PAL uses Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and not Boeing 777-200

Just lately, a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 declared an emergency landing after an engine failure caused its engine cowling and inlet to fall off. This prompted the grounding of the airline's other Boeing 777-200 jets utilizing Pratt & Whitney PW4000 turbofan engines. Now, on the other side of the planet in the island of the Philippines, many "experts" went to social media saying Philippine Airline's jets are unsafe because they operate Boeing 777 too.

So the 'mamarus' or short for 'mga nagmamarunong' strikes again with fake news in the expense of a national airline trying to build itself back. More sad are those misinformed individuals who believe just everything they read and say. So, if someone tells you you are ugly, will you immediately believe them?

Anyway, lets go to the topic. First and foremost, PAL only operates one kind of Boeing 777 aircraft out of the 6 variants made available, the 777-300ER. The United Airlines 777 involved is a much shorter Boeing 777-200, the very first variant that came out. There are six variants in the Boeing 777 family namely 777-200, 777-200ER, 777-200LR, 777F (cargo version of a 777-200LR), 777-300, and the 777-300ER. LR means "Longer Range" and ER means "Extended Range". The difference between a normal 777, an LR, and an ER, are usually its engines and fuel tanks. Newer variants but still under development are the 777-8X and 777-9X.

Boeing 777-200 vs Boeing 777-300

PAL's 777 is a much longer version than United's 777. The 777-300ER is 242ft and 4in long whereas the Boeing 777-200 is 209ft and 1in long, 41 ft longer! In a 3-class configuration, a 777-200 can carry 305 passengers whereas a 777-300ER can carry 365 passengers. So with the fuselage itself, there is a huge difference right away.

Below is a chart that compares a 777-200LR and a 777-300ER. 


The second point of comparison are the engines. The Boeing 777-200 used by United Airlines are powered by PW4077RR turbofans. Other Boeing 777-200 jets use GE90-77B.

United Airlines 777-200 using PW4000 turbofans

The PW4000RR turbofan produces 76,000lbf of thrust for each engine giving the aircraft a capable range of 9,700km.

PAL's Boeing 777 uses a GE90-115B engine, the most powerful turbofan engine in commercial operation today. The 777-300ER frame only uses GE90-115Bs, there are no other engine types for this aircraft.

GE90-115BL engine on Philippine Airline's 777-300ER

The GE90-115B has a thrust of 115,540lbf per engine. It is also the largest engine in commercial operation today, almost as large as a fuselage of a Boeing 737 aircraft. These engines plus fuel capacity gives the 777-300ER a range of 13,649km. PAL's 777-300ER now holds the record of the farthest non-stop flight from Manila after flying from Manila to Miami.

Last but not least, the Boeing 777-200 first flew in 1994 whereas the 777-300ER first flew in 2003.

So we now hope that you are well informed of the difference. Before we take to social media, lets always think first and do our research.

With all these said, PAL's 777 are totally different from the United 777-200 which experienced engine failure. Also, the grounding will only affect those 777-200 powered by PW4000 engines. Those 777-200 powered by GE90-77B engines will continue flying.

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