May 20, 2006: Boeing’s 777-300ER Extended-Range Jetliner Set a World Weight Record of 774,600 Pounds at Takeoff

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  • Air Force Flight Test Center

Boeing’s 777-300ER extended-range jetliner set a world weight record of 774,600 pounds at takeoff. This was the heaviest weight ever for a twin-engine airplane, and was verified by the F.A.I. Boeing chief test pilot Frank Santoni and FAA pilot Eugene Arnold accomplished the feat during the airliner’s FAA certification testing. The plane was equipped with GE90-115B engines rated at 115,000 pounds of thrust each, the most powerful in the world.

During a luncheon of the famed Wings Club at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field a year ago, heads turned when a mammoth, humpback- shaped plane slowly taxied past the windows.  It was the Large Cargo Freighter, developed to ferry the wings and fuselage barrels of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. The pilot was Joe MacDonald, The Boeing Co.'s chief 747 test pilot.    One of those watching the big, ugly jet roll by was Joe Sutter, who was chief engineer for Boeing's first 747 in the 1960s and has been tagged ever since as the father of the plane.  The plane that was getting so much attention from those in the museum banquet room was a 747, too -- but it looked nothing like the one that Sutter helped design, with its graceful lines and signature hump behind the cockpit. Engineers who designed the Large Cargo Freighter replaced the passenger cabin and hump with a bulging upper fuselage that surrounded a cavernous cargo bay.