The Boeing 757 is a short to medium range single aisle passenger aircraft launched by Eastern Airlines and British Airways back in 1983 and was mainly build as a direct replacement for the Boeing 727. Production of the Boeing 757 was ended on October 28, 2004 after more than a 1,000 had been built for customers all over the world.
As pointed out earlier, the 757 was primarily designed by Boeing to replace the aging 727 and further complement 767 fleets on thin routes. At first, Boeing offered its design as a stretched and re-engined version of the 727-200, which was designated as the 727-300. As no interest was shown from the industry, Boeing proceeded with other concepts featuring a "T-tail" configuration with under-wing engines, but eventually adopted a conventional tail. Just like previous models like the 707 and 727, the 757 retains the same upper-fuselage diameter. Unlike earlier Boeing models, the 757 was the first airliner launched with engines produced from outside the United States, with early customers selecting the Rolls-Royce RB211 engine. Soon after, Pratt & Whitney offered the PW2000 which was launced by Delta Airlines.
The 757 is used on both heavy domestic routes and long-haul routes between Europe and Asia, and between North America and Europe. Many experts see the aircraft as an overpowered one. Although the excess power in cold climates is used for better climb performance this is particularly useful for hot and high climates, such as Mexico City. For purposes of ATC separation, the FAA requires greater separation behind a 757 than other large category aircraft as it has the tendency to produce strong wake turbulence.
The majority of 757s in operation are in service with carriers operating within the U.S., with Delta Airlines and American Airlines being the fist and second largest customers of the type. The 757 is also a favorite aircraft of many holiday and charter airlines operating in the UK. Astraeus, First Choice Airways, Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomsonfly, Titan Airways and XL Airways operate a fleet of more than 70 aircraft with British Airways operating their aircraft on many short-haul routes.
Although Boeing has ceased production of the 757, the aircraft can be fitted with blended winglets, available from Boeing Aviation Partners Inc, as a retrofit to increase fuel efficiency and range. The company claims that improvements of 5% on fuel efficiency and 200 nautical miles extra range can be obtained by installing these winglets on the aircraft. At this moment the winglets have only been approved for the Boeing 757-200 series as 757-200WL, and are pending for the 757-300 series.
The Boeing 757-200 is a member of the popular 757/767 family and carries up to 220 passengers in an all economy configuration. Although it doesn't have many resemblances with the 767, its systems are almost identical. This gives pilots the opportunity to fly both types with the same type-rating. This means that pilots that are qualified to fly one of the aircraft also can fly the other with only minimal additional familiarization.