism to the region have led to a surge in demand for new aircraft.

(Reuters)
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Old July 1st, 2005, 05:50 AM   #97
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i would rather say the 777 is a better plane than the A340s. i heard a guy who works as an engineer on A340s (you can view his comments in www.askcaptainlim.com) complaints that the new A340-500 is just not reliable enough because there has been many engine failures and the plane consumes much more fuel than the 777...
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Old July 1st, 2005, 05:52 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by AFL
i would rather say the 777 is a better plane than the A340s. i heard a guy who works as an engineer on A340s (you can view his comments in www.askcaptainlim.com) complaints that the new A340-500 is just not reliable enough because there has been many engine failures and the plane consumes much more fuel than the 777...
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Old July 1st, 2005, 11:44 AM   #99
pflo777
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a bit off topic:

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Well the top one's the ol' Boeing 2707, scrapped in the late 60s or early 70s when environmentalists went nuts. Unlike the Concorde, this would've seated up to 300 people making it economically viable. Lockheed also entered the contest with the L-2000 but it lost. That must be a pic of the one that was partially built and saved by a museum
can u tell me how they wanted to put 300 people in that aircraft? It doesnt look bigger than concorde....
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Old July 12th, 2005, 02:52 PM   #100
Isan
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Qantas eyes 777 as ‘hub buster’

Australian flag carrier renews interest in Boeing airliner’s potential for achieving non-stop ultra-long-haul flights

Australia’s Qantas Airways is showing renewed interest in the Boeing 777-200LR as the US manufacturer edges closer to offering an “economic payload” on potential ultra-long-haul services from Sydney.

Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said at the UK Aviation Club in London last week: “While we ordered the [Airbus] A380, we’re also looking very seriously at the 777LR, and, if Boeing gets its maths right, it could be what we call our ‘hub-buster’ strategy.”

Dixon says that, although the A380 is required to boost capacity at slot-constrained airports, non-stop flights from Sydney to London remain the “holy grail”, enabling it to avoid stopping in hubs such as Singapore or Bangkok. He says Boeing is “now not too far from getting an economic payload into London”.

The still-air distance from Sydney to London Heathrow is 17,000km (9,190nm), but allowances for headwinds and minimum fuel reserves require a range of 17,600km. At a stop on the 777-200LR’s world tour at London Gatwick last week, Boeing officials said the aircraft’s official range had been extended to 17,400km, or about 19h based on 301 passengers and with three auxiliary tanks. Brad Till, regional director product marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, says 500h of testing has shown its range is “a few hundred nautical miles more than expected”.

Boeing saw similar gains with the 777-300ER, which was originally expected to fly 13,300km, but achieved 14,700km due to an increased take-off weight, better-than-expected fuel consumption in cruise and a package of drag- reduction, engine-performance and weight-reduction enhancements (Flight International, 25 January–1 February).

But Till warns: “We’re still a little bit short of Sydney to London, even with this aircraft.” He says the route is one of a few specific customer demands that are “beyond the reasonable”.

Qantas is also interested in using the aircraft for direct services to New York Kennedy airport – a flying distance of 16,000km from Sydney, says Dixon.

He says the -200LR must be able to operate to London without a payload penalty: “For us it’s not a trade-off of passengers for range. We are an airline that needs to make money – we don’t do loss-leading flights.”

Boeing says it will attempt a record-breaking 24h flight with the -200LR in September.

Justin Wastnage / London
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