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Boeing 777 a mainstay of long-haul travel

  • Story Highlights
  • The Boeing 777 aircraft first entered service on June 7, 1995
  • First airplane U.S. (FAA) approved for extended-range twin-engine operations
  • Engineers designed, electronically pre-assembled the 777 using computers
  • In 2005, a Boeing 777 set a new world record for distance traveled non-stop
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(CNN) -- The Boeing 777 is the mainstay of many airlines' long-haul fleets and has never been involved in a fatal accident during its service history.

British Airways aircrew fly the Royal Standard from the flight deck of the Boeing 777 aircraft.

The aircraft first entered service on June 7, 1995, with more than 900 suppliers from 17 countries coming together to provide the more than three million parts needed in its construction, according to the Boeing Web site.

Since its inaugural flight, Boeing has extended the 777 family to five commercial passenger models and a freighter version, collectively making more than two million flights.

The aircraft seats between 301 and 368 passengers in a three-class configuration and can fly distances up to 17,500 kilometers.

The 777 has also won a number of design awards, as well as setting a number of records and firsts.

On November 9 and 10, 2005, a Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner set a new world record for distance traveled non-stop by a commercial jetliner. The 777-200LR set a record distance of 21,601 km on a route traveling eastbound from Hong Kong to London Heathrow.

The flight lasted 22 hours and 42 minutes. The achievements was recognized by the U.S. National Aeronautics Association, The Federation Aeronautique Internationale and the Guinness Book of Records.

The Federation eÚronautique Internationale recognized the Boeing 777 in April 1997 for achieving a speed and distance record for airplanes in its size and class.

The Boeing Web site claims the 777 set the "Great Circle Distance Without Landing" record, traveling 20,044 km, and it set the record for "Speed Around the World, Eastbound," traveling at an average speed of 889 km per hour.

According to Boeing the aircraft reached 500 deliveries by 2005 -- faster than any other twin-aisle commercial airplane in history.

Boeing prides itself on the 777's landing gear, which it claims is the largest ever incorporated into a commercial aircraft. Each main landing gear is fitted with six wheels, while the nose gear has two. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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