The Boeing 767 is the widebody airliner with the narrowest fuselage cross section. Its cabin offers seven-abreast seating in economy class, including two aisles (2+3+2). The airliner is intended for medium-range flights and seats 200-300 passengers.
Boeing launched the 767 in 1978 after a United Airlines order for 30 aircraft and developed it in parallel with the narrowbody 757. Both types have the same digital two-crew EFIS flightdeck and many other systems in common. High lift leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps give the aircraft good takeoff and landing characteristics.
The first version was the 767-200, which took off for its maiden flight on 26 September 1981. A year later, in August 1982, United Airlines received its first aircraft and started commercial flying with it in September. A variant of the first 767-version was the 767-200ER (Extended Range) with higher weights and increased fuel capacity. Boeing delivered the first 767-200ER to El Al in March 1984.
A stretched version is the 767-300, which first flew on 30 January 1986. The fuselage is 6.42 m (21 ft 1 in) longer than that of the 767-200 and it carries 218 to 328 passengers depending on cabin layout. In a high-density single class charter layout the maximum number of passengers is even 351. JAL Japan Airlines was the first airline to receive a 767-300 in September 1986.
American Airlines became the launch customer for the 767-300ER (Extended Range) and received its first aircraft in February 1988. This variant became very popular on transatlantic services. With the 767-300ER airlines could offer higher frequencies than with much bigger 747's and fly 'thinner' routes to cities which otherwise wouldn't have intercontinental services. With 583 built the -300ER became the most popular 767-version.
Another variant is the 767-300F freighter, which Boeing launched in early 1993 after an order for 30 aircraft from United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS received the first aircraft in October 1995. The 767-300F has a large cargo door at the port side of the forward fuselage and a strengthened floor and undercarriage. The passenger cabin windows are omitted.
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A further stretch is the Boeing 767-400ER, intended as a replacement for the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, the Lockheed TriStar and early Airbus A300 aircraft. The first flight took place on 9 October 1999. The fuselage is 6.43 m (21 ft 1 in) longer than that of the 767-300 and the wingspan is widened by 3.66 m (14 ft 6 in) through the addition of raked, highly-swept wingtip extensions. The renewed passenger cabin interior is based on that of the 777. Sales were poor, however. Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines (now part of United Airlines) were the only customers taking delivery of a total of 37 aircraft. Kenya Airways ordered three 767-400ERX aircraft with extra range, but later switched this order in favour of the 777. The ERX-version was never built.
After the year 2000 sales of the Boeing 767 slowed down and the aircraft lost market share to the Airbus A330-200. In 2007 there was a revival in sales. Boeing won several new orders, especially from cargo airlines like UPS and FedEx.
Boeing developed several military versions. In early 2011 it delivered the first of four KC-767A aerial tanker/transport aircraft to the Italian Air Force. The Japan Self-Defense Forces ordered four tankers and four E-767s, an AWACS-version (Airborne Warning and Control System) with a large radar disk on top of the fuselage. In 2011 Boeing was awarded a contract for the delivery of four tanker/transport aircraft to the US Air Force, designated 'KC-46A'. The USAF's plan is to order 179 KC-46s to replace obsolete KC-135s.
Several programmes have started to convert older 767 passenger aircraft into freighters. Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) has developed blended winglets for the 767 and American Airlines was the first airline to have 767-300ERs fitted with them.
The 767 is still in widespread airline use. Until summer 2018, Boeing has sold 1,114 767's: 128 -200s, 121 -200ERs, 104 -300s, 583 -300ERs, more than 200 -300Fs and 38 -400ERs. The total includes 38 KC-46s for the USAF. The 767-300F is currently the only civil variant in production. The 767 will remain in production for many years to come.
Boeing 767-200ER Specifications
Wingspan: 47.57 m (156 ft 1 in). Length: 48.51 m (159 ft 2 in). Height: 15.85 m (52 ft).
Empty weight: 82,380 kg (181,610 lb). Max. takeoff weight:
179,170 kg (395,000 lb).
Accommodation: 181-255 passengers. Range: 12,200 km (6,590 nm). Cruise speed:
851 km/h (459 kts). Engines: two General Electric CF6-80C2B (276 kN - 62,100 lb) or Pratt & Whitney PW4056 (282 kN - 63,300 lb).
Boeing 767-300ER Specifications
Wingspan: 47.57 m 156 ft 1 in). Length: 54.94 m (180 ft 3 in). Height: 15.85 m (52 ft).
Empty weight: 90,010 kg (198,440 lb). Max. takeoff weight:
186,880 kg (412,000 lb).
Passengers: 218-350. Range: 11,065 km (5,975 nm). Cruise speed: 851 km/u (459 kts). Engines: two GE CF6-80C2B (276 kN - 62,100 lb) or P&W PW4000 (282 kN - 63,300 lb) or Rolls-Royce RB211-524G/H 265 kN - 59,500 lb).
Boeing 767-400ER Specifications
Wingspan: 51.92 m (170 ft 4 in). Length: 61.37 m (201 ft 4 in). Height: 16.80 m (55 ft 4 in).
Empty weight: 103,870 kg (229,000 lb). Max. takeoff weight: 204,110 kg (450,000 lb).
Passengers: 245-375. Range: 10,415 km (5,625 nm). Cruise speed: 851 km/u (459 kts).
Engines: two General Electric CF6-80C2B (282.5 kN - 63,500 lb) or Pratt &Whitney PW4062 (280.9 kN - 63,140 lb).