The Boeing 777F Freighter is based on the 777-200LR (Longer-Range) Worldliner passenger liner. The first flight of the Worldliner took place in March 2005 and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) received the first passenger aircraft in February 2006. Air France is the launch customer for the 777F Freighter version, having placed an order for five freighters in May 2005.

Boeing rolled out the first 777F in 2008 and the maiden flight took place in July 2008. The first 777 Freighter was delivered to Air France in February 2009. A Boeing freighter was delivered to Qatar Airways first in May 2010. Southern Air took delivery of two 777 aircraft from Boeing in March 2010.

Boeing has received firm orders for 78 777 Freighter aircraft including: Air France (five plus three options), Emirates (eight), Air Canada (two), China Southern Airlines (six), Deucalion Capital VII Limited (eight), FedEx (15), GE Capital (12), Guggenheim Aviation (six), Korean Air (five) and Qatar (three). In addition, the India-based cargo airline, Flyington Freighters has announced a commitment to purchase four aircraft. As of April 2010, 22 freighters were delivered, with 51 unfilled orders.

“The first 777 Freighter was delivered to Air France in February 2009.”

Boeing 777F performance

The 777 Freighter has a full payload range of 9,065km, allowing operation between typical city pairs such as Los Angeles and London, Tokyo and San Francisco and Paris and Hong Kong. The manufacturer has announced that the aircraft is the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter.

Freighter capacity

The maximum take-off weight for the new cargo airplane will be 347,450kg with a revenue payload capability of 103.9t. The aircraft will accommodate 27 standard pallets (244cm x 318cm) on the main deck, ten pallets in the lower cargo hold and 17m³ (600ft³) of additional bulk cargo.

The freighter’s operational design complements the 747 cargo operations with easy direct-transfer shipments. The main cargo door on the 777 Freighter is sized to allow easy interlining with the 747 freighter, with the capability to accommodate the transfer of 10ft-high (3m) pallets between the two cargo airplanes.

777F design

The 777 Freighter is the sixth and newest model of the Boeing 777 family of aircraft and is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner.

The changes to the freighter variant include the strengthening of certain airplane structures and removal of passenger-related items such as windows and doors and the installation of a main cargo deck door, monolithic aluminium floor and a rigid cargo barrier in the forward part of the aircraft.

The aircraft has an enhanced, lightweight, powered cargo handling system with built-in test equipment that continually monitors the operational health of the system and a manoeuvre load alleviation system which helps to distribute the load on the aircraft while in flight.

The 777 Freighter has high commonality with the passenger models of the 777 family and shares advanced features such as: state-of-the-art flight deck, fly-by-wire design and an advanced wing design that includes raked wingtips.

The aircraft design was carried out using a Dassault / IBM CATIA computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD / CAM) suite.

“Boeing has received firm orders for 78 777 Freighter aircraft.”

Boeing manufactures the flight deck and forward section of the cabin, wing, tail and engine nacelles, but subcontracts the manufacture of some components and systems, which are transported to Boeing for final assembly and tests. Subcontractors include Alenia in Italy, ASTA in Australia, Bombardier Shorts in UK, Embraer in Brazil, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, Kaman in USA, Korean Air, Northrop Grumman in USA and Singapore Aerospace.

Flight deck

The two-pilot flight deck is fitted with a five-screen electronic flight information system with five 203mm colour liquid crystal displays including two primary flight displays, two navigation displays and an engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS) display. The central control panel between the two pilots holds three multipurpose control and display units for the aircraft information management system, systems information, flight management functions, thrust control and

The aircraft has Boeing’s fly-by-wire controls with flight envelope protection and automatic pilot and stabilisation functions. The fly-by-wire system sends back-driven signals to the pilots’ rudder pedals and control columns to provide the pilot with sensory awareness of the activities of the automated systems.

The avionics system incorporates an extremely high level of redundancy and fault tolerance. The aircraft has a triple redundant digital autopilot and flight director designed by Rockwell Collins. The BAE Systems triple digital primary flight computers provide flight control limits and flight envelope protection commands. Each of the three primary flight computers contains three different and separately programmed 32-bit microprocessors, a Motorola, Intel and AMD, to manage the fly-by-wire functions.

An ARINC 629 digital data bus links to the main and standby navigation systems. The navigation system includes a Honeywell air data and inertial reference system (ADIRS) with a six-ring laser gyroscope, a Honeywell terrain collision avoidance system (TCAS) and a Honeywell and BAE Systems 12-channel global positioning system. The aircraft is equipped with a Honeywell all-colour weather radar.

The aircraft can be fitted with a Honeywell and Racal satellite communications system.

“Boeing has announced that the aircraft is the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter.”

Turbofan engines

The aircraft has two pod-mounted turbofan engines below the leading edges of the wings. The General Electric GE90-110B1 engines are maximum rated at 489kN thrust and will meet QC2 noise standards for accessibility to noise-sensitive airports.

The main fuel tanks are installed in the wing torsion box with the reserve and surge tanks on the inboard side of the wing. There is also a centre section tank and additional fuel tanks in the rear cargo hold.

The fuel capacity is 181,280l. Smiths Industries supplied the ultrasonic fuel quantity gauge system.

777F landing gear

The aircraft has retractable tricycle-type landing gear and the nose gear is twin-wheeled and steerable. Measco and Messier Bugatti developed the main landing gear under a joint agreement. The main landing gear features six-wheeled bogies.

Control of the steering rear axles is automatically linked to the steering angle of the nose gear. The main landing gear is fitted with Honeywell Carbenix 4000 brakes. Initial activation of the brakes during taxiing applies the brakes to alternate groups of three wheels in order to minimise wear on the brakes.