Cathay Pacific Is Donating the First-Ever Boeing 777 to the Pima Air and Space Museum
Cathay Pacific is donating the first-ever Boeing 777 aircraft to the Pima Air & Space Museum on Tuesday. The Pima Air & Space Museum, located in Tucson, Arizona, opened in 1966 and is one of the largest facilities devoted to space travel and aviation. This iconic jet will join more than 350 other historic aircraft at the museum.
Cathay Pacific's 777-200 is making its way from the airline's home base in Hong Kong (HKG) to Tucson (TUS) Wednesday morning and is scheduled to land at 11:00am MST. Boeing used the aircraft as a test plane for several years after its first flight on June 12, 1994. The 777-200 joined Cathay Pacific's fleet in 2000 and ran for 18 years before retiring in May. The Cathay Pacific, B-HNL operated more than 20,000 flights and recorded nearly 50,000 hours of flying time.
In the 1990s, Cathay Pacific contributed significantly to the 777's design and operations, such as cabin cross-section similar to the 747 Jumbo Jet, a modern ‘glass’ cockpit, fly-by-wire system and lower operating costs. The airline currently operates one of the largest 777 fleets in the world.
“As the world’s very first 777, B-HNL holds a very special place in the history of both our airline and that of commercial aviation, and we are very pleased it will soon bring enjoyment to enthusiasts at its new home in Arizona," Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg said in a statement. Hogg also expressed that as the carrier continues to retire 777-200 aircraft over the next few months, the airline is eager to add a 777-9 aircraft to its fleet in 2021.
*Update: B-HNL landed for the last time in Tucson (TUS) at 2:19pm ET, marking the final landing for the first-ever 777.