Boeing 777 – The Jet That Changed Air Travel

The Boeing 777 is a long-range, high-capacity wide-body airliner that revolutionized air travel. While the Boeing 707 led the transformation from props to jets, the 777 reshaped how we fly.

Known for its advanced technology and operational efficiency, the 777 series remains a cornerstone in the fleets of many airlines worldwide.

Since its inception, the 777 series has seen multiple iterations, including the 777-200ER, 777-200LR, 777-300, and the 777-300ER.

Comparative Table: Boeing 777 Models

777-200 777-300 777-9
Speed (Mach) 0.84 0.84 0.84
Range (nmi) 8,555 8,555 7,285
Capacity 305-440 368-451 426-495
Length (ft) 209 242 251
Wingspan (ft) 199.1 199.1 235.5
Engine Thrust (lbf) 77,000-98,000 90,000-115,000 105,000
MTOW (lbs) 545,000 660,000 775,000

The Boeing 777 was introduced in 1995, setting new standards for twin-engine airliners. It was the first commercial aircraft to be entirely designed using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The aircraft is manufactured in Boeing’s Everett facility in Washington, USA.

The 777-200 was designed for medium to long-haul flights and is often used on transatlantic routes. The 777-300 is designed for high-density routes and is popular on routes such as Asia to the US East and West coasts, Europe and Asia, and high capacity Europe-USA routes. The 777-9, part of the next-generation 777X series, aims to serve long-haul routes with higher passenger demand.

With its greater size and capacity, the 777 fit between the smaller Boeing 767 and original A330 widebodies, and the larger Boeing 747.  As newer, more efficient types have entered service, the legacy 777–although no longer competing for orders–operates alongside several Airbus types ranging from the A330neo to the A350-1000.

Comparative Table: 777 vs Airbus Widebody Twins

Specification 777-300ER A330-900 A350-1000 777-9
Speed (Mach) 0.84 0.86 0.89 0.84
Range (nmi) 7,370 6,550 8,000 7,285
Capacity 365-396 260-300 350-410 426-495
Length (ft) 242 208.9 242.7 251
Wingspan (ft) 199.1 197.9 212.4 235.5
a350 and a330
Airbus A350-1000 & A330-900

777 Distinctions

  • With its twin engine efficiency, large passenger capacity, and long range, the 777 opened new, point-to-point routes that formerly operated through connecting hubs or did not operate at all due equipment/capacity mismatches.
  • The 777 was the first airliner to be designed entirely with computer assisted design (CAD).
  • The 777 was Boeing’s first fly-by-wire airliner. Fly-by-wire is a computerized flight control system versus the older, mechanical cable and pulley system used in earlier aircraft.

The 777 legacy models remain long haul mainstays even as the more efficient Boeing and airbus planes slowly replace them.

Korean Air 777-300 Boston to Seoul

777 Milestones

  • May 1995 – Launch customer United Airlines takes delivery of its first Boeing 777.
  • April 1997 – A Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines flies 10,823 nm (20,044 km) from Everett, WA to Kuala Lumpur, claiming the record for an aircraft non stop flight. Travel time: 21h 23m.
  • April 2004 – The first Boeing 777-300ER enters service with Air France.
  • February 2006 – A Boeing 777-200LR flies 11,664nm from Hong Kong to London, a distance of 11,664 nm (21,602 km), in 22 hours and 42 minutes, setting a record for the longest flight by a passenger jet.

The last 777-200 was delivered in 2021. As of late 2023, the are a few -300s yet to be delivered. The deliveries have been complicated somewhat by sanctions imposed due to the Ukraine war.

The 777X

Replacing the legacy models will be the 777X. It was launched in two variants: the 777-8 and the 777-9.

777X in the Boeing Everett, WA hangar Photo: Dan Nevill

The 777X features new GE9X engines, new composite wings with folding wingtips, greater cabin width and seating capacity, and technologies from the Boeing 787.

Comparative Table: Legacy 777s and 777-8 and -9

Specification 777-200LR 777-8 777-300ER 777-9
Range (nmi) 8,555 8,730 7,370 7,285
Capacity 317-396 350-375 365-396 426-495
Length (ft) 209 229 242 251
Wingspan (ft) 199.1 235.5 199.1 235.5
Engine Thrust (lbf) 110,000 105,000 90,000-115,000 105,000
MTOW (lbs) 766,000 775,000 775,000 775,000

As of February 2023 Boeing’s order book for the 777X stands at 353 with deliveries expected to begin in 2025.

Scroll to Top