BOEING 777 25th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Most jet freighters are converted from older passenger aircraft, but Boeing took a gamble on the market being ready for a new-build freighter version of the 777, and has met with considerable success, as detailed by Barry Lloyd.
In response to requests from some of Boeing’s most important customers, in 2004 the manufacturer set a working group involving 20 airlines and cargo operators, with a view to designing and producing an all-freight version of the Boeing 777. It was envisaged as a replacement for cargo versions of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and MD-11, and Boeing 747, 757 and 767 freighters. A launch order from Air France for five 777Fs in May 2005 got the ball rolling, with the type’s inaugural flight taking place on July 14, 2008. The first example was delivered on February 19 the following year to Air France.