Making just one aircraft is pretty darn impressive. Making 100 isn’t too shabby. But you know you have made it as an airliner if there have been a 1000 of your kind made. Although Boeing has made over 6600 Boeing 737’s, making 1000 767’s is nothing to sneeze at (wow, it would suck to be allergic to airplanes).
The 767 and 757 were designed together and were as close to siblings as airliners can get. They both have similar flight decks and handling abilities so that pilots could easily be cross-trained. The 767 was the first wide-bodied, twin-engine airliner that Boeing made and the first wide-bodied airliner to go to a 2-person flight deck crew. The first Boeing 767 took flight on September 26, 1981 and entered service with United airlines about a year later in September 1982. Since then the airplane has served many airlines well, but it might have always been a little jealous of its skinnier and more popular sibling, the 757.
When the last Boeing 757 was built in October 2004, there had been 1050 buit. For a while it seemed like the 757 would have been the more successful sister of the two aircraft as sales of the 767 have declined greatly over the past few years.
Currently, Boeing has delivered 995 Boeing 767’s and have another 50 on order. That means if the tanker deal doesn’t go through and no more aircraft are ordered, the 757 will go down in history with more aircraft built: 1050 vs 1045.
The Boeing 767 has remained in production for two major reasons: making it the next generation of military tanker and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner delays. Many airlines, including All Nippon Airways (ANA), were counting on the 787 Dreamliner to be completed long ago. Boeing has worked with airlines to provide them with temporary Boeing 767-300ER’s. “A couple years ago we started having discussions about providing 767s on an interim basis to some Dreamliner buyers as well as other carriers looking for twin-aisle planes. We saw interest from all regions for both passenger airplanes and freighters,” Leslie Hazzard with Boeing 767 Communications explained to me.
Although Boeing does say they have made deals with airlines, they aren’t willing to speak financial specifics, “We don’t discuss the financing terms that were considered, but at the time we said publicly that any deal would involve long-term commitments and need to make good business sense for both the airlines needing the lift and for the Boeing organizations involved,” Hazzard stated.
So, why bring up the 1000th Boeing 767 again? On Monday Boeing invited a few folks out to take a look at the final assembly of the 1000th 767, which will have registration number JA622A. ANA hopes to take ownership of the aircraft sometime during the third or fourth week of February. The special 1000th 767 event was pretty interesting. Boeing executives spoke at a podium next to the plane and workers from around the factory started to gather around and listen. Once the event was done, the workers went right back to getting the 1000th 767 ready to fly.
Right now, Boeing is storing three 787 Dreamliners on the current 767 line. There were two ANA 787’s (one in white livery, another in full livery) and one Air India. Unfortunately we weren’t able to take photos of the 787 at that time, but it was very cool seeing how different the ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner parked right next to an ANA Boeing 767. The 767 is a wonderful aircraft that has served the world well and hopefully will continue to do so, but seeing it next to the 787, it is obvious that the Dreamliner is the next generation of airliner.
CHECK THIS STUFF OUT:
* 23 photos of the 1000th Boeing 767
* Story and video from Glenn Farley at KING5
* Story and photos from Aubrey Cohen at the Seattle PI
* Story from Michelle Dunlop on the Everett Herald