The Boeing 757 is a medium-range, transcontinental commercial passenger airplane
manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was designed for Eastern Airlines
and British Airways to replace the Boeing 727 and entered service in 1983.
Production of the 757 ended in October, 2004, after 1,050 had been built.
The 757, originally designated 7N7, was designed by Boeing to complement the
767 on less dense routes. It has transatlantic range and was one of the earliest
ETOPS rated airliners. As it needs to fly high and far, it is fitted with
relatively high thrust engines. 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 aircrews and maintenence personnel can quickly be
cross-trained from one type to the other. The 757 maintains the same fuselage
diameter as the previous 707, 727, and 737. The 757 was discontinued just after
crossing the 1000 produced mark. The 737-900 fulfills Boeing's marketing
niche previously occupied by the 757, though does not have the same range.
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's
resale value has increased since the cessation of 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.
It has been manufactured in two basic variants. The 757-200 is shorter and has
a longer operating range than the 757-300. The -100 was to be a variant but was
not built. Some airlines truncate the full designations of these aircraft and
refer to them as the 752 and 753.
This is the initial design with 150 seat capacity which is the direct
replacement of the 727. It failed to generate interest and was not built.
The 757-200 is the definitive version and forms the majority of the 757.
It has also been manufactured in freighter (757-200F) and passenger-freight
combi (757-200M) versions. In the late 1990's some of the airliner 757-200s were
converted to freighters.
The 757-300 is a stretched version trading range for passenger capacity.
The plane first flew in August, 1996. The 757-300 is configured to carry 252
passengers. Range is 3,500 n.mi. Only 55 have been ordered.
Private and military variants
The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States Air Force have fitted
757s for VIP transport duties and at least one is in use as a
private aircraft, that of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Presidential
challenger John Kerry used a chartered 757-200, nicknamed "Freedom Bird"
during the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign. The Royal New Zealand Air Force
RNZAF has two that are used for transporting troops and VIPs. A 757 is also
serving as the Presidential Transport in Argentina.
The majority of 757s are found in domestic service with U.S. carriers.
Some airlines, such as Icelandair, 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 them, for the first
time, to provide service to European cities. For many third world airlines the 757 is
also a perfect substitute to the ageing Boeing 707s in their fleet.
After successful initial sales, sales of the 757 went down dramatically
from the middle of the 1990's on. 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. 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 conditions rather than technical obsolescence.
The 1,050th and last 757 rolled off the production line at Renton on October 28,
2004. Boeing will now focus on Next Generation 737 models and the 787
designed to replace both the 757 and 767.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Boeing 757".