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Boeing 757

United States (1983)
Picture of Boeing 757 Intermediate Range Passenger Transport
Picture of Boeing 757 Intermediate Range Passenger Transport Picture of Boeing 757 Intermediate Range Passenger Transport
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The Boeing 757 aircraft appeared in 1983 and could carry over 270 passengers nearly 4,000 nautical miles.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing 757 Intermediate Range Passenger Transport.  Entry last updated on 6/21/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©

The 757-series airliner began as a 1970s Boeing endeavor to replace their aging 727 three-engined "trijet" airliner model. The move was part of a 1978 Boeing initiative to develop a new generation of airliners utilizing the latest in aviation technologies and resulted in the prospect of two new designs - the narrow-body Model 757 and wide-body Model 767 series. For the 757 design, Boeing elected to go the more conventional route and develop and airframe around the use of just two engines. The fuselage cross-section itself was based on the Model 727 however it was notably lengthened and optimized for the role of short-to-medium ranged flights. The fuselage would be capped by an all-new nose design and the cockpit would feature the latest in state-of-the-art flight instrumentation and technology. Additionally, an entirely new wing assembly was designed and to these assemblies would be fitted a pair of high bypass, fuel efficient turbofan engines - offering some 45% fuel savings compared to other airliner types elsewhere. Room for 150 to 239 passengers was envisioned and overall design of the aircraft was aided by computer drafting.

Boeing began development of the new airliner in 1978 and brought along the similar 767-series at the same time. Both would largely depend on the same technologies, design and construction methods in their manufacture. Their similarities were such that a pilot needed only to secure a rating in one that could clear him for flying the other. The Model 767 differed mainly from the 757 by its use of larger wings featuring increased sweep and a wider fuselage body. The main sections of tail, engines nacelles and undercarriage were consistent between the two designs. Of the two airframes, the 767 prototype actually achieved flight first with the 757 prototype following just a few short months later, this on February 19th, 1982. After passing its evaluation phase, the 757 was formally accepted into production by Boeing with the first model in the series being designated as the "757-200" (plans for a shorter-fuselage Model 757-100 were ultimately dropped when customer interest centered more on the 757-200 product, leaving the 757-200 as the "base" 757 model). Service of the type began in January of 1983. Initial Model 757 production examples were offered to awaiting customers with either the Rolls-Royce RB211-535 or General Electric CF6-32C1 turbofan engines. General Electric eventually dropped the CF6-32 series engines from their product line and opened the door for Pratt & Whitney to showcase their PW2037 turbofan into the Model 757 mix.

Picture of the Boeing 757 Intermediate Range Passenger Transport
Picture of the Boeing 757 Intermediate Range Passenger Transport

Externally, design of the 757 series was characterized by its long, slender fuselage. The cockpit was held well-forward in the design with the upper nose assembly sloping noticeably downwards. At the tail end, the fuselage sloped noticeably upwards. The wings were low-set monoplane installations with sweep along the leading and trailing edges. The large turbofan engines were housed in cylindrical nacelles and slung under each wing outboard of the main landing gear legs. The tail was conventional and made up of a tail vertical tail fin and a pair of horizontal tailplanes canted upwards. The undercarriage was fully retractable and consisted of a two-wheeled nose landing gear leg and a pair of four-wheeled main landing gear legs. The nose leg retracted forward while the main legs retracted inwards towards the fuselage centerline.

The 757 series consisted of other notable variants including the 757-200PF, the 757-200M "Combi" and the 757-300. The 757-200PF (PF = "Package Freighter") was a dedicated air freighter while the 757-200M was a conversion model to fit the passenger airliner or air freighter roles as needed by its operators. These two versions were constructed with a large main deck cargo door to facilitate loading and unloading of freight goods. The Model 757-300, first flying in August of 1998, raised total passenger seating to 240 persons in a stretched fuselage with reinforced wings and landing gear as well as an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) (270,000lbs). Deliveries of this model began in 1999. Total passenger quantity eventually reached 289.

The 757-series proved a financial success story for The Boeing Company to the point that over 1,000 airframes were ultimately ordered and subsequently produced for a variety of local and foreign operators. The type also went on to see some limited service in the militaries of several nations including the USAF which designated the type as the "C-32" and utilized them for VIP transportation of US Congress and presidential cabinet members (including the Vice President as "Air Force Two"). These were ordered in 1996 to help replace the aging 707 line (designated as the "VC-137" in USAF service) and fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW2040 series turbofan engines, an "air stair", improved communications suites and additional internal fuel stores for increased ranges. Deliveries were made in early 1998 to the 89th Airlift Wing out of Andrews Air Force Base. Argentina and Mexico eventually ordered the 757 for their own use, these also as VIP transports. Saudi Royal Flight procured the 757 for passenger airline travel.

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (528mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Boeing 757-200's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
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Origin: United States
Year: 1983
Type: Intermediate Range Passenger Transport
Manufacturer(s): Boeing Aircraft Company - USA
Production: 1,050
Global Operators:
Argentina; Mexico; New Zealand; Saudi Arabia; United Kingdom; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing 757-200 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.




155.25 ft

47.32 m


124.84 ft

38.05 m


44.49 ft

13.56 m


127,515 lb

57,840 kg


255,031 lb

115,680 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4 OR Pratt & Whitney PW2037 / PW2040 / PW2043 turbofan engines developing 36,600 to 43,500lbf each.


528 mph

850 kph

459 kts


4,525 mi

7,282 km

Nautical Miles
3,932 nm


41,995 ft

12,800 m

7.95 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

Variants: Series Model Variants
• 757-200 - Definitive Production 757; 228 to 234 passengers in single-class cabin.
• 757-200PF - Cargo variant of the 757-200 passenger model; beginning service in 1987; sans cabin windows; forward left-side cargo door.
• 757-200SF "Special Freighter" - Left forward fuselage cargo door; sans passenger cabin windows.
• 757-200M - Royal Nepal Airlines high-altitude passenger/freighter conversion model; appearing in 1986; removeable seats for cargo storage; single example produced for service in 1988.
• 757-300 - Lengthened version of the 757-200 base production variant; 280-289 passenger seating in single-class cabin; reduced operational range; 55 examples produced.
• C-32A - USAF VIP passenger transport based on the 757-200 model; "Air Force 2" for the Vice President of the United States.
• C-32B - USAF US State Department passenger transport.