The Boeing 757 is a medium-range transcontinental commercial
passenger airplane manufactured by Boeing
Commercial Airplanes. Production of the 757 ended in October 2004 after
1,050 had been built.
By the mid-Super70s, it was becoming clear that the airlines needed a
replacement for their aging and expensive to maintain 727s.
Boeing announced plans for a 7N7 (the N for narrow) and finally managed to
secure the orders it needed to go ahead in 1979 from British
Airways and Eastern
Airlines. It took another two years for Boeing to find another buyer,
At the time, the aircraft looked remarkably like a 727. By the time the
prototype was shown off, it looked a lot more like it's wide-body twin,
the 767. The aircraft made its first flight on
February 19, 1982 and was put into service on New Year's Day, 1983 by Eastern
Airways began 757 service on February 9, 1983.
The 757 was designed by Boeing to complement the 767
on less dense routes. Originally conceived as the Boeing 727-300, a
stretched variant over the 727-200, the 757 was a newer design. Original
designs of this plane featured a "T-tail" as the Boeing 727 but
a conventional tail was ultimately adopted.
The 757 has transatlantic range, and was one of the earliest ETOPS-rated
airliners. For better economics, the passenger capacity is increased by 50
over the 727.
The 757 uses many of the same components as the widebody 767, and the
two planes have a common FAA type-rating, enabling flight crews to earn
certification for both by training and testing only on one. The 757
maintains the same fuselage diameter as the previous 707, 727, and 737.
On October 16, 2003, Boeing announced production of the 757 would end
some time in 2004. The 757 was discontinued just after sales had reached
1000. The 737-900 fulfills Boeing's marketing niche previously occupied by
the 757, though it does not have the same range or take-off performance.
Indeed, the 757 was preferred by airlines which needed to traverse long,
thin routes, chiefly transcontinental and transatlantic routes. It was
also desired by airlines flying from hot and high climates, such as Mexico
City. The 757 has sometimes been called the Rocket Plane because of its
ability to rapidly climb (it is able to carry its full Maximum Take Off
Weight, and climb to 41,000 feet faster than any other airplane).
The 757's resale value has increased since the discontinuation of new
production. In fact, a December 29, 2004 order from Continental Airlines
for Boeing's new 787-8 and currently-produced 737-800 airliners included
ten used 757-300s.
The 757 is the first Boeing airliner launched with non-US engines,
Rolls-Royce RB211-535. Later, however, the Pratt & Whitney PW2000 was
also offered as an option. Initially, a General Electric engine, the
CF6-32, was also offered, but was cancelled due to lack of interest from
The United States Air Force has fitted 757s for VIP transport duties:
designated C-32, these aircraft are often used to transport the Vice
President of the United States under the callsign "Air Force
Two". The Royal New Zealand Air Force has two 757s that are used for
transporting troops and VIPs. One 757 is also serving as a VIP and
Presidential Transport aircraft in Argentina, and another one is also
serving in the VIP and Presidential transport role in Mexico. A Boeing 757
is also used by the royal family of Saudi Arabia as a flying hospital.
Senator John Kerry used a chartered 757-200 from TransMeridian Airlines
nicknamed Freedom Bird as his campaign jet during the 2004 U.S.
At least two 757s are in use as private aircraft, by supermarket
magnate Ronald Burkle and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Allen also
purchased a 757 to serve as team aircraft for the Portland Trail Blazers.
The majority of 757s are in domestic service with U.S. carriers, most
notably American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. American operates the
largest fleet of 757s and Delta comes in at a close second only by about
20 planes. United Airlines, Continental Airlines, US Airways, America West
Airlines, and Northwest Airlines also operate the type. Some airlines,
such as Icelandair, Continental Airlines, American Airlines and ATA
Airlines use the aircraft for transoceanic flights. For many airlines,
like Royal Brunei and Royal Nepal Airlines, the 757 provided them an
economical intercontinental airliner allowing such airlines for the first
time service to European cities. For many third world airlines, the 757 is
also a perfect substitute to the aging Boeing 707s in their fleet.
The 757 is a popular aircraft for holiday/charter Airlines in the UK
currently Thomas Cook Airlines, First Choice Airways, Monarch Airlines,
Titan Airways, Excel Airways, Astraeus and Thomsonfly. The 757 can reach
South Africa as well as places nearer to Britain such as Amsterdam and
After initially successful sales, the sales of the 757 went down
dramatically from the middle of the 1990s onwards. The 757 was first
bought mainly by airlines wishing to tap long and thin (as well as young)
routes. However, as the routes matured, the 757 was replaced by widebody
airliners with better economics.
On the short haul market, airlines consider the 757 too big as it is
profitable only when it is at least three-quarters full. The short haul
markets are better served by the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families of
airliners. Should the passenger load reach three-quarters, the A321 and
the 737-900 are more economical. Although neither have the range of the
757, they fulfill the requirements of 90% of the routes served by the 757.
The 757 became the victim of changing market condition rather than
technical obsolescence. However, the 757 has found new life among many
American airlines, its range enabling it to economically service
"long-thin" trans-Atlantic markets such as Copenhagen, Glasgow
and Shannon from East Coast hubs.
The 1,050th and last 757 destined for Shanghai Airlines rolled off the
production line at Renton on October 28, 2004. The 757-200 is being
replaced in the short term by the 737-900ER, and in the long term by the
Y1. The 757-300 is being replaced by the 787-3 widebody.
||February 19, 1982
||August 2, 1998
|200 (12 + 188)
||243 (12 + 231)
||1,670 ft³ (43.3 m3)
||8,430 ft³ (239 m3)
||2,370 ft³ (67.1 m3)
||128,730 lb (58,390 kg)
||141,330 lb (64,110 kg )
|Max. takeoff weight
||255,000 lb (115,680 kg)
||272,500 lb (123,600 kg)
||11,489 US gal (43,490 l)
||11,276 US gal (42,680 l)
||11,466 US gal (43,400 l)
||3,928 nautical miles (7,275 km)
||3,150 nautical miles (5,834 km)
||3,467 nautical miles (6,421 km)
||540 mph (868 km/h) 530 knots (982
||41,000 ft (12,500
||155 ft 3 in (47.32
||178 ft 7 in (54.47 m)
||124 ft 10 in (38.05
||44 ft 6 in (13.56
||Two Rolls-Royce RB211, Pratt &
Whitney PW2037, Pratt & Whitney PW2040,
or Pratt & Whitney PW2043 high-bypass ratio turbofan engines,
rated at 36,600 lbf (163 kN) to 43,500 lbf (193 kN) thrust each