Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Boeing 777 Sets New World Record

My first long airplane ride dates from 1959 when my family took an Air Force cargo junker from Travis A.F.B. to Yokota, Japan, with stops in Honolulu and Wake Island. The propeller plane shaked the entire 36 hours and nobody enjoyed the steel seats bolted to the steel floor, but that was Air Force transport in the day.

I also didn't appreciate the fact that candy bars cost 10 cents on Wake Island, and only five cents back home.

Boeing has just set another record for the longest continual, direct, non-stop commercial flight in the world with their 777 blazing across the skies from Hong Kong to London. Longer flights with additional fuel tanks bolted are anticipated.

But will they pass out valiums to the passengers?

Boeing plane takes off on 23-hour nonstop flight
By Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter
Nov 9, 2005

Aiming for a new distance record for a commercial jet, Capt. Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann took off in a twin-engine Boeing 777-200LR from Hong Kong this morning on a nonstop flight to London — the long way around. The eastbound, 23-hour flight across the Pacific, the continental United States and the Atlantic will cover at least 12,500 nautical miles.

The airplane was slated to carry about 35 passengers and crew, including Boeing executives, journalists, pilots from Pakistan International Airlines and Singapore Airlines, and representatives from the General Electric division that makes the engines. Three other senior Boeing test pilots — Frank Santoni, John Cashman and Randy Austin — will also take turns at the controls.

The airplane is a standard version of the new ultra-long-range jet, which will enter service with Pakistan International early next year. Boeing also offers the airplane with auxiliary fuel tanks that would expand its range even further, though no airlines have yet ordered the model with extra tanks.

Australian carrier Qantas is considering a version with six extra tanks that could fly a regular service nonstop between London and Sydney.

For now, Airbus can still boast of flying the longest nonstop regular commercial air service. Singapore Airlines operates the four-engine A340-500 daily between Singapore and New York, an 18-hour flight covering 9,000 nautical miles. But the airline is also weighing an order for the Boeing jet.

Seattle Times Link

No comments:

Post a Comment