WA011 flew first flight and was the test aircraft
Sold to Cathay Pacific and flown for carrier for years
Donated by Boeing and Cathay Pacific to Pima Air & Space Museum
The 777-200 N7771 (MSN 27116/WA001) was born on 9 April 1994. Boeing’s first fly-by-wire airliner also broke ground by being the first to be certificated under the FAA’s ETOPS twin-engined extended-range operations approval from service entry. It also was he first design made exclusively by computer. WA001 flew as a test object for flight-testing and certification. Its first flight was on 12 June 1994 with test pilots John Cashman and Kenny Higgins. The bird had two Pratt & Whitney PW4074 powerplants; because launch customer United Airlines had selected Pratt & Whitney to be under the wing.
The 777’s first test flight lasted 3 hours, 48 minutes. This was the longest first flight of any of Boeing’s airliners. It reached a maximum altitude of 19,000 feet and accomplished all tests on the flight plan, including shutting down and restarting an engine in flight.
The Boeing 777-200 was certificated for a two pilot crew. Its capacity is between 314 and 440 passengers. Cathay Pacific added WA007 to its fleet 2000. The aircraft has a cruise speed of 0.84 Mach and maximum speed of 0.89 Mach. It has a maximum range of 6,027 miles (9,700 kilometers) with maximum payload aboard.
After its purchase by Cathay, WA007 was basically zero-timed completely refurbished and equipped for passenger service, configured as a 777-267. The engines were replaced by two Rolls-Royce RB211 Trent 884B-17 high-bypass turbofan engines. The airliner was rolled out of the factory for the second time 31 October 2000, and was delivered to the Cathay Pacific on 6 December, registered B-HNL
Since its first flight, the 777 program has become the world’s most successful twin-engine, twin aisle airplane. Its unique combination of long range, outstanding fuel efficiency and popular cabin has attracted carriers to place more than 1,660 orders. Cathay Pacific was one of the original customers and today operates one of the largest 777 fleets.
“Cathay Pacific has been instrumental in the tremendous success of the 777 program. The airline contributed greatly to the airplane’s original design and has been one of its biggest ambassadors ever since. And now they are a launch customer for our new 777X airplane. We are thrilled to partner with Cathay on this donation to the museum as a way to share the remarkable story of the Boeing 777 for years come,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg said: “As the world’s very first 777, B-HNL holds a very special place in the history of both our airline and that of commercial aviation, and we are very pleased it will soon bring enjoyment to enthusiasts at its new home in Arizona.
As of April 2018, 1,547 Boeing 777s of all models have been delivered. At that time, there were 60 777-300ER, 42 777F freighters, and 326 777Xs on order.
Although the first to fly has retired, the 777-200 will still be seen in the skies. WOW how did 24 years fly by!
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