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Boeing 717 General Overview


The 717 is the newest Boeing commercial jet. Introduced in October 1995 as the McDonnell Douglas MD-95, the Boeing 717-200 twinjet is designed for jetliner comfort, low operating costs, and high schedule reliability.

At 100 seats, the 717-200 is designed to fit this new market perfectly. It has been designed specifically for efficient short-hop service, short-field operations, fast turnaround at airport gates, and the ability to sustain 8 to 12 one-hour flights every day, day after day.

The first 717, T-1, has now been shown as of June 12, 1998. T-1, represents the combined efforts of a global team of supplier-partners in the United States, Europe and Asia working toward a single goal: to produce a new airplane with the highest quality at the lowest possible acquisition cost.

Launch customer AirTran Airlines is scheduled to begin taking deliveries in June 1999. Eighteen customers in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East contributed their experience to the design of the 717. Passengers and cabin crews will enjoy the 717's spacious, all-new interior featuring five-across coach-class seating, illuminated handrails, larger overhead luggage bins for carry-on baggage, the largest windows of any 100-seat jetliner, and vacuum lavatories. Optional ventral stairs and entry airstairs assure rapid boarding and departure at any airport.

The two-crew cockpit incorporates the industry's most modern and proven avionics technology, configured around six interchangeable liquid crystal display units similar to those on the 737 and 777. Flight deck features in the 717 include an Electronic Instrument System, a dual Flight Management System, Category IIIa automatic landing capability, and a Central Fault Display System. Like all Boeing airplanes (and 95% of the world's jet transports), flight is controlled with standard wheel and column controls that are interlinked and back-driven.

A pair of advanced BMW/Rolls-Royce BR715 high-bypass ratio-engines will power the 717-200. The BR715 engine is rated at 18,500 pounds of takeoff thrust, with lower fuel consumption, reduced exhaust emissions and significantly lower noise levels than the power plants on comparable airplanes.

With a wingspan of 93.4 feet (28.5 meters) and overall length of 124 feet (37.8 meters), the 717-200 is similar in size and configuration to the DC-9 Series 30, its highly successful predecessor in regional airline services around the world. Maximum takeoff weight for the basic 717-200 will be 114,000 pounds (51,710 kg) compared to 108,000 pounds (48,988 kg) for the DC-9 model. Non-stop range for the basic version will be just over 1,800 statute miles (1,570 nmi./2,905 km). A high gross weight version (121,000 pounds) increases maximum range to 2200 miles, and two optional auxiliary fuel tanks can be mounted in the lower hold.

The model number 717 has appeared once before in Boeing history. The second airplane in the 700 series was internally designated the 717. However, the Air Force decided to call it the KC-135, and that became the name by which it is known. Because 717 was never assigned to a commercial jetliner, the number was available for the new 717-200.

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