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The Boeing 777-300ER (Triple Seven) is one of the largest and heaviest twin-engine commercial aircraft. Impressively large and powerful are also the two GE90-115B engines, each delivering up to 512 kN thrust. In the 'ER' version, the Triple Seven can carry nearly 400 passengers up to 13,600 km. It is the first Boeing aircraft to be equipped with a Fly By Wire system.
In a Boeing 777 following the route and climbing and descending is very easy. On the ground you set the flight directors to on and arm LNAV and VNAV and the auto throttle (A/T). On the runway you press the TakeOff GoAround (TOGA) button, which can be assigned in the control settings of the Aerofly FS 2, and take off manually. Right after lift off you can engage the autopilot and let if climb in VNAV SPD. Upon reaching the acceleration height the autopilot pitches the aircraft forward and you can retract the flaps. Reaching cruise altitude VNAV PATH engages. Prior to the top of descent you reduce the selected altitude and the aircraft will automatically descent on profile. Near the airport APP is pressed to arm the ILS. Configure the aircraft for landing and adjust the MCP speed window for the final approach to VREF and the aircraft can land on its own and come to a complete stop.
We're going to fly from Denver (KDEN) to San Francisco (KSFO) today to demonstrate the B777 features. You can of course choose any origin and destination that you like and make the flight as long as you want or as short as you want.
This flight takes at least two hours when flown in real time but we'll skip a big portion of it since the cruise is quite monotonous. A typical flight in the B777-300ER would take probably ten hours and more so this is already considered a very short flight.
Required time for this tutorial flight:
Between 30min and 2.5h depending on how much of the flight you want to skip ahead.
We will depart from runway 25 at KDEN and fly direct to the destination. For KSFO we'll use the ILS 28L for landing. The cruise altitude is set to FL410.
If you don't want to mess with the flight management system and the CDU you can set up this route with a few steps in the navigation dialog.
From the main menu open the location dialog and click on Denver on the map. On the airport diagram that opens select the parking position on the west side of the airport. From there we only have to turn right and follow the taxiway to runway 25.
Start the flight.
Look down and set the parking brake to prevent the aircraft from rolling away. On the EICAS screen you should see a white “PARK BRAKE SET” memo whenever the parking brake is set.
We'll now set up the aircraft for the flight step by step. We'll begin with the optional CDU flight preparations, then continue with the (mandatory) MCP preflight and then finish with the preflight checks.
You can skip this next step if you already set up the route with the Aerofly FS navigation map from the main menu!
One of the reference pages should open.
The index page is the main menu for the initialization and reference page. From here you can jump to any of those pages.
On the position initialization page
Since we're starting at the ramp we'll leave the gate field empty.
The inertial reference system (IRS) is already aligned, so no further action is needed.
This page should already be filled. Later on you may have to insert the values there. These current values are subject to change.
This doesn't yet modify the route. We'll have to activate the new route and then execute the changes.
We're now going to select the departure from KDEN and arrival into KSFO.
Flaps 15 is selected as takeoff flaps per default in Aerofly FS. You can change this by entering “5” or “20” and inserting that text into the FLAP field.
Take note of the v-speeds on the right of the aircraft. For this flight we'll use the suggested V1 135 kt, VR 140 kt and V2 150 kt speeds.
Also take note of the pitch trim setting, in this case 4.0 units.
For this flight we're not going to use a reduced takeoff thrust. But if you want to you can reduce the takeoff thrust by selecting an assumed temperature:
On the EICAS screen at the very top above the engine N1 display you should now see a “D-TO 2 +50C” text.
However for the tutorial flight we're going to select the standard takeoff rating.
On the EICAS you should now see a green “TO” text above the engine N1. The green thrust limit indicators on the engine N1 scales should have gone up.
The final thrust is determined by the thrust lever position only. When you use the autothrottle then the ATHR will move your thrust levers to the selected thrust limit position. Disengage the autothrottle and advance the thrust levers to the maximum if you need more thrust. You can also press the TOGA button multiple times to cancel any thrust limits and go to maximum available go around thrust (GA).
During the climb if you want to keep the autothrottle engaged you need to come back to this THRUST LIM page to adjust the climb thrust limit. E.g. select CLB if you want to climb at a higher rate.
On this page you can adjust the cruise altitude during the flight. It should display FL410 at the moment since we selected that earlier.
The B777 (and A320 and B747,…) have the ability to draw lines and rings on the navigation display. We're going to use this for reference for our extended runway centerline and to judge the distance to the runway.
The navigation display should then show the radial and range ring.
We're now finished with the optional CDU preflight settings.
We're now going to set up the mode control panel (MCP) for takeoff.
We're going to use the electronic checklists in the B777.
Note: The following interactions are temporary solutions. This will probably change with upcoming updates.
Move the mouse cursor over the lower center screen and hold down the left mouse button to move the magenta cursor on the display. To perform a click action on the screen click the Boeing 777 logo above the screen.
On a touch device simply touch the screen and drag the cursor that way. In VR you'll have to use a grab gesture.
The cursor should move to the first unchecked item automatically.
If you want to go back or open a different checklist you can also use the NORMAL MENU.
Complete the >BEFORE START< checklist
The MCP (mode control panel) was just set up in the previous step. We used V2 152, HDG 262, ALT 41000
Takeoff speeds are visible on the TAKEOFF REF page
The TAKEOFF REF shows us the v-speeds: V1 135, VR 140, V2 150. Keep this page open.
The CDU preflight was done at the beginning or skipped by using the Aerofly FS route planner.
Pitch trim will be 4.0 units. Use the alternate pitch trim lever on the center console or the pitch trim switches on the yoke or your assigned commands to change the pitch trim to 4.0. The trim is already at that setting per default. Rudder and Aileron trim should be zero.
The >BEFORE TAXI< checklist should open automatically on the electronic checklist page. Otherwise you can select it from the NORMAL MENU.
Release the parking brake and advance the thrust levers a bit to start rolling. Make two right turns and one left turn and head south towards the runway 25. Stop in front of the runway at the hold short lines.
Let's quickly go through the before takeoff checklist:
Line up on the runway now.
Let's take off.
The aircraft accelerates
At 80kts the autothrottle mode changes to HOLD. The autothrottle is no longer powered and you have full manual control over the thrust. Do not change your throttle levers now unless you want to abort the landing or command a different thrust.
Past V1 you're no longer able to stop on the runway, take your hands off the throttle.
Airspeed is approaching VR
Eventually the aircraft lifts off and you can see a positive climb rate
At 400ft VNAV will engage. The autothrottle turns back on in THR REF mode.
At 1000ft the autopilot pitches forward to pick up speed. The autothrottle reduces the thrust to climb. We armed CLB 1 earlier, this reduced climb thrust is now activated.
Let's quickly run the after takeoff checklist.
During the climb we'll pass through 10,000ft and 18,000ft (transition height). The autopilot pitches forward and accelerates the aircraft to climb speed.
Reaching 18,000ft (transition altitude in the U.S.) we're switching all three altimeters to standard pressure
With LNAV and VNAV engaged the autopilot will follow the flight plan and also level off at the selected cruise altitude of FL410. There is no action required at this point except monitoring the flight progress.
You can go back to the main menu now and open the location dialog. Zoom out on the map and drag the map across so that you see the route up ahead.
Click on a point east of the airfields Lee Vining and Bryant Field. In case that you're not already at 41,000ft drag the altitude slider on the right to set 41,000ft. Drag the heading to line up with the route.
Resume the flight and immediately press 'a' to re-engage the autopilot. LNAV/VNAV should engage right away and after a short time the aircraft should stabilize itself at cruise altitude. We can now proceed with the pre-decent preparations.
The reference approach speed (VREF) will be 145 for flaps 30. You can select a different value in the CDU.
On the right side of the APPROACH REF page you can see suggested approach flaps and the associated VREF.
For the decision height we're going to select a minimum radar height of 100ft. This should already be set per default. However, here is how you would adjust that setting:
On the EFIS control panel
Let's open the electronic checklist again by pressing the CHKL button as shown before and go through the pre-descent checklist.
Click the NORMAL button on the checklist screen to advance to the approach checklist for later.
We'll fly the ILS approach for runway 28L at San Francisco. The autopilot is programmed to take us down to 3000ft on LNAV to the final approach fix from where we can intercept the localizer and glide slope easily. We're already on an intercept heading at this time. We'll use the autopilot to fly the approach until about 1000ft above ground, then land manually. Wind is calm.
When the aircraft is flying in VNAV PTH (vertical navigation path) as shown on the PFD (primary flight display) in the top right corner, then the autopilot will automatically descent at the calculated top of descent point.
If you want to start descending immediately you can either push the altitude knob in or push the FLCH button. When you push the altitude knob in the aircraft will fly a shallow descent until it intercepts the programmed descent path again. With FLCH the aircraft will switch to flight level change and just fly towards the selected altitude with either idle thrust (descent) or climb thrust (climb, not applicable here).
In case you flew past the calculated top of descent point the autopilot switches into VNAV ALT mode. To correct this and to descent
The aircraft will descent for quite a while. Monitor the vertical deviation on the navigation display and
For the majority of the descent you want to use idle thrust and as little speedbrake as possible to save fuel. If you need speedbrake that is a sign that you already wasted fuel before. If you need additional thrust during the descent it means that you waste fuel by flying lower than the most economical cruise altitude.
Note: You can also increase or decrease the speed. Push in the speed knob and rotate it to select a speed for the descent. When you fly slower you will glide further (up to a certain point). When you increase the speed you will descent steeper.
We're getting closer to our destination. It's time to prepare for the ILS28L approach into San Francisco. In the preflight we already loaded the approach with the CDU. Now the ILS frequency should be auto-tuned to 109.55 MHz and a the course should be set to 265°. On the primary flight display a white ISFO text with a DME distance should appear, together with scales for the localizer and glide slope as well as magenta diamonds for the ILS localizer and glide slope deviations.
The autopilot will level us off at 3000ft and VNAV will start reducing the target speed for the approach. The speed will now reduce quickly. We have to extend the flaps to fly this slow. On the primary flight display you will see the speeds UP, 1, 5, 15, etc. appear on the speed tape. When you fly close to one of these speeds or when the speed you should extend the next flap position. E.g. when you fly near the up speed “UP” you should extend to flaps 1. When you fly at or below the speed “1” you should extend flaps to 5.
Once a flap is extended VNAV will reduce the target speed further to slow us down. But the autothrottle will always keep us at a safe speed. Continue to extend flaps to the position 15.
Let's verify that we didn't forget anything with the electronic approach checklist. Open the electronic checklist again by pressing the CHKL button as shown before. Press the NORMAL button once all items are completed to advance to the landing checklist for later.
Once ISFO is identified on the PFD and the received signals appear to be valid
When the aircraft path intercepts the localizer signal the autopilot lateral mode will change to LOC. The autopilot turns the aircraft onto the approach course and tracks the localizer.
After the localizer is captured the glide slope can also be capture when it's intercepted. The vertical mode will change to GS.
Once the glide slope captures the autopilot selected speed will no longer be managed by the VNAV. You have to manually adjust the speed.
When the landing gear is down
The aircraft should be on localizer and glide slope at this point and the autopilot is still flying. We're cleared for landing.
The landing checklist should be completed at this point. We'll read through to make sure. After completion hide the checklist again for landing by pressing the CHKL button again.
With the localizer and glide slope captured the autopilot will fly us all the way to touch down. But we won't let the airplane have all the fun and disconnect the autopilot when the approach looks stabilized, e.g. at 1000ft above the runway.
Fly the aircraft to the runway 28L touch down point - the big white rectangles on the runway, next to the white/red papi lights. The aircraft should be well trimmed so that only small corrections are needed.
After touch down
Vacate the runway to the left at the next convenient high speed taxiway.
In case of a go-around perform these steps:
Exit the runway to the left once the speed has decreased enough.
Take a right and continue in the same direction that you landed. Then turn left at the end of the terminal buildings, follow the taxiway all the way to the end where it bends around behind the end of the terminal buildings and the parked Airbus A380.
Find a good parking spot, e.g. the one next to the A380.
This concludes the Boeing 777-300ER flight tutorial.