Boeing is to offer the new 767-400ER cockpit and cabin interior for retrofit on earlier models of the 767 family. It also intends to incorporate the changes to new purchases of the earlier -200/300 models.

Retrofitting with the new Honeywell-developed flat panel liquid crystal display is likely to appeal primarily to existing operators of the 767 wishing to maintain commonality following a purchase of the new -400ER or Longer Range -400ER, says Boeing.

Only two airlines - Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines - have ordered the -400ER to date. The two carriers already operate large numbers of earlier models which are equipped with the original first-generation electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) flightdeck. They also have sizeable deliveries of the various types to come, making them potential candidates for a switch to the latest standards. The airlines are also talking to Boeing about longer range -400ERs, for which only Kenya Airways has so far signed up.

However, Chris Kettering, the regional director, product marketing at Boeing says the first airline to sign up for the updated flight deck is likely to be a new customer who is talking about taking -200ERs. A decision is expected later this year.

With deliveries under way on the -400ER and design work of the longer range -400ER intensifying towards a firm configuration in the next few weeks, Boeing's product development department is turning its attention to filling in niche market opportunities for the 767 family.

The company has recently launched a study into a 12,300km (6,650nm) range version of the -300ER. The -300ERX would be the longest range member of the 767 family if it were launched. The aircraft would feed off longer range -400ER technology - principally the installation of a fuel tank in the horizontal tail.

A product development study is also under way on a high density 767-400ER aimed mainly at Asian and European charter operators. The aircraft would incorporate a larger Type A No.3 passenger door instead of the smaller Type 1 door, which would raise capacity from 375 to 410 passengers.

Source: Flight International