November 9, 2005 Boeing is set to make aviation history today when a Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner takes off from Hong Kong flying eastbound to London, attempting to set a world distance record. The 777-200LR (Longer Range) will take off with a full load of fuel and 35 passengers and crew, flying nonstop on a route that is likely to exceed a distance of more than halfway around the world. Apart from meaning the 777-200LR is now capable of connecting any two cities non-stop, it will fly farther than any previous commercial jetliner and will surpass two notable current distance records. For an airplane its size and class, it will break the record set by a 747-400 in 1989 that flew 9,200 nautical miles (17,039 km) non-stop from London to Sydney. Also, it is expected to exceed the distance travelled by a 777-200ER (Extended Range) that flew 10,823 nautical miles (20,044 km) from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur in 1997, setting a speed and distance record.
A representative from the United States National Aeronautics Association will fly with the airplane to monitor the record attempt. In addition, representatives of the Guinness Book of Records will meet the airplane when it lands. The record-breaking flight is part of the inaugural "Guinness World Records Day" on Nov. 9, a day which is dedicated to record attempting throughout the world. Guinness World Records representatives will be monitoring the flight's progress and meeting it upon landing at Heathrow to present it with the Guinness World Record certificate.
"The flight plan we have in place will allow us to set a new distance record well above the current one," said Capt. Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, the project pilot leader for the 777-200LR record flight attempt. "I'm honored to be among the team of outstanding Boeing people who have made this historic flight possible."
The Worldliner's flight is expected to last about 23 hours and cover more than 11,000 nautical miles (20,300 km). Two sets of pilot crews will be required. Darcy-Hennemann will be at the controls of the 777-200LR along with Capt. Frank Santoni, chief pilot for the 777 Program, when the airplane takes off from Hong Kong. Capt. John Cashman and Capt. Randy Austin are the additional Boeing pilots who will fly the airplane.
In addition to the crew, passengers onboard the flight include Boeing executives, journalists from media organizations around the world, pilots from Pakistan International Airlines and Singapore Airlines, and representatives from General Electric Aircraft Engines, the maker of the efficient and reliable GE90-115B engines that power the 777-200LR and 777-300ER (Extended Range).
The first 777-200LR will be delivered to Pakistan International Airlines in early 2006. In addition, EVA Air, Qatar Airways and Air India have announced orders or commitments for the 777-200LR. To date, 42 airlines around the world have ordered more than 700 777s. The 777-200LR is the fifth 777 model. In service, it can carry 301 passengers and baggage up to 9,420 nautical miles (17,445 kilometers).