The WOW Factor

Our 777 team is about to become even busier than they already are. Cathay Pacific just ordered eight 777 Freighters and four 777-300ERs. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines agreed to order eight 777-300ERs (we look forward to finalizing the details of that agreement). We also picked up seven 777 orders that will go unidentified at this point. So far this year, we’ve received orders and commitments for more than 100 777s— a very impressive figure that speaks to the popularity of this market-leading airplane.

image/photo

A view of the 777 factory in Everett. Photo by Gail Hanusa.

As the 777 program prepares for its next rate increase in 2013 to 8.3 airplanes per month, they’ve done something that made a lot of people say “WOW.” In this case, WOW also stands for “Weight on Wheels.” That’s when more than half a million pounds rests on the airplane’s landing gear as the airplane’s three main sections are attached. Recently, while working on the 945th 777, the team managed to attach those three main sections along with the landing gear in only 24 hours! Previously, it took more than 60 hours to finish that job.

image/photo

Steven Kwok installs fasteners under a 777-300ER. Photo by Gail Hanusa.

Because the 777 is built on a moving production line and can’t move forward until the join is complete—this new method improves productivity while maintaining first time quality. Program leaders credit the team of final body join workers for the milestone that was four years in the making—with each step being closely analyzed.

Congratulations to the entire 777 team for an accomplishment that many never thought possible. To see how they did it, check out the time lapse video below.

Comments (13)

Simon lewis (Uk):

I fly 48 weeks per year and no current aircraft matches the 777 - excellent achievement

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

WOW WOWEEE!

Astonishing order rate for that hugely impressive family, now being lead by the 777-300ER & 777F. Hugely impressive duo.

At that order rate, Boeing is on target to eclipse 2005's record of just over 150 units in a single year for the 777. It's incredible!

The reporter Jon Ostrower has been pushing Ted Piepenbrock's Red-Blue industrial theory in his writings on Flightblogger for some time now. Boeing's moving line for 777 production -- which has been a Boeing Lean+ initiative for quite some time now -- and the growth 777 models are integral (Red) products, which demostrate the value of incremental product development. Which certainly is a key characteristic of Boeing strategy across its portfolio of products, but famously evident with the huge success on the 737 and 747 programmes. Looking forward to more of that on the re-engined 737, and the 787.

V V (Montréal):

Is it correct to say that the 777-300ER captures more orders this year than the A350-1000XWB since its launch in 2006?

Tim K (Ont Canada):

The 777-300ER has to be in my opinion one of the best looking planes in the sky right now. Nothing seems to go wrong with this plane; it just keeps going so I guess that’s why all the airlines just keep buying it. Congratulations on 100 plus orders

Russel Ahmed (Dhaka, Bangladesh):

Great to see 777-300ER on its feet. A great aircraft.....simply a brand of its own.....Always this a/c serves its mission brilliantly. I am looking forward to see BOEING delivers 1000 Boeing 777 to its clients. What a beauty that the team managed to attach those three main sections along with the landing gear in only 24 hours! Boeing Forever the Frontier.....ROCK ON THE SKY WITH BOEING 777

Cristiano (Campo Grande, MS, Brazil):

Hi Randy:

You can't imagine the emotion I felt to see the assembly of the 777. I ever dreamt about working for Boeing, but it was not possible. However I ever had the value of the huge amount work is developed by any member of the company to accomplish such accomplishments.

Best regards,

Cristiano

Thiagarajan K rengasamy (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

WOW! Triple Seven at its BEST!

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States ):

Almost every week is seems, new orders come for the 777-300ER. The airlines know quality when they see it and the 777 passenger and versatile cargo plane fits the bill in an ever more competitive environment.

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

When the 772's entered service in mid nineties and could be seen at LAX on a regular basis, I couldn't help feeling that there must be a 3rd engine intake/exhaust hidden from view somewhere. It was hard to believe that such a large airplane had only two engines. Then came along the 777-300ER, which was even more incredible.

Chris C (South Africa):

Excellent!

No, what would be truly stupendous is the launch of the 777-8x and 777-9x next year, with an EIS around 2020. Essentially, the 777x should be a 777 look-alike, but with 787 technology in every aspect.

It's time to launch an all-new airplane. The LEAP-X 737NG isn't too exciting in a sense that it's a enhancement of the current 737NG. But, an all-new 777 would be extremely exciting. Time to uphold Boeing's truly legacy of building innovative, revolutionary, "game-changer" airplanes...launch the all new 777x.

Thomas Horstmann, Jr. (Portland, Oregon):

WOW, that is OUTSTANDING! However, the question is what comes next for the 777, whether it be a new replacement to keep up with the A350 or improvements to the existing model? Either way, it should be interesting to see what Boeing does to better compete with the A350. Sure, a 787-1000 would compete with the smallest version of the A350, but to compete with the largest version, boeing will need to do something, fairly soon. Lucky for them, Airbus is running years behind on the A350, so they have a little time to decide. But not much, or what happened recently with the NEO could happen with the 777, down the road. Boeing needs to stay AHEAD of the pack, not behind it.

Ronald Horstman (Koror, Palau):

Paulo,

It's very perceptive of you to note the essence of Dr. Piepenbrock's Red-Blue theory in the 777. What you may not know is the role that Carolyn Corvi played in transforming the 777 line . While the experts said it was impossible, Carolyn and Larry Loftis just went ahead and did it not only changing how a large airplane is built but also changing the mindset of the 777 team members in the process

When you visit the 777 factory floor you can tell that something special is going on there.

Richard Campbell (Nassau,np,bahamas):

I like this aircraft type never flown on one yet but i hope too on my way to canada in the summer.This is a really good aircraft for any airline in the bussiness of travel. I highly recommand it ,to all airline this aircraft is a money making gold mine.
The 777-300er is simply the best aircraft out there.

Post a comment

We welcome your comments. However all comments are moderated and may not post immediately. Offensive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not treat any comments you submit as confidential information. Please do not submit comments that contain any confidential information belonging to anyone else.

By submitting a comment to Randy's Journal, you agree to our site terms and privacy policy, and to having your name displayed with your comment. All or part of your comment may be posted or cited in the blog. Your name and personal information will not be used for any other purpose, and we will not publish your e-mail address.

 

More posts