In response to the creation of the A300 by Airbus in the late 1970s, Boeing began designing the Model 767. The long-range 767th soon received orders from major airlines in the world.
After the end of World War II, civilian products for Douglas and Lockheed became dominant. Douglas, in the wake of the success of DC-3, has developed an even more advanced airliner. Lockheed has built an entire family of successful Constellation. The culmination of the development of piston airliners became the DC-7C and L-1649 Starliner.
During this period, only one airliner violated the hegemony of two firms – the Boeing Stratocruiser. Despite the commercial success of the Stratocruiser, military orders remained a priority for the Boeing; hundreds of tankers and strategic bombers were built for the US Air Force.
Boeing entered the “passenger club”, where it immediately took a dominant position, with a landmark 707th. Lockheed lost the competition, and Douglas remained the only Boeing rival. The 707th turned out to be so successful, so revolutionary in terms of design, based on the main model, a huge number of options were developed. The designation Model 717 was used for KS-135 tankers, which were built in large quantities for the US Air Force. The 727th is a revolutionary three-engine short-haul airliner optimized for operation at small aerodromes. For the 727th followed by the same purpose 737th, and the wide-body 747th with turbofan engines marked the beginning of a new era in the history of civil aviation.
About three years after the start of operation of the 747th, the Boeing dominance in the airliner market was violated by the European Airbus A300. At first, the project was perceived exclusively as “paper”, but the A300 quickly turned into a formidable competitor to Boeing. Design excellence made the A300 one of the world leaders; Airbus developed success by launching the A310. Neither the Boeing nor the Douglas produced twin-engine mid-range wide-body aircraft.
Boeing’s response to Airbus’s challenge was 7X7. Discussions and research on the 7X7 have been going on for a good 10 years. Various layouts were considered, including the use of T-plumage, engines mounted above the wing, etc. In July 1978, Boeing announced the 767th model, and Airbus introduced the A310 successor in the same month. In parallel with the 7X7, work was underway on the 7N7 – a narrow-body airliner to replace the 727th using 7X7 developments. Although the 7X7 received the designation 757 but went into the series as 767.
For the 767th, they chose the classic layout, the appearance of the aircraft is very reminiscent of its direct competitor from “Airbus”. Critics, especially European ones, quickly appreciated the similarities, forgetting that such a layout was first proposed by Boeing 20 years ago, but when experienced engineers independently solve one problem, they often come up with similar results.
The difference between the Boeing product was a smaller fuselage and a larger wing, designed for cruising at high altitude and having a reserve to increase the weight of the entire aircraft. The fuselage, smaller than that of the AZOO and A310, had a smaller frontal resistance, which made it possible to obtain a longer flight range. At the same time, I had to reduce the volume of luggage and cargo compartments and arrange the seats in the cabin (eight in a row) more closely. Airbus products turned out to be more attractive from an economic point of view, but Boeing outperformed its competitor in terms of range and altitude.
Despite the shortcomings, the 767th was guaranteed orders for the US domestic market, as the plane seemed ideal for economical transportation between major American cities. However, orders for the intra-American market were less than expected, as the Airbus concern began to make its first attempts to establish itself in the United States. And its main buyers were Eastern and Pan Am, these companies increased their European purchases, especially after the appearance of the A320.
In defiance of its European rival, Boeing received an order for 30 aircraft from United Air Lines on July 14, 1978, with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Trans World Airlines and USAir, which after takeover “Piedmont” canceled the order.
Assembly of the prototype began on July 6, 1979. Initially, the 767th was created for engines of two brands – Pratt & Whitney (JT9D) and General Electric (CF6); the choice of the power plant was carried out by the customer. General Electric engines were first installed on the fifth aircraft, which performed its first flight on February 19, 1982.
After intensive testing, the FAA certificate for the variant with the Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D turbojet engine with a thrust of 213.5 kN was received on July 30, 1982, and on August 19 the first delivery was made for United Air Lines. The CF6-80A variant of the same traction as the JT9D received the FAA certificate on September 30th. After 22 days, “United” began operating the 767th. Delta received the first 767th with CF6 on October 25th and released it on the line on December 15th.
The first option 767-200 was soon followed by others, quickly showing their profitability on medium-length lines. The aircraft for Delta had a configuration of 18 seats in the first-class cabin and 186 seats in the economy class cabin. “United” ordered the option of 24 / 180.24 first-class seats and 180 – economy class.
- Modification: Boeing 767-200
- Wingspan, m: 47.57
- Aircraft Length, m: 48.51
- The height of the aircraft, m: 15.85
- Wing Area, m2: 283.30
- Weight kg: empty loaded aircraft 81000; maximum take-off 143,000
- Engine type: 2 turbojet engine Pratt Whitney JT9D-7R4D (PW4050 or CF6-80A)
- Draft, kgs: 2 x 21772 (22700, 22680)
- Maximum speed, km / h: 967
- Cruising speed, km / h: 910
- Ferry range, km: 6800
- Practical range, km 4350
- Practical ceiling, m 13100
- Crew: 2
- Payload: 216 passengers in the mixed class cabin (18 in the first-class cabin and 198 passengers in the tourist class cabin), or 255-290 passengers in the tourist class cabin.