What does it feel like to fly the B777; the aircraft that transformed the skies?

Discover how it feels to fly the B777 with this epic collection of stats and pilot feedback on this exceptionally popular aircraft.


What does it feel like to fly the B777; the aircraft that transformed the skies?


“What does it feel like to fly the B777?”; it’s a question many pilots ponder at some stage of their career.

In this article, we’ll look at the key stats and pilot feedback that will help you understand what taking the reins of this winged beast feels like.

B777: key stats and specs

Boeing has delivered 1,559 B777s to a global client base since this plane took its maiden flight in June 1994, making it the best-selling wide-body aircraft ever.

Business Insider recently credited the B777 as “one of the most successful and revolutionary airplanes in aviation history… [the] airliner that effectively rendered four-engined jumbos like the 747 obsolete.”

Weighing-in at a relatively slimline 22,9517 kg, this aircraft can transport up to 400 passengers at a cruising speed of 615 mph and an altitude of 37,900 ft (Business Insider).

Here are the key statistics for the two most popular variants today:

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What does it feel like to fly the B777: a pilot’s perspective

We’ve reviewed a host of pilot feedback to find out what the defining features of flying a B777 are, and this is what we discovered:

1) Elevated status

Many pilots cite the B777 as their favourite plane to fly, including Cathay Pacific’s Caroline Williams.

Having flown B777s for 12 of her 20 years in the cockpit, Caroline rates the B777 above the B747, as well as Airbus’ A350 and A330.

When asked about her favourite plane to pilot, she commented “the B777 of course! It’s like an old friend after flying it for so long, you become so comfortable with it and with what it can do.”

2) Ultimate convenience

The B777 is jam-packed with smart (often automated) technology.

You can master the autopilot system in a matter of minutes, and the navigation system is exceptionally intuitive. Just input the airport code for your departure and arrival locations (which can even be found on Wikipedia), and the plane will configure the route for you.

You can typically switch on autopilot roughly two minutes after you take off, then use the instrument landing system (ILS) to help bring it in safely.

The next variant – the B777-9 – will even feature a HUD display (Business Insider).

3) Familiarity

Despite being among the first planes to feature a fly-by-wire (FBW) system, Boeing wanted to ensure the B777 felt like a comfortable and familiar aircraft for pilots making a switch.

As such, the company maintained the same cockpit controls as pre-existing aircraft across all four Degrees of Freedom (roll, pitch, yaw and thrust), including:

  • Two sets of rudder pedals (yaw axis)
  • Two yokes (control wheel for roll axis and control column for pitch axis)
  • One set of thrust levers

Aeronautical engineer Jaime Beneyto described how the B777 flies like a “well-behaved” version of its predecessors. He estimates that the aircraft would be given a top-ranking score of ‘1’ in the Cooper-Harper scale of handling qualities.

At the time, Boeing stated its belief that pilots transferring from a B737 or similar wouldn’t even notice the B777 was an FBW systems aircraft.

4) Already type-rated on the B777?

If your looking for your next opportunity on the B777, look no further – we are currently recruiting.

We have an exciting opportunity for Captains and First Officers to fly the B777 on a 3-month contract with a very attractive financial package.

Don’t hesitate to apply for this immediate position to gain more experience in the revolutionary B777. Simply register and apply today.

Find airline pilot jobs that’ll take your career to new heights by teaming up with the expert AeroProfessional team.

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