Plain Aviation

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Tag: 777

Cathay Pacific Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Russia

cathay pacific 777-300

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300

Cathay Pacific Flight CX250 from London Heathrow to Hong Kong was forced to make an emergency landing in Novosibirsk, Russia after the crew received warning of a fire in the aft cargo hold 6 hours into the flight. The aircraft was a Boeing 777-300ER, registration unknown. The crew made a safe landing at Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport with 214 passengers and 18 crew on board. The flight took off from London at 6:02pm local time (GMT) and landed in Novosibirsk at 7:20am local time (GMT+7). There was no fire detected in the cargo compartment after landing. The passengers of the flight were accommodated in hotels for the night and a replacement aircraft has been dispatched to shuttle them to Hong Kong.

Why Airlines are Cramming More Seats onto Airplanes

In the past month or two, Cathay Pacific and British Airways both announced plans to shift from a 9-abreast to a 10-abreast Economy class seating layout on their Boeing 777 fleet. Essentially this means that there will now be 10 seats per row in Economy class and opposed to 9, which allows the airline to cram more passengers into the same aircraft than before. Cathay Pacific and British Airways will be joining Emirates, China Airlines, Air France, American Airlines, and Air Canada among others, all of which operate 10-abreast seating configurations on the 777. This leaves competitor Singapore Airlines as one of the last airlines operating a 9-abreast configuration.

10 Abreast Seating Confirmed for Cathay Pacific 777

After a good amount of speculation, Cathay Pacific has finally revealed plans to switch to a 10 abreast economy class seating on its long-haul 777 fleet. This means that the cabin will be changed to a 3-4-3 instead of the current 9 abreast 3-3-3 configuration. While this means that aircraft will have more seats and can carry more passengers, it also equates to decreased passenger comfort as there will be less space for each passenger. As a result of the new configuration, seat width decrease from 18.5 inches to 17 inches while total capacity of the aircraft will increase by up to 35 seats. Seat pitch, which is the distance between two front-and-back rows of seats, will not change with the new configuration.

Singapore Airlines 777 Engine Fire?

Early in the morning of Monday June 27, a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER (registration 9V-SWB, 9 years old) operating flight SQ368 from Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) to Milan-Malpensa International Airport (MXP) suffered an engine fire after an emergency landing back at Singapore that was warranted by an engine oil warning that the crew received shortly after takeoff.

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Extent of damage to the right wing – Photo from Channel New Asia

Difference Between the Boeing 767 and 777

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Condor Boeing 767-300ER. Photo by Oliver Holzbauer CC 2.0

Back in the day when I first started looking at planes I had the hardest time distinguishing between the Boeing 767 and 777 because they just looked so similar to me. When people try plane spotting for the first time, they typically have to rely on very concrete and noticeable features of each aircraft to distinguish them from others (for example the number of engines or doors present) before they are able get a feel for each aircraft and recognize them based off

Are airplanes getting smaller?

After decades of evolution in aircraft technology that have led the aviation industry from the Wright brothers’ first prototype aircraft to the Airbus A380, it’s hard to imagine that in recent years aircraft have actually been shrinking in size. Orders for the Airbus  A380 have been recently been dwindling; Boeing cut production of the 747-8 to only 6 frames per year; and the Boeing 747-400 is currently in the

Debris from MH370 found off Mozambique

malaysian airlines 777-200er by christian junker

A Malaysian Airlines 777-200ER similar to the one operating MH370 when it disappeared. Photo by Christian Junker. CC 2.0

For the second time since the disappearance of MH370 in March of 2014, debris from the “crashed” airplane has been found. Last time it was a flaperon (a movable control surface) from the wing found on Reunion Island, this time it’s a piece of the horizontal stabilizer ( found near Mozambique. Experts have agreed that the piece, painted with the words “NO STEP”, is indeed from a Boeing 777, and therefore

MH370: My review of Goodnight Malaysian 370

Perhaps what’s so special about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is that never before has an aviation incident (for lack of a better word) grappled the world’s attention with such intensity for so long a time. The initial disappearance was a major new story in itself, and people were kept on the edge of their seats for months as the investigation and search operations went along. Two years later, it seems like the investigations and search operations have stopped, and everyone has to some degree forgotten about MH370. Those who still remember will probably be

Cathay Pacific Cargo 747 rolls out in new livery

One of Cathay Pacific Cargo’s 747-400ERF’s, B-LIA, rolled out of HAECO’s Xiamen plant in the new Cathay livery after completing its D-check. The new livery was introduced on the 1st of November 2015 with one of Cathay’s 777-300ER’s, registration B-KPM. After completing its D-check in Xiamen, B-LIA returned to Hong Kong on the 20th of January 2016. The aircraft was delivered to Cathay Pacific Cargo new in mid-2008, and has an age of around 8 years. It is powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW4062A turbofan engines. The 747 version of the livery did have any significant features that wasn’t seen on B-KPM, however the winglets of B-LIA were painted in the same “Cathay green” as the tail, whereas B-KPM and other 777’s don’t have winglets. All of Cathay’s A350’s on order will be delivered in the new livery, and it is expected that Cathay will progressively repaint their current aircraft with the new livery as they undergo their D-checks. It will likely be years before the entire Cathay fleet is able to transition into the new livery, as aircraft are usually repainted only during their D-checks, which happen around once every 6 years. Sadly, there’s a 99.9% chance that Cathay’s passenger 747-400’s won’t be painted in the new livery, as they are no more than a few years away from retirement. It is also likely that Cathay’s older aircraft such as their 777-200’s, A340-300’s, and early A330-300’s will be retired before their next D-check and won’t see the new livery either. I’m desperately hoping that they’ll hang onto their A343’s for a little longer so we’ll get to see them in the new livery. Only time will tell.

Boeing cuts production of 747-8

Due to a significant decrease in demand for the new and improved 747-8 (which let’s be honest was never that high in the first place) in the last few months, Boeing has decided to cut its production of the type to just 6 per year, as opposed to the original target of 12 in the same span of time. In 2015, Boeing was only able to sell two 747-8’s in what was the first sale of the aircraft type in two years. Demand for the 747 has sadly plummeted, especially in the passenger market as airlines now seem to prefer operating twin-engined wide-bodies such as the 777 or A350 on long-haul routes for increased fuel efficiency and flight frequency. The 747-8 is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s less fuel-efficient compared to the 777, but can’t carry as many passengers as the A380. Therefore, a large majority of 747-8 orders are for the freighter version, which are also on the decline due to the relatively small size of the freight market. In an age where a lot of the glamour in air travel is gone and it’s all about lowering the operating cost per seat, the 747 just doesn’t have an edge anymore. Part of the reason why production of the 747-8 hasn’t completely halted is because it was selected to replace the two aging 747-200’s that are currently serving as Air Force One. The future of the 747 is uncertain. Will sales recover? Will Boeing develop a new 747 variant or scrap the program altogether? As sad as it is, the truth is that once the last 747-400 has retired, the 747 will no longer be the Queen of the Skies.

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