The first Boeing 777 has finished his active life and now is ready to make its last flight – to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, TheRegister reported. The plane was built in 1994 and it has spent the last quarter of a century ferrying bods from A to B.
Registered in China as B-HNL, the very first production Boeing 777 rolled off the line in 1994, receiving the maker’s number WA001 and entering the US register as N7771. Being aged 24, the plane has ended its career.
For Boeing, this model marked a number of hi-tech innovations; it was their first fly-by-wire aircraft, and the first to be designed entirely by computer. The aircraft has started his service as the passenger plane, the first Boeing 777 spent three years as a flying testbed before being bought by Cathay Pacific, at which point it was completely overhauled, fitted with new Rolls-Royce engines in place of its original Pratt & Whitney turbofans, re-registered and delivered for passenger flights in 2000.
According to Cathay Pacific, B-HNL racked up 20,519 flights totalling 49,687 flying hours with the airline. A potted history of the aircraft states that it flew 1,729 hours with Boeing in its testbed days, giving a grand total of 51,416 hours gracing the skies. The airline was one of half a dozen closely consulted by Boeing during the initial design phases of the 777’s inception.
Around seven or eight flying hours will be added to B-HNL’s total thanks to today’s ferry flight, which started in China and, via a 55-minute hop to Hong Kong for refuelling, will end in the US, at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
There had been rumoured the very first production Boeing 777 would end up at the Museum of Flight in Seattle but the sprawling Pima, which boasts historical aircraft ranging from a Wright Flyer to a Boeing 787 on an 80-acre site, is an equally fitting home.