The history of the Boeing 767

More than 1,200 Boeing 767s have been produced since 1981. The jet has demonstrated its versatility over the years, sliding between passenger, cargo and military operations. While the plane is not as popular as it once was, its impact cannot be overstated.

United Airlines was the first carrier to fly the Boeing 767. Photo: Getty Images

The age of the large body

Boeing pioneered widebody transport when the legendary 747 was introduced in 1970. However, the jumbo was too big for some. Even then, the airlines were aware of being more efficient economically. Therefore, Boeing began to work on another project. After thinking about a short take-off and landing at short range STOL (airplane), the manufacturer concluded on what would become the 767. To support the movement, Boeing’s Everett site was enlarged.

Pan Am Boeing 747-100 pushed back by tug at night
There was a new requirement following the arrival of the Boeing 747. Photo: Getty Images

The Boeing 767-200 launched the family flight after its first take off on September 26, 1981. The MSN 22233 was commanded by Boeing pilots Tommy Edmonds, Lew Wallick and John Brit. Notably, the 767-100 would not be an option because its proposed capacity was too close to that of the 757.

In the heavens

United Airlines was the guy’s launch customer. It ordered 30 units in July 1978. The operator was soon joined by other traditional carriers, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, with orders later that year.

The first production to be delivered was MSN 21867. According to ch-aviation, this unit joined United under registration N606UA on August 19, 1982. In total, this aircraft flew 76,915 hours until it left United in the mid-2000s.

United introduced the 767-200 on September 8, 1982, on a flight from Chicago to Denver. This flight would kick off a trend that would see the aircraft become a favorite among major carriers around the world.

American Airlines 767
Several iconic liveries have been painted on the 767 over the decades since the aircraft’s launch. Photo: Getty Images.

Additional variants

The family’s first full-range model entered service in 1984 when EL AL introduced the 767-200ER. With the additional fuel capacity, the Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) has been increased to 395,000 lbs (179,000 kg).

Two years later, the 767-300 entered service. Japan Airlines placed a first order in 1983, and its first planes were delivered before the end of 1986 for the carrier to become the first operator.

There was a 21.1ft (6.43m) fuselage extension with this model. In total, the length of the aircraft was 180.25 feet (54.9 m). This variant would also go through a range extension when American Airlines flew with the 767-300ER in 1988.

Boeing 767-300
There have been a series of extensions with the 767. Photo: Getty Images

Although not the first to hit the market, Boeing is proud of its initial widebody jet. In addition to its large capacity, it was an integral part of opening doors for twin-engine operations around the world.

“The Boeing 767, built in Everett, Washington, alongside the 747, can carry 200 to 300 passengers and more. The 767 is a widebody, dual-aisle jet aircraft, but like the smaller, standard-bodied 757, it was designed for fuel efficiency. Both planes have almost identical digital cockpits, making it easy for crews to be qualified on both. “ Boeing shares on his website.

“In 1985, as a pioneer of ETOPS (for“ Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards ”), the 767 was certified for extended flights which would make it the first commercial jet to perform regular routes through Atlantic. The 767-200 was first ordered in 1978 and the last was delivered in 1994. Its full-range model, the 767-200ER, entered service in 1984. The 767-300 was first ordered. times in 1986 and was followed by its extended model. model of the range, delivered for the first time in 1988. “

TUI 767
Over the years, the Boeing 767 has been powered by General Electric CF6, Rolls-Royce RB211, Pratt & Whitney JT9D and PW4000 engines. Photo: Getty Images

Transition with industry

Reviews in the passenger realm would remain largely silent until the dawn of the new millennium. In the summer of 2000. Continental Airlines received the first 767-400ER aircraft. This aircraft could accommodate 131 passengers in economy class, 70 in economy plus and 39 in business class. This jet also came with an MTOW of 204,120 kg (450,008 lb). Notably, Continental merged with United in 2010, allowing the Chicago-based carrier that introduced the first variant to operate the Final Passenger Edition.

Philip Condit CEO and Chairman of Boeing at Airshow
Former Boeing CEO Philip Condit in front of 767-400 at the Farnborough Air Festival 2004. Photo: Getty Images

The deployment of the 767 had declined steadily before the pandemic. Round-trip seat reservations on units operated in the United States have been declining every year since 2013. In addition, the global health crisis has caused a rapid decline in such use. Airlines are even withdrawing the plane in the new climate.

Overall, Boeing and its customers are choosing to focus on more modern jets when it comes to passenger operations. Thus, the Boeing 787 and 777X will be at the heart of this decade in the field of large aircraft.

Delta Air Lines, Italy, without quarantine
The plane is still well spotted at airports, with major carriers such as Delta still flying the type. Photo: Getty Images

Nonetheless, the 767 adapted to the changing conditions, performing well in industries such as freight. The 767-300F entered service with UPS Airlines in 1995. This model has a high capacity cargo configuration on the main deck and lower hold. In addition, the aircraft can carry 59 tons (53 tons) of cargo across continents.

Boeing |  767-300F |  DHL Air |  G-DHLE
The 767 is still performing well with expedition operations. Photo: Getty Images

Continuing to evolve, Boeing delivered the first 767-300BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) to All Nippon Airways (ANA) in summer 2008. This is a custom cargo passenger plane. The aircraft received a loading door on the main deck, a fortified floor on the main deck, and additional cargo security and monitoring devices.

The 767 is also very efficient in terms of military functions. Even today, 56 of the 95 pending orders concern the 767-2C tankers. Meanwhile, the rest of the orders are for freighters.

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Reaching the end of your career

Anyway, although it finds a new lease of life in other areas, the Boeing 767 is struggling to keep pace in the commercial realm, especially as the production of passenger units is finished. Nonetheless, the aircraft has helped Boeing and its customers navigate pivotal moments in aviation history and will leave a legacy that will not be forgotten.

What do you think of the trip of the Boeing 767? Which variation has been your favorite over the years? Let us know what you think of the aircraft and its operations in the comments section.


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