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Boeing launches 777 freighter aircraft

Boeing launches 777 freighter aircraft

   Boeing officially launched its 777 freighter aircraft Tuesday, claimed to be the world’s largest twin-engine freighter.

   The 777 freighter will be capable of flying 4,965 nautical miles (9,195 kilometers) with a full payload. With a maximum takeoff weight of 766,000 pounds (347 metric tons), the 777 freighter will have a revenue payload capability of 229,000 pounds (103 metric tons).

   At the same time, Boeing said Air France has ordered five 777 freighters, with options for three additional airplanes, to replace its 747-200F fleet. The first 777 freighter is scheduled for delivery to Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008.

   Air Canada announced in April the inclusion of the 777 Freighter as part of its selection of 777s and 787s to renew its long-haul fleet. Upon completion of that agreement, Air Canada will join the 777 Freighter launch team, Boeing said.

   Boeing forecasts that large widebody freighters (65 metric tons and above in capacity) will comprise 31 percent of the market by 2023.

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