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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

B777 Structure

The Power in the Airframe... 

The B777 is built with composite materials to improve resistance to damage, prevent corrosion and reduce aircraft weight. 

But what are composite materials? 

Composite materials are nothing other than layers or piles of high strength fibers in a mixture of a plastic resin. The high strength fibers are comprised of carbon and fiberglass. Basically, there are structures on the aircraft that are carbon fiber reinforced plastic. A plastic airplane is definitely lighter weight and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. 

So what is made of plastic on the B777? 
  • Elevators
  • Aileronns
  • Rudder
  • Flaperons 
  • Spoilers
  • Flaps
  • Engine cowlings
  • Strut fairings
  • Nose gear doors 
Want to win a beer question. Ask your B777 expert if they know what is made of plastic, and then can ask if they know what is made of fiberglass.  Here you go on the fiberglass components: 
  • Leading and trailing edge panels
  • Wing-to-body fairing
  • Wing and main landing gear doors
  • floor panels 
  • Radome 
The B777 is also more corrosion resistant because of improved draining features, corrosion resistant materials with better aluminum alloys, toughened carbon fibers, fiberglass floor panels, and improved finishes, with more primer and corrosion inhibiting compounds. 

Boeing has come a long way from the Aluminum B727. More to come on this adventure... 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 


  1. Beer Question: Where is 99% of the total amount of lead in the 777 located?

    Ans: The pilot's rear end.

    Ha ha, enjoy school!


  2. Rob, this is so funny! The funny part is as I read this question the first thought that came to my mind was the answer, but not as politely as you said it.

    I'm enjoying school. It's called home school... learn the plane on your own and then go get tested. Thank goodness for Google my personal training buddy.

    So... do you still go to traditional ground school?


    1. It is semi-traditional. We have several hours of self-study presentations to watch prior to starting class. They are loaded, for credit, onto the website 30 days prior to starting class. Anyone can review them at anytime but just not receive credit for the upgrade.

      In the 757, we got 3 days of academics which is basically a solid review of the systems and on day four there is a on-line test taken.

      I found the test to be the most stressful part of the upgrade. You know as well as anyone, that you can completely understand a system but miss read a question or just as easily miss click an answer. Either way you missed the question. It was a 100 question test and a passing grade was 85 overall and 90% correct answers in every major system. Basically you could miss one question in each system but not two.

      I made a 97 missing three questions. I really enjoyed the two hour comprehensive oral exam of the 727. I walked in confident and walked out confident because I knew my stuff. I didn't go into the 757 test confident and left feeling like a dodged a bullet rather than acing the test.

      The rest of the 757 upgrade was actually enjoyable. It is nice to deal with humans who are also pilots.

    2. Rob, thanks for the information. I felt the same way about the orals. Not only can an electronic test not actually assess a pilot who understands the systems because how the question was asked and errors in test taking, but a pilot who can memorize and not understand, and then gets lucky... ummmm..... A or B..... I'll guess the longest answer, can get it right. Do they know? We aren't sure.

      There is nothing better than assessing a pilot's knowledge with the oral because when we know it, they know it. And confidence remains high.

      Yes, nice to work with humans that are pilots. Speaking of which, are your instructors line pilots, or have you guys gone to non-seniority pilot instructors?

      Thanks for your comments!

  3. Karlene, I presume you have seen the destructive test videos of the 777. For those that haven't, the final minute and a half can be seen here:

    The plane wings failed at 154% of design load. The engineers designed for a failure load (design ultimate load is the term used, I think) of 150%. My father, who worked in the Boeing test lab, told me that this was the closest they'd come in a test failure to their design goal. They attributed that to the use of CAD and computer structural analysis.

    1. Thank you for sharing this great information. Fascinating!!


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