The Boeing 777-200LR, the world’s longest range commercial airplane, completed its first intercontinental flight last Friday as it arrived here at Le Bourget. Last week in Montreal, the second 777-200LR prototype launched its “Going the Distance” tour of more than 20 cities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.
Later this year, the Worldliner will attempt to set a new distance record for a commercial airplane. The 777-200ER set the current record–10,823 nautical miles–in 1997. Boeing plans to release details of the record attempt in the coming weeks.
Boeing has outfitted the airplane on display at the show with a first-class cabin section devoid of center and side stowage bins to emphasize its roominess and highlight the interior’s contoured, gull-wing-shaped ceiling. Supplemental storage from a retractable overhead stowage closet–similar to that found on the DC-10/MD-11–will allow customers to fly the airplanes without center bins in first and business class.
Launch customer Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plans to take delivery of the first 777-200LR prototype, now in the midst of test flying, in January. PIA will also take delivery of the airplane on display here in Paris. So far, four airlines have ordered or announced commitments to buy the 777-200LR:PIA, EVA Airways, Air Canada and Air India.