Boeing Attempts Record-Long Flight

Project pilot Susanna Darcy Hennemann poses with a model plane of Boeing 777 during a press conference in Hong Kong wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005. Boeing attempt to break a world record Wednesday by flying its new long-distance 777-200LR plane non-stop from Hong Kong east to London, farther than any previous commercial jet. AP

A Boeing Co. jet took off Wednesday from Hong Kong to try breaking the record for the longest nonstop flight by a commercial jet — a trip that involves flying over the Pacific Ocean and North America before landing in London.

"We plan to smash the current record," said Captain Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, one of the four pilots of the 777-200LR Worldliner, one of Boeing's newest planes.

The flight was expected to take about 23 hours and cover more than 12,586 miles, a Boeing statement said.

Plans are for the jet to fly farther than a Boeing 747-400 that flew 10,500 miles from London to Sydney in 1989, the company said.

The record-breaking attempt is part of Boeing's fierce competition with its European rival, Airbus SAS. The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner was designed to compete directly with the popular Airbus 340-500, which has a flight range of 10,380 miles.

After leaving Hong Kong, the Boeing jet was to fly to the northern Pacific Ocean, cross North America and cruise over the Atlantic Ocean to London, said a Boeing spokesman, Chuck Cadena. Hong Kong-London flights usually fly over Russia.

Boeing expects to deliver the first 777-200LR to Pakistan International Airlines in early 2006, the statement said. Taiwan's EVA Air, Qatar Airways and Air India have also announced orders.

Boeing said that Guinness World Records representatives would monitor the flight and attend the landing at London's Heathrow Airport.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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