The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twinjet airliner produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the 767 can carry between 181 and 375 passengers, and have a range of 5,200 to 6,590 nautical miles (9,400 to 12,200 km) depending on variant and seating configuration. The Boeing 767 has been produced in three fuselage lengths. The original 767-200 first entered into airline service in 1982, followed by the 767-300 in 1986, and the 767-400ER in 2000. Extended range versions of the original -200 and -300 models, the 767-200ER and 767-300ER, have been produced with added payload and operating distance capability. The 767-300F, a freighter version, entered service in 1995.
The first wide-body twinjet produced by Boeing, the 767 was conceived and designed in tandem with the narrow-body Boeing 757 twinjet. Both airliners share design features and flight decks, enabling pilots to obtain a common type rating to operate the two aircraft. The 767 was the first Boeing wide-body airliner to enter service with a two-person crew flight deck, eliminating the need for a flight engineer. Following in-service indications of its twinjet design reliability, the 767 received regulatory approval allowing extended transoceanic operations beginning in 1985.
Through the 1990s, the Boeing 767 became commonly used on medium long-haul routes, and the aircraft has ranked as the most commonly-used airliner for transatlantic flights between the United States and Europe. There have been over 1,000 767s ordered with over 900 delivered as of 2009. The -300/-300ER models are the most popular variants, accounting for approximately two-thirds of all 767s ordered. There were 862 767s in service with 48 different airlines as of December 2008.
In 1972, following the introduction of the first generation Boeing 747, Douglas DC-10, and the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar wide-body airliners into passenger service, Boeing embarked on parallel development studies for two new airliners. Code-named 7X7 and 7N7, these studies aimed to take advantage of new materials and propulsion advances in the civil aerospace industry. The 7N7, which developed into the Boeing 757, was conceived as a narrow-body twinjet replacement for the Boeing 727. The 7X7 was intended to be a mid-size wide-body airliner slotted between the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-10. With aging fleets of 707s needing replacement, the 7X7 would slot between the Boeing's narrow-body jetliners and the 747. Initially, the 7X7 studies focused on a trijet design, with possible configurations including overwing engines, a T-tail, among others. In 1976, a twinjet wide-body configuration, similar to the earlier Airbus A300B, became the preferred configuration, reflecting increased industry confidence in the reliability and economics of new generation turbofan engines. Airlines remained ambiguous in their requirements for the aircraft, which was roughly focused on the medium-haul, high-density market.
In 1978, Boeing formally designated its new wide-body airliner as the 767, and the company planned to offer three variants: a 767-100 with 180 seats, a larger 767-200 with 210 seats, and a trijet 767MR/LR version with 200 seats intended for intercontinental routes. The 767MR/LR was eventually dropped in favor of standardizing around the twinjet configuration, and the 767-100 was ultimately not offered for sale, as its capacity was too close to the 757's. On July 14, 1978, the Boeing 767 was formally launched by United Airlines, which placed an order for 30 767-200s, followed later that year with orders from American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
The Boeing 767 design phase occurred at the same time as the 757, its narrow-body sibling. Development occurred in partnership with Italy's Aeritalia along with a consortium of Japanese aerospace companies. Both the 757 and 767 became the first Boeing jetliners to share common flight decks and handling characteristics. The aircraft were also the first Boeing jetliners after the 737 to be designed with two-crew cockpits. The 767 was intended to be operated with a two-person flight crew, with electronics to assist with the monitoring of systems. As a result of their shared flight deck design, after a short conversion course, pilots rated in the 757 were also qualified to fly the 767 and vice versa. Both twinjets were further designed with similarly configured systems, shared instrumentation, avionics, and flight management systems.
For the 767 design, Boeing incorporated the engines used on the 747, namely the Pratt & Whitney JT9D and General Electric CF6, with wings sized to match. The 767 was the first Boeing jetliner to offer a choice of engines at its launch. The wings were large relative to fuselage size and provided higher-altitude cruise performance, along with capacity for possible stretched variants. Moreover, the larger wings only increased fuel usage slightly and provided better takeoff and landing performance. The 767 wings had increased thickness for added fuel capacity, and their aft-loaded design produced the best spanwise distribution of lift on a Boeing jetliner to date. The basic 767 was designed with enough range to fly across North America and across the northern Atlantic.
The 767's fuselage width was set at 15 feet 6 inches (4.7 m), midway between Boeing narrow-bodies and the 747. It was narrower than previous wide-body designs but produced less drag, thus increasing overall range. Seating capacity was set at a seven-abreast cross-section, enabling Boeing to taper the rear fuselage to a shorter length, and allowing parallel aisles for the entire length of the passenger cabin. However, the fuselage width did not allow larger Unit Load Devices such as LD6s and LD11s to be carried side-by-side as is the case on other wide-body aircraft.
Production and service
Construction of the prototype Boeing 767, a -200 variant, began on July 6, 1979. Despite Boeing's two-person cockpit design, United Airlines initially demanded a conventional three-person crew with two pilots and a flight engineer. Boeing tried to convince United and others to adopt its new cockpit design with data from the two-person crew Boeing 737. In 1981, a US Presidential task force studied the safety of operations with two crew on wide-body aircraft. The task force determined that a crew of two was safe for flight in July 1981, which paved the way for acceptance of the 767's two-person flight deck.
The first aircraft, registered N767BA and equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT9D turbofans, was rolled out August 4, 1981. The 767 made its first flight on September 26, 1981. Enlisted for the 767 program flight test phase, the first four aircraft produced were equipped with JT9D engines, while the fifth and sixth aircraft were fitted with General Electric CF6-80A turbofans. The sixth airframe was used in route-proving flights. Following the successful completion of the flight test period, the JT9D-powered 767-200 received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification on July 30, 1982. The first 767 with a two-person flight deck completed its maiden flight on May 27, 1982. The CF6-80A-powered 767-200 was certified by the FAA on September 30, 1982.
Following the first delivery to United Airlines in August 1982, the 767-200 entered airliner service on September 8, 1982, with its first flight from Chicago to Denver. Delta Air Lines commenced service with the CF6-powered 767-200 on December 15 of the same year. Deliveries to mainline U.S. carriers American and TWA followed. The 767 received early international orders from Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Ansett Australia, Britannia Airways, Egyptair, El Al, Ethiopian Airlines, and Transbrasil. The 767 was approved for U.S. CAT IIIb instrument landing operation in March 1984. This revision permitted operations with minimums as low as RVR 300 (Runway Visual Range 300 feet). The 767 was the first aircraft certificated for CAT IIIb by the FAA.
A key issue in early Boeing 767 operations was proving the aircraft's reliability for overseas operations. Prior to the 767, the FAA restricted twin-engine aircraft to over-water flights of 90 minutes or less distance from diversion airports. In June 1985, the FAA granted 120 minutes ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) approval to 767 operators, on an individual airline basis, provided the operator met flight safety standards. The increased safety margin changes were permitted due to the improved reliability demonstrated by the 767's turbofan engines.
Boeing developed the higher gross weight 767-200ER (Extended Range) variant, the lengthed 767-300, and the longer range 767-300ER in the 1980s. In the late 1980s, Boeing proposed a stretched version of the 767 and then a partial double deck version with parts of a 757 fuselage built over the aft (rear) fuselage. These concepts were not accepted, and Boeing shifted to an all new airliner that later became the 777. Boeing later developed another stretched 767 version in the form of the 767-400ER in the late 1990s.
The 767 sold very well from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, with a decrease during the recession of the early 1990s. After strong sales in 1997, sales have declined significantly because of the economic recession of the early 2000s, increased competition from Airbus, and the recent emergence of a direct replacement program, the Boeing 787. In early 2007, UPS Airlines and DHL prolonged the 767's production with orders for 767-300 freighters of 27 and 6, respectively. By August 2008, Boeing had received two orders that year for the 767-300ER, but Boeing has been offering versions of the 767 to tide customers affected by the 787 launch delays, specifically to Japanese carriers All Nippon Airways and Japan Air Lines, who are said to be in serious talks for new build passenger airframes. Boeing has also kept the line open in hopes of winning the US Air Force's competition for a tanker (the KC-767 tanker program, which uses the 767 airframe).
The renewed interest in the 767-300 freighter has Boeing considering enhanced versions of the 767-200 and 767-300 freighter, with increased gross weights, 767-400ER wing technology, and 777-200 avionics. Boeing sees the advanced 767-200F and 767-300F as complementing the 777F, and allowing Boeing to compete more effectively against the A330-200F, which is larger than the proposed 767-200F and 767-300F, but smaller than the 777F.
The Boeing 767 has 1,039 orders, with 975 of those delivered as of May 2009. Delta Air Lines is currently the world's largest 767 operator, with 103 airplanes as of 2008, consisting of 767-300, 767-300ER, and 767-400ER variants. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, their hub, has the highest number of Boeing 767 operations in the world.
The Boeing 767 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional tail unit with a single fin and rudder. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and is powered by two wing mounted turbofan engines. The wings are swept at 31.5 degrees and optimized for a cruising speed of Mach 0.8.
The original 767 cockpit design, shared with the 757, uses six Rockwell Collins cathode-ray tube (CRT) screens to display electronic flight instrumentation. The displays are used for electronic flight instrumentation system (EFIS) and engine indication and crew altering system (EICAS) information, taking over the former role of the flight engineer. With the 767-400ER, the cockpit layout was simplified further, and adapted for similarities with the Boeing 777 and the 737 Next Generation.
The 767's design offers a twin aisle configuration of 2+3+2 in economy with the most common business configuration of 2+2+2. It is possible to squeeze an extra seat for a 2+4+2 configuration. However, this seating is cramped and therefore uncommon. The 767 has a seat-to-aisle ratio in economy class of an efficient 3.5 seats per aisle, allowing for quicker food service and quicker exit of the airplane than many other jetliners, which typically have four to six seats per aisle in economy class. In the cargo hold, the fuselage width allows LD3 containers to be carried only in a single row, which can create unused space. One of the design requirements of the 767's replacement, the Boeing 787, was for it to use the LD3/6/11 family of Unit Load Devices (ULD) to solve the wasted volume issue.
Newer 767-200s and 767-300s, as well as all 767-400ERs, feature a 777-style cabin interior, known as the Boeing Signature Interior. The 767-400ER also features larger windows exactly like those found on the 777. All new 767s built feature the Signature Interior, and it is also available as a retrofit for older 767s. In addition to the Boeing Signature Interior retrofit option, a simpler modification known as the Boeing 767 Enhanced Interior is available. This retrofit borrows styling elements from the Boeing Signature Interior; however, the outer section overhead bins are traditional-style shelf bins rather than the 777-style pivot bins.
There are three basic variants of the 767, differing in fuselage length, which were launched on three separate occasions. The 767-200 was the original variant launched in 1978, followed by the 767-300 in 1982, and the 767-400ER in 1997. Extended-range models, the 767-200ER and 767-300ER, were launched in 1982 and 1984, respectively. Several versions of the -200 and -300 variants have been produced. In the 2000s, all three basic variants were in production simultaneously.
The first model of the Boeing 767 family, the 767-200 was launched in 1978 and entered service with United Airlines in 1982. This model is used mainly for continental routes such as New York City to Los Angeles. The 767-200 typically is outfitted with 181 seats in a 3-class layout or 224 in a 2-class layout. All -200 models have a capacity limit of 255 due to exit-door limitations. An additional exit door can be specified when the aircraft is ordered to allow for up to 290 seats in a high-capacity, all-coach (30 in pitch 2+4+2) layout. Its main competition was the Airbus A300 and A310. Some 767-200 models were later converted to the -200ER specification; and since March 2005 Israel Aircraft Industries holds a supplemental type certificate for conversion of 767-200s to 767-200SF (Special Freighter) specification.
A total of 128 767-200s and 121 -200ERs have been delivered with no unfilled orders remaining. A total of 168 767-200/-200ER aircraft were in airline service as of August 2008. Although the 767-200ER has no direct replacement, it is expected to be replaced indirectly in Boeing's lineup by the 787-8. 767-200s flown by American Airlines burn an average of 15,982 gallons of jet fuel flying round-trip between New York City and Los Angeles; the 787 is expected to be 20% more fuel efficient per passenger.
The extended-range variant of the original Boeing 767, the 767-200ER, was first delivered to El Al in 1984. This model became the first 767 to complete a nonstop transatlantic journey, and broke the flying distance record for a twinjet airliner on April 17, 1988, with an Air Mauritius 767-200ER flying 8,727 nautical miles (16,162 km) between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Port Louis, Mauritius. The 767-200ER became popular overseas with smaller operators seeking wide-body airliners but not needing the 747's capacity.
The 767-300 is a lengthened 767 ordered by Japan Airlines in 1983. It first flew on January 14, 1986, and was delivered to JAL on September 25.
The 767-300's direct competitor from Airbus is the A330-200. The 767-300 is expected to be replaced by the 787-8 in Boeing's lineup. As of April 2009, total orders for the 767-300/300ER/300F stand at 752 with 685 delivered. This includes 104 orders (all delivered) for the -300, 561 orders for the -300ER (535 delivered), and 82 orders for the -300F (49 delivered). A total of 668 767-300/-300ER/-300F aircraft were in airline service as of August 2008.
The 767-300ER is the extended-range version of the -300. It first flew in 1986 and received its first commercial orders when American Airlines purchased several in 1987. The aircraft entered service with AA in 1988. In 1995, EVA Air used a 767-300ER to inaugurate the first transpacific 767 service. The -300ER has a takeoff run of up to 11,800 ft (3,600 m). The 767-300ER can be retrofitted with blended winglets from Aviation Partners Boeing. These winglets are 11 ft (3.4 m) long and will decrease fuel consumption an estimated 6.5% on the -300ER.
The 767-300F is the air freight version of the 767-300ER, first ordered by UPS Airlines in 1993 and delivered in 1995. The 767-300F can hold up to 24 standard 88 inch by 125 inch pallets or containers on its main deck and any combination of up seven 88 in by 125 in or 96 in by 125 in pallets or containers. This model has two doors on the main deck plus three on the lower deck. The two upper doors comprise of one for the crew and one for the cargo. Of the three doors on the bottom, two are on the right side, and one is at the rear left side. In October 2007, All Nippon Airways (ANA) sent one of its Boeing 767-300 (JA8286) to ST Aviation Services Co., in Paya Lebar, Singapore, to undergo the world's first 767 PTF (Passenger To Freighter) program. The conversion was completed, on schedule, in June 2008 and designated as a Boeing 767-300BCF, or "Boeing Converted Freighter".
The 767-400ER is the final extended variant and was launched in 1997 on an order for Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines to replace their aging Lockheed L-1011 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 fleets. Orders were also placed by others including Kenya Airways and ILFC but these were eventually canceled. Kenya Airways and ILFC converted their orders to the Boeing 777. The -400ER was stretched 21.1 ft (6.43 m) from the -300 for a total of 201.4 ft (61.4 m). It also saw a wingspan increase of 14.3 ft (4.36 m) over the previous two variants. The -400ER is the only 767 variant to also feature "raked" wingtips for increased fuel efficiency. Its first flight was on October 9, 1999, and entered into service with Continental Airlines on September 14, 2000. This variant is only available as the 767-400ER, as there was no 767-400 variant. However it has less range than the other two ER variants.
Boeing offered a longer range version, named 767-400ERX for sale in 2000. It was introduced along with the Boeing 747X and was to be powered by 747X engines (Engine Alliance GP7172 and Rolls Royce plc Trent 600). The -400ERX offered an increased maximum takeoff weight of 465,000 lb (211,000 kg) and range of 6,150 nmi (11,400 km). Kenya Airways provisionally ordered three -400ERXs to supplement their 767 fleet. However, in 2001 Boeing cancelled -400ERX development. Kenya Airways converted their order to the 777-200ER.
The 767-400ER's Airbus equivalent is the Airbus A330-200. The 767-400ER may be replaced in Boeing's line-up by the 787-10 if approved for offering. A total of 38 767-400ERs had been delivered, with 16 to Continental Airlines and 21 to Delta Air Lines as of 2009. A total of 37 767-400ERs were in airline service as of August 2008.
Versions of the 767 serve prominently in a number of military applications. Most military 767s are derived from the 767-200ER.
Airborne Surveillance Testbed
The Airborne Optical Adjunct (AOA) was built from the prototype 767-200. The aircraft was later renamed the Airborne Surveillance Testbed (AST). Modifications to the aircraft included a large "cupola" or hump which ran along the top of the aircraft from above the cockpit to just behind the trailing edge of the wings. Inside the cupola was a suite of infrared seekers that were used to track theater ballistic missile launches in a series of tests. The aircraft remained in storage at the Victorville Airport in California for a number of years before being scrapped in July 2007.
The KC-767 was developed from the -200ER for the USAF to replace some of its oldest KC-135E tankers. Boeing's tanker was selected and later designated KC-767A. However the Pentagon suspended the contract due to a conflict of interest scandal and later cancelled it.
The KC-767 Tanker Transport, a 767-200ER-based aerial refueling platform has been ordered by the Italian Air Force and the Japan Self-Defense Forces, which have designated it KC-767J. For the USAF KC-X Tanker competition, Boeing offered the KC-767 Advanced Tanker, which was based on the in-development 767-200LRF (Long Range Freighter), rather than the -200ER.
The E-10 MC2A is a 767-400ER-based replacement for the Boeing 707-based E-3 Sentry AWACS, the E-8 Joint STARS aircraft, and EC-135 ELINT aircraft. This is an all-new system, with a powerful Active Electronically Scanned Array and not based upon the Japanese AWACS aircraft. One 767-400ER aircraft has been produced as a testbed for systems integration. The prototype was sold to Bahrain as a VIP transport in January 2009.
Incidents and accidents
Retirement and display
As new 767s roll off the assembly line, older models have been retired and scrapped. One aircraft is known to have been retained for exhibition, specifically the first 767-200 to operate for Delta Air Lines, N102DA. The display aircraft, named "The Spirit of Delta" by the employees who helped purchase it in 1982, is undergoing restoration at the Delta Air Lines Air Transport Heritage Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sources: Boeing 767 specifications, Boeing 767 airport report, Airliners.net 767 pages,
Orders and deliveries
Published in July 2009.
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