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Up Close and Personal with a United Airlines 777-200

Discussion in 'Airplane, Aircraft & Jumbo Jet Talk' started by Lord Leighton, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Things With Wings
    Up Close And Personal With A United Airlines 777-200
    Jul 6, 2015 by Nigel Howarth in Things With Wings
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    This past 4th July weekend, Aviation Week's Nigel Howarth was among a small group of aviation aficionados invited to tour a United Airlines 777-200 up close, both outside and in. United's maintenance staff at Washington Dulles Airport were happy to show the group around the largest aircraft that is currently maintained there. The new hangar facility, capable of holding up to 5 mainline aircraft, was opened in 2014.

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    This particular 777, fleet number #2771, was the third "triple 7" off the Everett production line back in June 1994, making it a sprightly 21 years young today. According to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) Fleet database, it's flown some 80,000 hours, equating to somewhere over 40 million miles.

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    United's 777 fleet are powered by either Pratt & Whitney PW4000s, as pictured here, or General Electric GE90s on the aircraft formerly with Continental.

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    The PW4000s are good for 10,000 flying hours between major overhauls, and these maintenance events represent one of the highest-ticket items an airline incurs.

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    As can be seen in the next photo, each main landing gear has six tyres, with two more at the nose. As well as repairing worn and damaged tyres, which between them have to support up to 445,000 lbs or 220 tons, each time the aircraft touches down, the whole landing gear structures need overhauling every 10 years.

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    Moving on to the cockpit, we see a typical modern 'Glass Cockpit', flat-panel LCD displays and no analog dials. Unlike Airbus, Boeing has stuck to a traditional yoke for the pilot controls, even on the latest 787s.

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    Finally we take a peek inside the passenger cabin. United First seats 8 passengers in a 1-2-1 arrangement.

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    Business Class seats 40 in a 2-4-2 layout, with some passengers facing rearward.

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    Economy Plus has 103 passengers sat in a 3-3-3 configuration.

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    Standard Economy (not pictured) seats a further 117 passengers in 3-3-3 configuration, giving a total complement of 266. According to the AWIN database there are at least 3 different seating configurations for 'legacy' United 777s, and a further different layout for the ex-Continental machines.

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    Aviation Week would like to thank United Airlines at Dulles, in particular Senior Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor Brian Carlson and Lead Aircraft Mechanic Tony Klinkenberg for their time and for allowing us such a close-up look at one of the industry's iconic planes.

    All photos: Nigel Howarth
     
  2. xnwa

    xnwa Hangar Bronze Member III

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    Beautiful "old" bird. Long may it fly!
     
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  3. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Impressive. Now picture the airline bean counters, to save money, will send this beautiful machine to a third world maintenance base. There mechanics with no certificates, making 3-5 dollars an hour will tear the plane apart for its major overhaul cycle.

    There is either none or very little government required oversight of these bases.

    Now picture these now desecrated (in my opinion) birds flying long over water flights.

    It's a crap shoot and no body wins but there are more profits in it for the airlines.

    The FAA makes believe everything is okay and everyone keeps their fingers crossed.

    Thanks you,
     
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