Monday, March 9, 2015

Always improving

It’s already a passenger and customer favorite. Now, we’re making the 777 even better. Today at the ISTAT Americas conference in Arizona, I unveiled a series of product improvements that will be available on the 777-300ER, the 777-200LR and the 777 Freighter.

Baseline engine, airplane weight and aerodynamic improvements will be phased into production by the third quarter of 2016, lowering trip fuel use by 2 percent. Combine that with priced optional features and airlines will see an approximate 5 percent overall fuel use per seat improvement. Here’s a detailed look:

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Engine improvements

Combination of various GE 90 engine improvements by GE.

Weight reductions

Optimized interior structural crown architecture, low density hydraulic fluid, lightweight insulation and tail skid removal— all resulting in a 1,200 lb. weight reduction.

Aerodynamic improvements

Divergent trailing edge - A trailing edge device is added to the underside of the wing, outboard of the aileron. The profile of the device increases camber of the outboard wing, resulting in outboard wing efficiency.

Elevator trim bias and seal optimization - Elevator seals are improved to reduce drag and the pitch trim software logic is revised, enabling the elevator to augment the stabilizer trim during cruise flight, reducing profile and induced drag.

Slat enhancement- The slat trailing edge is made 60 percent thinner, resulting in lower drag.

Flap fairing optimization - The inboard flap track fairing is revised to optimize span-loading and reduce profile drag.

Window excrescence drag reduction - A new passenger window and seal design will result in greater flushness with the fuselage skin, reducing excrescence drag.

Tailskid deletion - Enhanced tail skid protection is integrated into the fly-by-wire control laws, eliminating the need for a physical tailskid on the 777-300ER.

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Optional priced features

Options such as next-generation lightweight galleys, space-saving lavatories and straightened aft seat tracks will improve fuel efficiency even more through the addition of seats (up to 14 seats, depending on the configuration). Optional passenger experience upgrades include premium window shades, an LED lighting system to provide better quality of lighting, forward cabin noise improvements and an enhanced Door 2 entry.

Retrofit packages

We’re also considering retrofit opportunities for in-service airplanes—and GE is considering an engine retrofit package.

Bottom Line

The performance and economics of the 777 are unbeaten, and its range, capability and efficiency help our customers maximize their profits. We’re proud to offer an even better airplane going forward.

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