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Feature Story

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Boeing/Wilson Chow

Go behind the scenes as Boeing delivers a new 777-200LR (Longer Range) to Ethiopian Airlines

Video: Delivering a new Boeing airplane

Even after a new Boeing airplane has been built, painted and tested, there is more work to be done before an airline's crew can fly the jet home.

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Boeing/Wilson Chow

Boeing mechanic Jake Kaltbrunner performs a routine inspection of the Boeing 777-200LR's engines prior to delivery.

"We start with servicing," explains Dave Routhier, one of the managers charged with delivering twin-aisle airplanes at Boeing's facility in Everett, Wash. "We do all the fuel, the air in the tires, air in the shock struts, all the hydraulic fluids, we check them out."

In the video above, Routhier and his team show the process of preparing to deliver the 900th Boeing 777 to Ethiopian Airlines.

Inside the cabin, technicians double check the seats, test the in-flight entertainment systems, and make sure all interior fixtures are installed properly. It is not a superficial or cosmetic check. Engineers must certify that the cabin meets all federal regulations.

Engineers must certify that the cabin meets all federal regulations.

Meanwhile, Boeing representatives show off special features of the brand new 777-200LR (Longer Range) to members of the Ethiopian Airlines flight crew.

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Boeing/Wilson Chow

Representatives from Ethiopians Airlines and Boeing gather to sign paperwork and settle the final payment for the new airplane.

Then, on the morning of delivery day, airline executives and Boeing contracts specialists gather in a conference room to sign paperwork and arrange the transfer of a final payment.

"Everything comes together here on delivery day," says Stephen Douglas, who manages contracts operations. "The customers are expecting everything to be accounted for."

With the pre-delivery work complete by late morning, the celebrations begin.

"Everything comes together here on delivery day." Stephen Douglas, Boeing Contracts Operations

During a ceremonial signing and ribbon cutting, the ceremonial keys are handed over to Girma Wake, the proud CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "It's a very good airplane. It's a very comfortable configuration that we chose," Wake said. "It's done very well by Boeing."

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Boeing/Wilson Chow

Days after the delivery, the new Boeing 777-200LR arrives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after its first revenue flight from Washington, D.C.

Ethiopian Airlines is the first airline in Africa to operate the Boeing 777-200LR, the longest range commercial airplane in the world.

Just two days later, Ethiopian Airlines puts their newest airplane into commercial service. The inaugural flight linked Washington, D.C. to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia non-stop for the first time ever, helping Ethiopian Airlines bring the world closer together.