Boeing 767: Aircraft profile

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The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twinjet airliner produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing 767: LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767 landing Toronto-Pearson . Photo (CC) bribriTO.Boeing 767: LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767 landing Toronto-Pearson . Photo (CC) bribriTO.

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 entered into airline service in 1982. There have been 1,039 767s ordered with 968 delivered as of November 2008. There were 862 767s in service with 48 different airlines as of December 2008.


The Boeing 767 was first offered for sale in July 1978 with an order for 30 airliners by United Airlines. It was developed at the same time as the 757, its narrowbody sister. Prior to its public offering, it was referred to as the 7X7. With the 707 aging, Boeing decided to offer a mid-size wide-body aircraft to fit in between the 727/737/757 and the 747. The 767 has a fuselage width of 15 ft 6 in (472.44 cm) that is midway between the two other aircraft.

The first 767, a -200 was rolled out August 4, 1981 and first flew on September 26, 1981. Boeing planned to offer a shorter 767-100 with seating for 180 passengers, but was never offered for sale as the capacity was too close to the 757's.

Boeing 767: Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 N178DZ. Photo (CC) N701DN.Boeing 767: Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 N178DZ. Photo (CC) N701DN.

The 767 was designed using engines used on the 747 with wings sized to match. The wings were larger and provided longer range than the initial customers wanted. However, the larger wings only increased fuel usage slightly and provided better takeoff and landing performance. Boeing designed the 767 with enough range to fly across North America and across the northern Atlantic.

The flight decks of the Boeing 757 and 767 are very similar and as a result, after a short conversion course, pilots rated in the 757 are also qualified to fly the 767 and vice versa. The 767 was approved for U.S. CAT IIIb operation in March 1984. This revision permitted operations with minimums as low as RVR 300 (Runway Visual Range 300 feet). It was the first aircraft certificated for CAT IIIb by the U.S.

The 767-200 entered airliner service in 1982. Boeing would develop the higher gross weight 767-200ER (Extended Range) variant, the lengthed 767-300 and 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 would become the 777. Boeing would later develop a 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 in the early 1990s. After strong sales in 1997, sales have declined significantly, due to 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. As of August 2008, Boeing has received two orders in 2008 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 & 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).

Boeing 767: Boeing 767 cockpit - throttles. Photo (CC) Fly For Fun.Boeing 767: Boeing 767 cockpit - throttles. Photo (CC) Fly For Fun.

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 1035 orders, with 967 of those delivered as of October 2008. 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 767 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 crammed and this is not common. 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.

It can carry freight in Unit Load Devices such as LD2s and LD8s. Its fuselage width does not allow larger ULDs such as LD6s, LD11s, and LD3s. One of the design requirements of the 767's replacement, the Boeing 787, was for it to use the LD3/6/11 family of ULDs to solve the wasted volume issue.

Newer 767-200s and 767-300s, as well as all 767-400ERs, feature a 777-style cabin interior, also 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 variants of the 767, which were launched on three separate occasions. Although there are a total of three variants, several versions have been produced.

Boeing 767: Boeing 767-300 ER seating. Photo (CC) alobos online.Boeing 767: Boeing 767-300 ER seating. Photo (CC) alobos online.


The first model of the 767, and 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.

The 767-200ER extended-range variant was first delivered to El Al in 1984. It became the first 767 to complete a nonstop transatlantic journey, and broke the flying distance record for twinjet airliners several times.

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, resulting in a fuel tab of $488 per passenger (in 2008), assuming an aircraft with 79% of seats filled. Another source puts the cost of fuel of one cross country flight at $27,495 in 2008, up from $7,781 in 2004. The 787 is expected to be 20% more fuel efficient per passenger.

Although the 767-200ER has no direct replacement, it is expected to be replaced indirectly in Boeing's lineup by the 787-8. A total of 128 767-200s and 121 -200ERs had been delivered with no unfilled orders remaining as of 2008. 767-300

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 25 September.

Air Canada 767-300ER

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 minimum takeoff run of around 6,000 ft (1,825 m), and a maximum of 7,900 ft (2,400 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.

Boeing 767: Boeing 767 cockpit. Photo (CC) Ati977.Boeing 767: Boeing 767 cockpit. Photo (CC) Ati977.

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 767-300'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 November 2008, total orders for the 767-300/300ER/300F stand at 748 with 681 delivered. This includes 104 orders (all delivered) for the -300, 566 orders for the -300ER (529 delivered), and 82 orders for the -300F (49 delivered). 767-400ER

This final extended variant 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 14 September 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 canceled -400ERX development. Kenya Airways converted their order to the 777-200ER.

The 767-400ER's direct Airbus equivalent is the Airbus A330-300. The 767-400ER is expected to be replaced by the 787-9 in Boeing's lineup. A total of 37 767-400ERs had been delivered, with 16 to Continental Airlines and 21 to Delta Air Lines as of 2008. The most recent -400ER was to be the prototype for the E-10 program and is in storage pending a decision on its disposition since the program was canceled.

Incidents and accidents

As of 2008, the 767 has been in 40 incidents, including 11 hull-loss accidents, resulting in a total of 569 fatalities. The 767 has been in six hijackings involving 282 fatalities.

Boeing 767: C-GLCA, Air Canada Boeing 767-300. Photo (CC) caribb.Boeing 767: C-GLCA, Air Canada Boeing 767-300. Photo (CC) caribb.

Notable incidents

* On July 23, 1983, Air Canada Flight 143, a Boeing 767-200, ran out of fuel in flight and had to glide to an emergency landing. The pilots used the aircraft's ram air turbine to power the aircraft's hydraulic systems for control. There were no fatalities. This aircraft was nicknamed "Gimli Glider". The aircraft (C-GAUN) continued service within Air Canada until its retirement in January 2008.

* On May 26, 1991, Lauda Air Flight 004 crashed following the in-flight deployment of the left engine thrust reverser. None of the 223 aboard survived. As a result of this incident engine thrust reversers on all 767s were ordered to be deactivated until the system was redesigned.

* On November 23, 1996, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was hijacked, ran out of fuel, and crashed in the Indian Ocean near Comoros. The pilots used the aircraft's ram air turbine as an emergency power source. Of the 175 aboard, 123 died. Still, the incident is one of the few instances of a plane landing on water with survivors.

* On October 31, 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, a scheduled Los Angeles-New York-Cairo flight, in a Boeing 767-366ER, crashed off Nantucket Island, Massachusetts in international waters killing all 217 people on board. According to the NTSB, the aircraft was flown into the water by the first officer. This cause is disputed by the Egyptian government.

* Two Boeing 767 aircraft were involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and both crashed into the two towers of the World Trade Center. In addition to those on board the planes, 2602 people perished on the ground, mostly in the two towers.

o American Airlines Flight 11, a 767-223ER, crashed into the north tower, with 92 fatalities on board.

o United Airlines Flight 175, a 767-200, crashed into the south tower, with the loss of all 65 on board.

* On December 22, 2001 Richard Colvin Reid tried to bomb American Airlines Flight 63, a flight from Paris to Miami using a Boeing 767. Passengers and crew prevented him from bombing the aircraft and he was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned.

* On April 15, 2002, Air China Flight 129 a Boeing 767-200ER from Beijing to Busan, South Korea, crashed into a hill while trying to land at Gimhae International Airport during inclement weather, killing 128 of the 166 people on board.


More photos: Boeing 767 photo gallery

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