November 10th, 2005
Boeing record points at strategy info
Boeing record points at strategy |
Thursday, 10 November 2005
Boeing is due to break the world record for the longest non-stop passenger airline flight when one of its jets lands at London Heathrow on Thursday.
The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner plane is due to arrive at the airport at 1330 GMT, ending a flight that started 23 hours earlier in Hong Kong.
The flight is central to Boeing's belief that the future of flying lies in point-to-point long haul flights.
Its archrival Airbus believes in flights between hubs.
The BBC's transport correspondent Tom Symonds is among the passengers, who also include Boeing executives and some of their clients.
"There is news from the ground, Air Canada has announced an order for this new plane, but in the UK, an environmental group has bitterly criticised the Boeing company for wasting fuel and damaging the environment in the name of publicity."
The plane's journey took it east across the Pacific, then over the US and onto the Atlantic.
By the time it touches down, the plane and its 35 passengers will have travelled 12,500 miles (20,300 km).
Speaking via mobile phone as the plane was passing Chicago in the USA at 0615 GMT, Mr Symonds said sleep had been the priority over the past eight hours.
"Many of my fellow passengers - invited guests and journalists - are now trying to sleep, some on mattresses in an open section of the cabin," he said.
"Up on the flight deck they are pleased with the progress."
"We are doing well, a few minutes ago Chicago slid by beneath us, it's grid of streets clearly visible beneath the clear skies.
"Our progress is being helped by strong tail-winds which are reducing the amount of fuel burnt.
Boeing holds the existing world record for the longest non-stop commercial airline flight, which was set in 1989 by a Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet flying 10,500 miles from London to Sydney.
The airline hopes its latest world record attempt will encourage airlines to offer non-stop flights across the world, saving fuel and time spent on stopovers.
It is facing fierce competition from European manufacturer Airbus, which earlier this year launched its A380 double-decker passenger jet with the aim of capturing the long-haul market.
The Boeing 777 competes directly with the widely-used Airbus A340-500, which has a flight range of 10,380 miles.
The twin-engine Boeing 777-200LR, which is due to come into service next year with Pakistan International Airlines, will be able to carry 301 passengers.
Qatar Airways, Air India and Taiwanese carrier EVA Air have also announced orders.
The plane uses lighter composite materials to improve range and fuel efficiency.