Boeing Frontiers
December 2002/January 2003
Volume 01, Issue 08
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Commercial Airplanes

Not just a plane paint job

Designers and painters take a novel approach to the 777-300ER


Not just a plane paint jobTraditional straight red, white and blue lines that run horizontally along the fuselage of many new Boeing commercial airplane models take a drastically new direction on the 777-300ER (extended range).

Specifically, elements of the Boeing livery go where graphics designers and painters have never gone before: under the airplane.

The familiar sweeping array of colors starts at the front belly, swings upward around the wings and finishes with each color coming together on the underside of the tail.

When Boeing asked graphic designer Jim Cameron to come up with some schemes for the new 777-300ER, it's not a coincidence that his imagination led him to the belly of the airplane.

''What we as a company decided was, well, why not?'' said Cameron. ''We wanted to show something dramatically different, that really held the airplane out there as new and exciting—because it is. There has never been an airplane like this that does what this airplane can do, and that was our inspiration.''

Inspiration came from another area as well. Cameron, a ''military brat'' whose father was a U.S. Air Force colonel, grew up attending air shows and watching the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds roar overhead.

''I remember how sleek and fast they looked, and how the paint schemes reflected that and that they were really colorful on the underside of the fuselage,'' he said. ''I've always wanted to incorporate the Boeing livery on the belly of one of our airplanes. It's what led me to start thinking about what we could do with the 777-300ER.''

ARTIST'S RENDERING COURTESY OF TEAGUEBoeing for years has put its own livery on airplanes, whether launching a new model or a derivative. On the 737 ''Building on Success'' and 767-400ER ''Leading the Way'' airplanes it also used recent ''out-of-thebox'' concepts that twisted the traditionally straight red, white and blue lines.

Teague, a design firm that has worked on every Boeing model for the past 50 years, developed the final characteristics for the paint design on these airplanes and worked to ensure that each passed Boeing's trademark and branding requirements.

Marketing Director Debra Santos said the paint scheme captures the mystique of the 777 airplanes, which includes the fact that the new 777-300ER joins a family of twin-aisle airplanes that remains the fastest-selling in the world.

A map of the world displayed on both sides of the forward section shows major city pairs reachable with the 777-300ER.

''The 777-300ER continues to build on the capabilities of the 777 family, which gave way to the sweeping lines and pointto- point city pairs,'' Santos said. ''And let's face it, the airplane is unique. It's downright sexy. It blows away the competition, and we felt that the paint scheme should somehow reflect all of those aspects.''

Gary Wicks, 777 Marketing manager, said another challenge was to come up with a paint design that drew attention to the airplane, which continues to be well known for its capabilities.

''Not only is speed reflected in the lines, but we think the overall paint scheme is distinctive for this airplane, which already has a strong reputation for technology, comfort, reliability and elegance,'' Wicks said.

''You always want to have a look on an airplane that grabs people's attention,'' he said. ''At the same time, we didn't want to overwhelm the airplane, either. The scheme definitely gets across the idea that this airplane is expanding the boundaries of passenger travel.''

The Boeing paint crew admittedly had its hands full with tooling, and with painting the giant globe and the flowing stripes. But, Pat Covello, paint operations manager, said, it wasn't a problem—the painters have responded to many requests for unusual customer paint schemes throughout the years.

''It's always exciting to be part of something like this, not only because our people like to paint the traditional Boeing colors, but in this case because of the flair that this particular design adds to one of our company's airplanes,'' Covello said. ''This look is new age for us, which is exactly what the 777-300ER represents.''

The 777-300ER with its distinctive paint scheme is scheduled for first flight early in 2003.

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Long-range plans

The Boeing 777-300ER (extended range) airplane is the first of two Longer- Range 777 models to be completed. Boeing launched both the 777-300ER and 777-200LR (longer-range) in February 2000 at the request of customers who asked for an airplane with additional flexibility to serve the non-stop routes that passengers demand.

The Longer-Range 777s are available in two sizes. The 777-300ER carries 365 passengers up to 7,250 nautical miles, and the even longer-range 777-200LR can carry 301 passengers 8,865 nautical miles. GE90-115B engines power both airplanes. GE Aircraft Engines is the sole producer of engines for the 777-200LR and 777-300ER airplanes.

With first flight now scheduled to occur in late January to mid-February, flight-test employees are putting final touches on the systems that technicians will use to monitor and evaluate the systems.

Already touted as the most technologically advanced airplane in the industry, the Boeing 777-300ER will have upgraded avionic, electrical, flight and environmental control systems.

All four 777 models have the ''Boeing Signature Interior,'' which Boeing also offers on twin-aisle airplanes such as those in the 767 family, the 747-400ER and the planned 747-400XQLR (Quiet Longer Range). The ''Boeing Signature Interior'' provides superior comfort and functionality, increased headroom, improved lighting and larger bins which are easier to load and are unobtrusive to the passenger.


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