The first Boeing 777 Freighter has successfully taken to the skies for the first time and completed an initial series of tests during a flight lasting more than three-and-a-half hours.
“The 777 Freighter completed the scheduled three-hour inaugural flight with no airplane performance-related issues,” said Dennis O’Donoghue, vice president of Flight Operations, Test & Validation. “The only issue was a data-communication problem between the airplane and the telemetry room at Boeing Field.”
Boeing will identify and fix the problem to resume the flight test programme as soon as possible. Due to the data-transmission issue, the 777 Freighter was unable to complete all of the first-flight tests and was returned to Paine Field in Everett, Wash. per Federal Aviation Administration procedure. The original first-flight plan called for a landing at Boeing Field.
“This is the moment that thousands of Boeing employees have worked towards in the design, build and test of the 777 Freighter. The airplane handled perfectly,” said Darcy-Hennemann after the flight ended. “Being at the controls of a commercial airplane on its maiden flight is a rare and unique opportunity and it was a great day.”
The 777 Freighter, the sixth member of the 777 airplane family, will be capable of flying 4,885 nautical miles (9,047 km) with a full payload. The airplane’s range capability will translate into significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops and associated landing feeds, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times.