The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twinjet airliner capable of carrying between 180 and 250 passengers in a typical three class configuration. Depending on the variant, the 767 has a range of 5,200 to 6,590 nautical miles. The first aircraft in the series, the Boeing 767-200, entered service in 1982 with launch customer United Airlines.
The Boeing 767 was produced in tandem with the smaller size Boeing 757, its narrow-body sister. As the Boeing 707 was aging, Boeing saw the need for a mid-size airliner that could fit capacity-wise between the Boeing 737/757 and the 747. After its completion, the 767 was the first wide-body aircraft ever that was operated by a two-men crew. Furthermore, the 767 was designed using engines used on the 747 with wings sized to match. The wings were significantly larger compared to customer needs and provided them with longer range and better overall take-off and landing performance.
Seating within the aircraft can be arranged in a typical economy configuration with a 2-3-2 arrangement or in a common business config with a 2-2-2 arrangement. Although uncommon, the aircraft can be fitted with a 2-4-2 configuration.
As the 767 was designed alongside the 757 it has some major similarities of which the flight deck is most obvious one. Both flight decks are very similar and as a result pilots rated on the 757 are also qualified to on the 767 after a short conversion course.
All (newer) 767 versions feature a 777-style cabin interior, known as the "Boeing Signature Interior". Besides this, the Boeing 767-400ER features larger windows found on the 777. Before the 777 was actually designed, Boeing thought of a partial double deck aircraft with parts of a 757 fuselage built over the aft fuselage of the baseline 767 model. However, these concepts were not accepted and Boeing shifted to an all new airliner that would become the Boeing 777-200.
After its introduction in the early 1980s, the Boeing 767 became a commercial success with selling peaks between the late 1980s and late 1990s. Sales began to decline after 1997 mainly due to economic recession of the early 2000s and increased competition from Airbus and its direct replacement program, the Boeing 787.
The Boeing 767-300 a lengthened version of the baseline 767 model and was ordered by Japan Airlines in 1983. It took of for the skies for the first time on January 14, 1986, with delivery taking place on September 25 that same year. The extended range version of the -300, the -300ER, flew for the first time in late 1986 after it was ordered by launch customer American Airlines only a year later. Additional range was achieved by adding more fuel capacity while the overal design of the aircraft remained unchanged.
The Boeing 767-400ER, the final extended variant, was launched in 1997 after both Delta Airlines and Continental Airlines placed an order for the type. Both airlines wanted to replace their aging fleet of Lockheed L-1011 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft and saw the 767-400ER as the perfect replacement. The aircraft was stretched by 21.1 feet compared to the -300ER with a further increase of winspan length and the addition of "raked wingtips". The aircraft was introduced in 2000 and was only available as the 767-400ER as there was no 767-400 variant. However, its range is less than the other two ER (-200ER / 300ER) variants.