STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Boeing Aircraft Company - USA
OPERATORS: Argentina; Mexico; New Zealand; Saudi Arabia; United Kingdom; United States
LENGTH: 155.25 feet (47.32 meters)
WIDTH: 124.84 feet (38.05 meters)
HEIGHT: 44.49 feet (13.56 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 127,515 pounds (57,840 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 255,031 pounds (115,680 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4 OR Pratt & Whitney PW2037 / PW2040 / PW2043 turbofan engines developing 36,600 to 43,500lbf each.
SPEED (MAX): 528 miles-per-hour (850 kilometers-per-hour; 459 knots)
RANGE: 4,525 miles (7,282 kilometers; 3,932 nautical miles)
CEILING: 41,995 feet (12,800 meters; 7.95 miles)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing 757 Intermediate Range Passenger Transport.
Entry last updated on 8/20/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
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.
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.
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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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (528mph).
Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Boeing 757-200's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
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