All day and all of the night

Without a doubt, it’s been a very busy fall for me and for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. So busy that a pretty cool anniversary sneaked up on us this month.


My luggage still carries a reminder of that record-setting flight.

On Nov. 10, 2005, the first 777-200LR Worldliner touched down at London’s Heathrow Airport, 11,664 nautical miles (21,601 km) and 22 hours and 42 minutes after taking off from Hong Kong International Airport and heading east across the Pacific, instead of the usual west over Asia.

The flight smashed the record for the longest flight by a large commercial airplane, breaking the previous mark of 9,200 nautical miles set by a 747-400 in 1989. And since then, we’ve held our own citation in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Here are a few more memories from the flight:

I was fortunate to be on board that flight with a number of Boeing colleagues, airline representatives and media. It was a great experience, and one I won’t soon forget: the day I spent in the air — all day and all of the night.

Comments (3)

Jason Bialek (Seattle, WA):

Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, Chief Pilot for Training and Flight Services (led by Sherry Carbary) was recently inducted into the Museum of Flight's Pathfinders Hall of Fame in a ceremony with Clay Lacy. She was recognized for her capability as an experimental test pilot, for the part she played as a pilot on this record breaking flight, and other career achievements. Of course, she gave credit to a lot of the folks behind the scenes who helped make this a reality. My favorite part of her story was when it looked like there were numerous aircraft awaiting departure that were going to delay the takeoff, and then just moments before the planned wheels up time, there wasn't an airplane in sight. Providence (or perhaps ATC) moved that night.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Quite a journey! The nearly daylong flight proves the reliability of the aircraft made by Boeing and the engines manufactures like GE the power the aircraft.

I can conceive of a non-stop service between Sydney, Australia and London, England that can be flown in an all business and first class configuration and have lounge facilities supplied on the 777-200LR.

Scott Putnam (Redding, CA):

Very, very cool Randy. I followed that flight as it happened - it was cool then and it's cool now. I laughed out loud when I heard your insight on the last segment of a long flight. It's a universally shared feeling: antsy, uncomfortable, frustrated, stir-crazy, etc., etc. As head of marketing (keeping the journalists entertained), you can't do this -but I've found that an Ambien, timed correctly - greatly alleviates many of these symtoms. Wake me up when it's over. :-)

So, how's your African trip?

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