- Jan 23, 2005
- Total Time
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Boeing attempts record jet flight
Aerospace giant Boeing is attempting to break the world record for the longest non-stop passenger airline flight.
A Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner jet took off from Hong Kong at 1030 local time (1430 GMT) and is due to arrive in London on Thursday at 1330 GMT.
The 23-hour flight will cover about 12,500 miles (20,300 km), taking the plane over North America rather than the shorter route to London via Russia.
Boeing hopes to challenge arch rival Airbus with its new long-haul jet.
Boeing said the current world record for the longest non-stop commercial airline flight was set in 1989 by a Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet, which flew 10,500 miles from London to Sydney.
Boeing is set to make aviation history in the next few hours and we are going to set a new long-distance non-stop record for commercial planes
Lars Andersen, vice president 777 programme
The US-based firm said it hoped Wednesday's world record attempt would encourage airlines to offer non-stop flights across the world, saving fuel and time spent on stopovers.
Boeing is facing fierce competition from European manufacturer Airbus, which earlier this year launched its A380 double-decker passenger jet with the aim of capturing the long-haul market.
The Boeing 777 competes directly with the widely-used Airbus A340-500, which has a flight range of 10,380 miles.
Boeing said the planned flight from Hong Kong would carry 35 passengers, including Boeing executives and clients, journalists and crew members.
BBC transport correspondent Tom Symonds is among the passengers.
"Boeing is set to make aviation history in the next few hours and we are going to set a new long-distance non-stop record for commercial planes," said Lars Andersen, Boeing's vice president in charge of the 777 programme.
Boeing said advanced technology, including the use of lighter materials, and greater fuel efficiency enabled the 777-200LR to fly further.
"The Worldliner uses less fuel to fly further, " said Mr Andersen.
The company said Guinness World Records representatives would monitor the plane's arrival at London's Heathrow airport.
The flight's captain, Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, said she hoped to "smash the current record".
The twin-engine Boeing 777-200LR, which is due to come into service next year with Pakistan International Airlines, will be able to carry 301 passengers. Qatar Airways, Air India and Taiwanese carrier EVA Air have also announced orders.