Boeing 777–300

Flight Notes - how to fly the Boeing 777–300

On the outside, it may resemble the jetliners you've seen for years. Inside, however, it's a whole new bird. The newest plane in the long and proud Boeing family line is the 777, commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven." This long-range, fuel-efficient twinjet was first delivered in May 1995 to fill a gap in the market between the 747 and 767. It is capable of seating 368 to 386 passengers.

The genesis of the 777 is unique in Boeing history. From the outset, it was designed with cooperation and input from its future customers. Boeing actually had engineering staff from the airlines working with Boeing engineers at the factory. And the 777 is the first airliner ever to be completely designed on computers. Using Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Applications (CATIA), every system and piece of the plane was created and fitted together on computers before production began. It worked so well that Boeing didn't need to create a full-scale physical mockup of the airplane. The result was that after laser-aligning the major sections and wings of the real airplane, the port wingtip was a mere 0.001 inch out of alignment. The fuselage was out of alignment by only 0.023 inch.

One of the distinguishing features of the 777 is its perfectly round fuselage cross section, as opposed to the more ovoid shape of previous Boeing planes. This gives structural strength and simplicity to the fuselage, making it less prone to fatigue. The plane has an enormous below-deck cargo capacity, even greater than the 747–400 (by weight, not volume).

A striking external feature of this wide-body is the main gear. Larger than that of any other airliner, each main gear of the 777 has six wheels—giving the same pavement loading as a jumbo DC10–30 but with half the parts and less complexity. The left axle of each main can actually be steered up to 8 degrees to aid in nose-gear steering.

The in-flight entertainment system is like nothing any airliner has ever had before. It's the most complex system of its kind ever developed, and with an estimated 250,000 lines of dedicated software code, it's as sophisticated as some airplanes' avionics systems. Each passenger has a choice of up to 12 video channels and 48 audio channels. Each seat has a phone that doubles as a game controller, credit card reader, and modem link. At 9,000 pounds (1,745 kilograms) for a typical installation, this is some heavyweight entertainment!

Key to the present and future success of the 777 is its flexibility. Designed to be stretched, shortened, and modified in many ways to suit its customers' needs, it can even be ordered with folding wingtips to allow parking at gates designed for smaller planes. From the extremely powerful new engines to the all-glass cockpit, this airplane has the technology to carry it far into the 21st century.


U.S. Metric
Cruise Speed Mach 0.84 555 mph 893 km per hour
Engines (three options) P&W 4000 | RR Trent 800| GE 90 series
Maximum Range 5,960 nm 11,038 km
Maximum Operating Altitude 43,100 feet 13,137 meters
Typical Cruising Altitude 35,000 feet 10,668 meters
Fuel Capacity 45,200 U.S. gallons 171,160 liters
Maximum Takeoff Weight-Basic 660,000 pounds 299,370 kilograms
Length 242 feet, 4 inches 73.9 meters
Wingspan 199 feet, 11 inches 60.9 meters
Height 60 feet, 8 inches 18.5 meters
Seating Seats 386 to 550
Configurations Seating ranges from 6 to 10 abreast with two aisles
Cargo Capacity 7,552 cubic feet 213.8 cubic meters