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Boeing 777 Facts To Know

Malaysia's fleet of Boeing 777-200ER comes with a badge of being one of the world's safest and most popular jets.

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Unveiled in June 1995, the Boeing 777 or "Triple Seven" is the world's largest twin-engine jet

Employees working on the final assembly of a 777 jet at Boeing's factory in Everett

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It is the world's largest twinjet and has a typical seating capacity for 314 to 451 passengers, with a range of 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,372 km). Commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven", its distinguishing features include the largest-diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, a circular fuselage cross-section, and a blade-shaped tail cone.

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The 777 is the established market leader in the 300 to 400 seat market with almost 1,200 orders from 61 customers around the world. With a dominant 100% market share vs. the A340 over the last five years, the 777 passenger airplanes continue to perform well in the market.

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It burns less fuel and is capable of flying long distances, making it a favourite among airlines. It has essentially replaced the Boeing 747 as a bestseller.

Boeing 777-200LR

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Airlines like the plane because it is capable of flying extremely long distances thanks to two giant engines. Each engine is so massive that a row of at least five coach seats could fit inside it. By having just two engines, the plane burns through less fuel than four-engine jets, like the Boeing 747, which it has essentially replaced.

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It is said to be one of the safest aircrafts in aviation history

What a Boeing 777 engine looks like underneath the hood

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"It has provided a new standard in both efficiency and safety," said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation consultant with the Teal Group. "The 777 has enjoyed one of the safest records of any jetliner built."

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The last crash involving a 777 with the same engine was on January 17, 2008, when a British Airways Boeing 777-236ER flying from Beijing to London crash-landed at Heathrow airport. The first fatal crash in its 19-year history came in July 2013, when an Asiana Airlines jet landed short of the runway in San Francisco. Three of the 307 people aboard died, one of whom was hit by an emergency truck after surviving the crash.

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The flight-control system for the 777 airplane is different from those on other Boeing airplane designs

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER 9M-MRH

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Rather than have the airplane rely on cables to move the ailerons, elevator, and rudder, Boeing designed the 777 with fly-by-wire technology. As a result, the 777 uses wires to carry electrical signals from the pilot control wheel, column, and pedals to a primary flight computer.

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In designing the 777 as its first fly-by-wire commercial aircraft, Boeing decided to retain conventional control yokes rather than change to sidestick controllers as used in many fly-by-wire fighter aircraft and in many Airbus airliners. Along with traditional yoke and rudder controls, the cockpit features a simplified layout that retains similarities to previous Boeing models. The fly-by-wire system also incorporates flight envelope protection, a system that guides pilot inputs within a computer-calculated framework of operating parameters, acting to prevent stalls and overly stressful maneuvers. This system can be overridden by the pilot in command if deemed necessary.

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The Malaysian 777 is configured to seat up to 282 passengers

The cabin of a Malaysia Airlines 777 aircraft

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Saturday's Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was scheduled to take 5 1/2 hours — one of the shorter routes worldwide for the 777. Malaysia Airlines has its 777s configured to seat 282 passengers with business class and coach cabins.

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Malaysia Airlines has 15 Boeing 777-200ER jets in its fleet of about 100 planes. The first was delivered on April 23, 1997. The most recent on Dec. 13, 2004, according to Boeing. The 200ER is one of four versions of the 777.

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In the case of an emergency, the 777 can fly for nearly three hours on a single engine

A close-up of the right wing engine of the Boeing 777 reveals the fans of the power plant of this long distance jet aircraft

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The 777 was the first twin-engine plane to be immediately certified to fly over the ocean as far as 180 minutes from any emergency landing airport. Government safety regulators have determined that it could fly for nearly three hours on a single engine in the case of an emergency. Such government approval has enabled airlines to fly routes such as New York to Hong Kong nonstop on the 777.

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Since the first 777 entered service in June 1995, the airplane has flown almost five million flights and accumulated more than 18 million flight hours.

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On 2 April 1997, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER broke the Great Circle Distance Without Landing record, flying 21 hours straight from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur

In 1997, the airline also became the record-holder of the world's longest non-commercial non-stop flight, from Boeing Field in Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, flying eastward, passing over the European and African continents, breaking the Great Circle Distance Without Landing record for an airliner with its Boeing 777-200ER dubbed Super Ranger: a record now held by the Boeing 777-200LR.

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In August 2005, Malaysia Airlines had an incident with a 777 when the plane's software incorrectly measured speed and acceleration

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Malaysia Airlines did have an incident in August 2005 with a 777 flying from Perth, Australia, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city. While flying 38,000 feet (11,580 meters) above the Indian Ocean, the plane's software incorrectly measured speed and acceleration, causing the plane to suddenly shoot up 3,000 feet (915 meters). The pilot disengaged the autopilot and descended and landed safely back in Perth. A software update was quickly made on planes around the world.

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MAS flight MH370 that was reported missing on 8 March 2014 is a Boeing 777-2H6ER aircraft purchased in 2002

The missing MAS flight MH370 is a Boeing 777-2H6ER aircraft purchased in 2002

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The missing MAS flight MH370 is a Boeing 777-2H6ER aircraft that was purchased in 2002, with one safety incident recorded in 2012. It was also the 404th plane to come of the 777 model production line. The plane is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines, which most commonly powers this particular model.

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Online flight data suggested that the MH370 aircraft fell rapidly and changed direction after it had already reached cruising altitude of 10,7000m

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A comparison: how the Boeing 777 sizes up to its rival Airbus A340

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