The Boeing 777 is a family of long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airliners developed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world’s largest twinjet and has a typical seating capacity for 314 to 451 passengers, with a range of 5,235 to 9,500 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,594 km). Commonly referred to as the “Triple Seven”, its distinguishing features include the largest-diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, fully circular fuselage cross-section, and a blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between Boeing’s 767 and 747. As Boeing’s first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer-mediated controls. It was also the first commercial aircraft to be designed entirely with computer-aided design.
The 777 is produced in two fuselage lengths as of 2014. The original 777-200 variant entered commercial service in 1995, followed by the extended-range 777-200ER in 1997. The stretched 777-300, which is 33.25 ft (10.1 m) longer, followed in 1998. The longer-range 777-300ER and 777-200LR variants entered service in 2004 and 2006 respectively, while the 777F, a freighter version, debuted in February 2009; these variants all feature General Electric GE90 engines and extended raked wingtips. The earlier 777-200, -200ER and -300 versions are equipped with GE90, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The 777-200LR is the world’s longest-range airliner, able to fly more than halfway around the globe, and holds the record for the longest distance flown non-stop by a commercial aircraft.
The 777 first entered commercial service with United Airlines on June 7, 1995. It has received more orders than any other wide-body airliner; as of May 2016, 60 customers had placed orders for 1,897 aircraft of all variants, with 1,401 delivered. The most common and successful variant is the 777-300ER with 651 delivered and 800 orders; Emirates operates the largest 777 fleet, with 144 passenger and freighter aircraft as of July 2015. The 777 has been involved in five hull losses as of October 2015; the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 accident in July 2013 was its first fatal crash in 18 years of service.
The 777 ranks as one of Boeing’s best-selling models. Airlines have acquired the type as a comparatively fuel-efficient alternative to other wide-body jets and have increasingly deployed the aircraft on long-haul transoceanic routes. Direct market competitors include the Airbus A330-300, newly launched Airbus A350 XWB, and the out-of-production A340 and McDonnell Douglas MD-11. The 787 Dreamliner, which entered service in 2011, shares design features with the 777. In November 2013, Boeing announced the development of upgraded 777-8 and 777-9 variants, collectively named 777X, featuring composite wings and GE9X engines and further technologies developed for the 787. The 777X series is planned to enter service by 2020.