Boeing has completed the firm design configuration of the stretched 767-400ER, revealing an upgraded flightdeck and a new-look cabin based on the 777 interior design.

The bulk of the design was fixed by September 1997, but airline pressure drove Boeing to conduct trade studies on the additional features, and final reviews with the airline flightdeck upgrade group were carried out in December, says 767-400ER programme manager John Quinlivan. "We've a two-package set-up, an initial introductory package and then an upgrade which will include new features such as maintenance displays," he says.

The flightdeck will incorporate six flat-panel displays arranged in the now-standard Boeing layout of five across and one down. "We will use 777 components with little or no changes. Fortunately, the 767 and 777 are very similar geometrically at windshield-post level, so we're able to build on that and enhance 777 features where we can," Quinlivan adds.

As with the Next Generation 737 flightdeck, the digital displays will be programmable to show data in either a "round dial" or "PFD" (primary flight-display) format. The functionality will be the same, Quinlivan says, but the display flexibility will allow for the same pilot-type rating on the current 767, 757 and 737 in round-dial format, and the Next Generation 737, 747-400 and 777 in PFD mode.


Details of the avionics manufacturers involved have not been released, although Honeywell and Rockwell-Collins are known to be involved in the design work. "Eventually we plan to implement this flightdeck on the -300, but we don't anticipate retrofitting any flightdecks," adds Quinlivan.

Roll-out of the first 767-400 is on schedule for August 1999. The final span has been set at 52m, compared to 47.6m for the current aircraft. The span is increased with composite-raked tip extensions supported on metal spars. The extensions are "in-plane" with the wing and have virtually twice the sweep angle.

The new interior, with sculpted side walls, ceilings and larger overhead stow bins is based on the "open" 777 architecture, and was particularly pushed by the airlines along with the flightdeck, says Boeing. The -400ER will be 6.4m longer than the -300 and carry up to 245 in three classes, or 304 in two-class configurations.

Another major difference is the new main gear which will be 440mm taller, to increase the rotation angle for take-off and landing. The gear will be made from new, larger forgings and will have wheels, brakes and tyres identical with those on the 777. To enable it to fit into the same cavity, the main gear and trunnion fittings are being moved slightly outboard.

Two main GE engines are offered, a CF6-80C2B7F and a more-powerful -B8F version.

Source: Flight International