March 30, 2023

The Boeing 767 has been an vital plane within the planemaker’s historical past. Getting into service 40 years in the past, it opened up transatlantic routes to twin-engine jets – a big growth on the time. It is probably not Boeing’s best-selling widebody (the Triple Seven holds that title), however it has had an extended life on the manufacturing line and has seen a number of variants. Extra environment friendly dual-aisle plane have now taken over and are carrying on the legacy, however the 767 stays in manufacturing and remains to be a well-liked selection for cargo and logistics use.


Transferring on from the Boeing 747

Boeing launched the 747 in 1970 (when it entered service with Pan Am), motivated by airline want for an plane over twice the scale of the 707. The 747 modified the economics of flying in a number of methods. It additionally launched the idea of widebody – an plane huge sufficient to have two passenger aisles.

The 747 was the primary widebody jet. Picture: Getty Photographs

The widebody idea was common, and Boeing quickly seemed to duplicate it in a smaller capability plane. Initially dubbed the 7X7, this venture seemed first at a twin-aisle quick take-off and touchdown plane with a shorter vary and both two or three engines.

This idea was not so common with airways, although. By 1976, Boeing switched the design to a widebody twinjet with an extended, transcontinental vary. This was probably influenced by Airbus and the A300. The brand new European producer launched its first plane in 1972 (getting into service with Air France in 1974). This was the primary twin-engine widebody, and Boeing wanted to compete in the identical market.

Developed alongside the 757

The Boeing 767 venture was formally launched in 1978, with an order for 30 plane from United Airways. Orders from American Airways and Delta Air Strains quickly adopted. The Boeing manufacturing unit at Everett was enlarged to deal with manufacturing.

All Boeing 767s have been constructed on the Everett web site (it is a later freighter launch). Picture:
Altair78 through Wikimedia

Boeing started the design and manufacturing of the 757 shortly after the 767, and consequently, the 2 tasks had a lot in frequent. A lot of the inside design, cockpit, and avionics have been comparable for the 2 plane. This additionally helped airways with commonality. The 757 additionally inherited the identical wing design, just a bit smaller. Airbus later did the identical (and went additional) with the A330 and A340.

Such joint design can save vital time and price and permit for lower-cost growth of a distinct segment plane (that is extra the case with the A340 than the Boeing plane).

Each the 757 and 767 have been designed with gas effectivity in thoughts. This may occasionally appear apparent right this moment, with effectivity enhancements a number one motivator in new plane designs. But it surely set the brand new twins other than the competitors on the time. Earlier than this, capability and jet efficiency had been extra vital concerns. The 767 aimed for an working value saving of between 20% and 30% in comparison with earlier plane.

Launching the 767 in 1982

Following a ten-month check program with six plane, the primary 767 entered service in September 1982 with United Airways.

The 767 was initially proposed with three completely different variants. The smaller 767-100 was dropped earlier than development, with the 757 providing comparable capability. And a three-engine variant, dubbed 767MR/LR, was dropped to focus extra on twin-engine efficiency. The 767-200 was, subsequently, the one variant supplied at launch.

The 767 first flew in 1981 and entered service in 1982. Picture: Getty Photographs

There was one other distinction with some early 767-200s within the cockpit. The 757 and 767 have been Boeing’s first widebody designed with a two-person cockpit. The Airbus A300 (as the primary widebody twin) additionally had a three-person cockpit.

This prompted just a few considerations from airways, with crew used to a few or extra. United Airways initially requested for a 767 model with a three-person cockpit however accepted two as soon as it was deemed protected within the US. Ansett Australia, nevertheless, stood by a request for three-person cockpits (primarily as a consequence of pilot union calls for) and was the one airline to obtain early 767s configured this fashion.

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Ansett Australia 767-200s have been the one ones to have a three-person cockpit, with a flight engineer station on the right-hand facet. Picture:
Aero Icarus through Wikimedia

The 767 and ETOPS

The Seventies and Eighties have been nonetheless very early days for twin-engine operations. As mentioned, this was Boeing’s first twin-engine widebody. And there had been doubts throughout growth, with the 767MR proposed as a three-engine different primarily to get round twin restrictions on the time. Airbus developed the joint A330/A340 twin and quadjet choices largely to permit extra choices for airways.

At launch, the 767 was restricted to working not more than 90 minutes from a diversion airport. This prevented twins from working business routes over the Atlantic (and, after all, elsewhere too). ETOPS laws modified this from the mid-Eighties.

With 90-minute restrictions, there are lots of areas the 767 can’t function (proven shaded on the map). Picture:

The primary ETOPS 120 score was given to a 767-200 in 1985. This was initially with TWA working from Boston to Paris, however others adopted. ETOPS 120 allowed plane to fly as much as two hours from an acceptable diversion airport. This opened up transatlantic routes to the 767 and marked the beginning of recent prospects for twins.

With ETOPS 120, twins such because the 767 may function environment friendly transatlantic routes. Picture:

ETOPS 180 was potential after a minimum of one yr of demonstrated efficiency underneath ETOPS 120. The 767 turned the primary plane to be licensed for this in 1989.

A number of 767 variants and combined use

After transferring by way of a number of variants, the 767 stays in manufacturing right this moment – in each passenger and cargo configurations.

The unique 767-200 was first upgraded inside its first yr, with the prolonged vary variant 767-200ER. This saved the identical fuselage design however supplied elevated payload and extra gas capability. Its vary was elevated to six,385 nautical miles (11,825 kilometers), from the 767-200s 3,900 nautical miles (7,200 kilometers).

The 767-200ER was common with US airways, but additionally extra internationally. Ethiopian Airways positioned the primary order in 1982, and the sort entered service with El Al in 1984.

In 1986, Japan Airways turned the primary buyer for the stretched 767-300. This lengthened the fuselage by simply over six meters and took capability as much as a most of 290, from 245 (nevertheless, the standard two-class capability was 261 versus 214).

Boeing additionally supplied the 767-300ER, getting into service with American Airways in 1988. Prolonged ETOPS was now in place, and the stretched 767-300 was common with each US and worldwide airways, happening to be probably the most bought variant.

The 767-300 fashioned the premise for the sort’s first cargo variant, which entered service with UPS in 1995. The 767-300F added a cargo entry door and strengthened touchdown gear and wing construction. Many plane have additionally been transformed to cargo use after passenger service.

American Airways operated 67 767-300ER plane earlier than retirement in 2020. Picture: Vincenzo Tempo | Easy Flying

The ultimate 767 variant was an extra stretch to the 767-400ER. This took place largely to satisfy Delta Air Strains’s want for a alternative for its Lockheed L-1011 TriStar plane. Continental Airways was additionally as a alternative for its DC-10s, and it turned the launch buyer in September 2000.

With the 767-400ER, passenger capability was elevated to 296 (as a typical two-class capability, with 375 potential as a most exit restrict). The vary, although, was barely decrease than each the -200ER and -300ER, however anticipated for greater capability.

The 767-400ER was the bottom promoting variant, with solely 38 constructed. Picture: Vincenzo Tempo | Easy Flying

767 orders and operators

In complete, Boeing has delivered 1,252 B767 plane (primarily based on information from the producer in August 2022). It stays in manufacturing, with 94 excellent orders for freighter (767-300F) and tanker plane (767-2C).

Wanting on the major variants, Boeing has delivered the next plane:

  • 767-200: 128 plane
  • 767-200ER: 121 plane
  • 767-300: 104 plane
  • 767-300ER: 583 plane
  • 767-300F: 214 plane
  • 767-400ER: 38 plane

In accordance with information from ch-aviation, 737 stay in energetic use. The most important operators are the cargo airways, with FedEx Specific working 114 plane and UPS Airways 79. There may be continued curiosity in cargo plane – each with these new orders and second-hand purchases and conversions. Amazon, for instance, has taken on a number of 767s from Delta and WestJet.

Delta Air Strains is the biggest passenger operator nonetheless, with 63 767s. Intently following is United Airways with 49 plane. American Airways retired its fleet in 2020 amidst a pandemic-induced transfer to simplification.

Outdoors the US, Japanese airways are the biggest remaining operators. Japan Airways operates 28 plane, and ANA has 23 plane. LATAM Peru nonetheless operates eight of the sort, whereas LATAM Brasil hangs on to 4 models.

Decline as effectivity improves

After the launch of the 767-400ER in 2000, there have been plans to take the 767 additional. Boeing had earlier mentioned a bigger 767X plane with a wider fuselage and had plans for a fair longer-range 767-400ERX. In the meantime, the early 2000s was not an excellent time for the airline trade, and plans for this have been dropped in 2001.

As an alternative, Boeing targeting a brand new, extra environment friendly alternative plane, dubbed the 7E7. This quickly turned the Boeing 787. Any plans for the next capability 767X have been absorbed into the 777 program.

The 787 program stole the 767s thunder. Picture: Vincenzo Tempo | Easy Flying.

With extra environment friendly engines and composite fuselage development, the 787 supplied a a lot lower-cost operation. With an identical capability to the 767, it’s no shock that a number of airways have taken the 787 as a alternative for growing older 767s.

Whereas the 777 and the 787 took over as passenger choices, the 767 has remained a well-liked plane for cargo use. It additionally stays common as an air-to-air refueling tanker. Boeing nonetheless has 93 orders to ship – all of them in freighter or tanker configuration.

A re-engined 767X?

There may be one change that might hold the 767 in manufacturing longer – upgrading with new expertise and engines. This isn’t an unimaginable enterprise. The 737, after all, has moved by way of a number of variations for the reason that Seventies. It stays properly in manufacturing with the 737 MAX. The 777 stays alive, with the much-anticipated 777X on its approach.

Boeing’s newest iteration of the 777 is the 777X, which doubles down on its strengths of engine effectivity and vary. Picture: Justin Hayward | Easy Flying

There was lots of dialogue a couple of new mid-sized providing from Boeing. Boeing has had plans for a New Midsize Plane (NMA) since round 2015. This was understood to be a clean-sheet proposal, as a alternative for the 757, however a widebody just like the 767. It might have the next capability of 220 passengers, with a potential stretched model taking it to 267.

The NMA was dropped, although, in 2020. This took place amidst ongoing delays to the 737 MAX program and related prices for Boeing. The Airbus A321XLR additionally performed an element. With this confirmed by Airbus, and the brand new long-range widebody already taking orders from many airways, Boeing wished to revisit its plans for the subsequent plane.

Nothing has but been confirmed about what is going to come subsequent. A brand new clean-sheet midsize plane appears unlikely given the present market and the necessity to launch one thing quickly to compete with Airbus. Any replace to present plane may contain the 737, 757, 767, and even the 787. Every has its challenges, and whereas an up to date 767 will not be the most definitely, it’s potential.

With virtually 100 excellent orders, the 767 program will not be over but. Do you assume we’ll since a brand new model developed? Be at liberty to debate this or the highlights of the plane’s service for the reason that Eighties additional within the feedback.

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