777-300ER Flies a Lot of the Pacific on One Engine
The old ETOPS record was well under four hours; the new
777-300ER has just landed in Taiwan, after having left Seattle.
During that 13-hour flight (over Tuesday and Wednesday), it was on
one engine for five and a half hours.
The GE90-115B, the most-powerful engine in commercial service,
was "perfect," according to Boeing spokesman Ed McGinn. Test pilot
Frank Santoni confirmed that evaluation.
Quick -- what's the longest Boeing?
Yup, it's the 777-300ER, at 242 feet. The 365-passenger machine
has a range (plus reserves) of some 8,250 miles.
Expect a petition to regulators to allow greater flexibility in
777-300ER flight plans. Current regs are generally confining
no-field exposure to three hours, with some exceptions up to nearly
three and a half. This latest demonstration whould go a long way to
stretching those legs (at least for the 777-300ER), allowing
more-efficient routing and utilization of the long-range "big
Certification of this model is progressing on schedule for
approval this year. Air France is the launch customer, and
expects to use its first -300ER in revenue service some time in
April. Air France's machine is coming through International Lease