The world’s first B777 aircraft is currently en route to its final resting place in the Arizona desert. The aircraft, which is registered as B-HNL, made its last commercial on the 31st May earlier this year.
The B777 has been highly successful for Boeing. The long range aircraft took its first flight back on 12th June 1994. Now 24 years later, it is taking its final flight. The aircraft made history when it took its first flight, becoming Boeing’s longest first flight at the time. The duration was 3 hours and 48 minutes. At the time, the world’s first B777 was registered as WA001. Cathay Pacific bought the aircraft from Boeing with 1033 hours of ground testing and 1729 flight hours. It was delivered to Cathay Pacific on 6 December 2000.
Pima Air & Space Museum
The world’s first B777 will enjoy a good retirement. Rather than being broken up for spares, it will be used to educate thousands. Pima Air & Space Museum, located in Tucson AZ, is the world’s largest non government funded aviation museum. The museum hosts a large number of aircraft, almost each of them is significantly noteworthy.
From the worlds smallest jet and propellor plane, to a former Orbis Eye Hospital, there is a lot on offer. One of Boeing’s other test aircraft also resides at the museum. The second prototype B787 to be constructed by Boeing will keep the B777 company. Unfortunately that aircraft never saw commercial service, and joined the museum in 2015 after being stored in the Californian Desert.
The B777 is a fairly robust aircraft. The aircraft is largely regarded as one of the safest in the skies. Since entering commercial service 18 years ago, there have only been 3 incidents where passengers and crew have lost their life. The first was the Asiana Airlines which came down short at San Francisco. The other two were both Malaysian Airlines aircraft. MH370 and MH17.
Throughout the years there have been a number of different iterations of the B777. Including planned future variants, there have been a total of 9 editions of B777. This includes the B777-200, the -200ER, the -300, the -300ER, the 777 freighter. Additionally going forwards the -8, -9, and -10 are in the pipeline.
Boeing is still hard at work developing the B777. Just two weeks ago the American manufacturer rolled the world’s first B777X out of the factory. The B777X program was launched in 2013, with the first deliveries currently scheduled for December 2019. The new aircraft will feature a multitude of ground breaking features including folding wing tips in addition to brand new engines.
The B777 is a very popular aircraft. A large number of airlines operate it. Some of the primary B777 operators include Emirates, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Air France. It seems as though the model still has a long time in operation going forwards. Will you visit the 777 in Arizona? Let us know below!