The world’s first Boeing 777 is being donated to a museum by its operator, Cathay Pacific. As one of the most efficient widebody twin aircraft, today it is the workhorse in long haul fleets around the world.
Arizona is the final destination for this aircraft, registered B-HNL, with the Pima Air and Space Museum planning to put it on display. It departs Hong Kong for Tucson today.
World’s First Boeing 777
First flying on 12 June 1994, the world’s first Boeing 777 was used by Boeing for test purposes. It eventually joined the Cathay Pacific fleet in 2000 and was retired in May 2018. During its airline service, B-HNL operated 20,519 flights, recording 49,687 hours of flying time.
Boeing invited a number of airlines to have input on the 777 at the design stage. This allowed the aircraft to be tailored for the needs of the airlines that would purchase it.
Among the requests were a cabin cross-section similar to the Boeing 747, a modern glass cockpit, fly-by-wire, and lower operating costs. Today, Cathay Pacific operates one of the largest 777 fleets in the world.
All the airlines who assisted in the design have purchased the aircraft except one – Australia’s Qantas. That may change if the new Boeing 777-8 is selected for their Project Sunrise ultra long haul flights.
Over 350 other historic aircraft live at the Pima Air and Space Museum, so the world’s first Boeing 777 will be in good company. Donating to museums gives future generations the ability to have a hands on look at what flying was like in the 21st Century.
It is a shame that this mentality of preservation did not come about earlier. There are so many different aircraft that no longer survive any longer as they were scrapped back in the day. The Flying Boats most especially spring to mind.
What do you think of Cathay Pacific’s donation? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Images via Cathay Pacific.