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Sunday, October 31, 1999 Published at 12:54 GMT


Boeing 767: Transatlantic workhorse

The Boeing 767 was launched 17 years ago

The Boeing 767 is the most widely used airplane across the Atlantic, clocking up more transatlantic flights than any other type of plane.

The loss of flight 990
According to Boeing press releases, 767s take more than 11,000 flights between the United States and Europe each month. Up to the beginning of October 1999, a total of 66 airlines had flown 767s on more than 1,260,000 flights,

The 767 is estimated to have carried 813 million passengers on more than 3 million flights since it first entered service on 8 September, 1982.

By 30 April 1999, the manufacturers had delivered a total of 746 Boeing 767 airplanes. More than two-thirds of those were 767-300 versions.

[ image: Range of 767 from New York]
Range of 767 from New York
The 746th plane was delivered to Aeroflot at the beginning of this month.

In March last year, the first 767 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) planes were delivered - to the government of Japan.

The Egypt Air plane which has gone missing off the east coast of United States is a 767-300ER - one of five types of 767 currently in civilian use.

The others include the 767-300 Freighter, currently used by companies such as UPS. A new 767, the high-capacity 767-400ER, is scheduled to be launched next year.

Specifications listed on Boeing's website state that the 300ER is a two-aisle twinjet plane with seating capacity of 218 in three classes, or 269 in two classes.

It is capable of flying up to 7,080 miles in one stretch, can reach a maximum altitude of 35,200ft (10,725m), and has a cruising speed of Mach 0.80 (530mph/850kmh).

[ image: An AWACS 767, delivered to the Japanese government]
An AWACS 767, delivered to the Japanese government
Information on the Boeing website states: "It can fly up to 7,660 statute miles (12,330 km), making possible such nonstop flights as New York to Beirut, Lebanon; London to Bombay, India; and Tokyo to Sydney, Australia with 181 passengers in a three-class configuration."

It is is 180ft 3in (54.9m) long, and has a tail height of 52ft (15.8m).

The plane's engines - the 767 range uses Pratt and Whitney PW4000s, Rolls Royce RB211-524s and General Electric CF6-80C2Bs - are designed to be able to operate individually, if one sustains damage.

In May 1991, a 767-300ER crashed near Suphan Buri Province, Thailand because one of its engine thrust reversers accidentally deployed during a climb.

The jet lost 25-30% of its lift and plunged out of control, killing all 10 crew and 213 passengers.

Boeing's media webpages stated earlier this month that the plane has "a level of safety and reliability that matches any other airplane in the commercial fleet".

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