Re: Confusion over 777 variants.

Date:         29 Nov 97 15:39:57 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>I get the impression that the very first batch of 777s handed to United
>for instance were "early prototypes" (lets call them 777-200) and that
>by now Boeing has new and improved 777-200s available (777-200IGW etc).

Unlike some earlier Boeing jetliners, even the first 777 is considered
a production model and not a prototype -- Boeing is thinking of selling
it, whereas the first 747 cannot even be certified for airline use.

The first batch of 777s handed to United are not the oldest 777s in
service -- the three which started service on June 7, 1995 were line
numbers 7 thru 9.  United does have line number 2 (N774UA aka WA002)
but it was part of the flight test program and wasn't delivered until
March 1996.  All of them, including WA002, came with a 535,000 lbs
MGTOW and have since been upgraded to 545,000 lbs, the highest for a
non-IGW 777-200.

>Would any airline without existing 777s want to order the same airplanes
>that were first delivered to UA ? Or would they not prefer to get the
>more recent incantations of the 777-200s that have incorporated
>improvements (IGW range etc)?

It depends on how they're going to be used.  The IGW offers more range
but costs more ($134-153 million versus $128-144 million according to
Boeing).  If a carrier doesn't need the range, there's not much point
to spending the extra money.  Cathay Pacific, for example, received
their four 777-200s last year (they also have 777-300s on order) and
while IGWs were all being delivered, theirs are standard models with
the same 545,000 lbs MGTOW as United's.  CX intends to use them on
relatively short routes (the 747 and A340 handle the long hauls) so
they don't need IGWs and thus didn't buy them.

>Are we talking here about the evolutionary fine tuning of the 777-200 or
>does Boeing really plan to keep on marketing various models of the
>777-200 ?

Of course they'll keep offering it, so long as demand exists.  They
didn't drop the 767-300 just because the 767-300(ER) became available,
and while it's not a hot seller, they do sell some from time to time.
Likewise other models are available in a wide variety of weights and

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills