Boeing's New 777-8 Freighter: The World's Largest Twin-Engine Freightliner

With a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency.
Chris Young
An artist's impression of the 777-8 FreighterBoeing

Boeing introduced its new 777-8 Freighter as part of a new deal for up to 50 aircraft with Qatar Airways, a press statement reveals.

The 777-8 Freighter is the latest variant of the aviation giant's 777X family, and it was designed after Qatar Airways made a request in 2019 for a new 777X freighter to replace the 777F. 

The new aircraft will be the world's largest, longest-range twin-engine freightliner, according to Boeing. "With payload capacity nearly identical to the 747-400 Freighter and a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, the 777-8 Freighter will enable a more sustainable and profitable business for operators," the company said in its statement.

The 777-8 Freighter will feature a pair of GE9X high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines with an output of approximately 100,000 lb (100,000 hp) of thrust. Boeing says the engines are more efficient than those of the 777-8's predecessor, enabling a range of 4,410 nm (5,070 miles, 8,167 km) and a payload of 118 tonnes. The aircraft is currently under construction at Boeing's Everett, Washington facility, and the first 777-8 Freighter is expected to be delivered in 2027.

Boeing's 'next great cargo airplane'

In Boeing's statement regarding the 777-8 Freighter, CEO Stan Deal said "we are delighted to launch Boeing's next great cargo airplane — the 777-8 Freighter — with Qatar Airways, one of the world's largest cargo carriers and our partner since the airline began operations 25 years ago. Our team is ready to create an airplane that will serve them well for many decades. Qatar Airways' selection of the efficient 777-8 Freighter is a testament to our commitment to provide freighters with market-leading capacity, reliability, and efficiency."

The deal also pointed out that Boeing provides over 90 percent of the world's dedicated freighter capacity. "With global supply chains under pressure and high demand for e-commerce, the performance and capabilities of the fleet is more important than ever," he said. The new $20 billion agreement between Qatar Airways and Boeing sees the airline purchase 34 jets, with options for 16 more.  

Boeing's new series of 777X aircraft will be so large that they will have trouble fitting into most airport gates. As a solution, the company has made it so the aircraft will be able to fold the tips of their wings, making their wingspans marginally smaller. The company's deal with Qatar Airways comes shortly after the aviation firm announced it aims to develop a new aircraft in the metaverse, a move that could revolutionize its design and production process.

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