Alan Peaford

The biggest aircraft to be making its debut at Farnborough this year is the latest addition to Boeing's twin-aisle fleet, the Boeing 767-400ER.The extended range version of the aircraft that dominates the transatlantic route (the 767 flies the Atlantic more frequently than all the other jetliners combined) had its inaugural flight in October. The first model will be handed over to Delta Air Lines once the demonstration tour, which takes in Farnborough, is complete next month. Boeing currently has 51 orders for the aircraft, including 21 from launch customer Delta, 26 from Continental Airlines and has an order from Kenyan Airways for the first 767-400ERX. The aircraft will be on the static display, giving future passengers and owners the opportunity to see the new interior design, based on -the successful Boeing 777 fittings.


The new -ER model will typically carry 245 passengers in a three-class configuration, 304 in a two-class configuration and as many as 375 -passengers in a single class configuration. With a potential range of London to Tokyo or Los Angeles, the 767-400ER offers huge potential for airlines looking at new city pairings, -as well as the growing -holiday charter market in Europe. The aircraft on display features the GE powerplant - the CF6-80C2 with 28,804kg (63,500lbs) of thrust.- It can also be fitted with -Pratt & Whitney's PW4000 engines. The 767's cabin is more than 1.2m (4ft) wider than single-aisle jetliners and allows customers to select four, -five, six, seven or eight -abreast seating to best suit their operational requirements. The lower-deck space has capacity of 129.6 m3 (4,580 ft3 ) for baggage and cargo. Peter Weertman, Boeing's programme manager for the -400ER says the aircraft is designed to be the most -efficient airplane in its size category, "It is an ideal replacement for aging L-1011, DC10-30 and A300 airplanes," he says.


Weertman points to a whole range of improvements that lead Boeing to point to the 767-400ER as a market leader. This derivative shares many common features with the 757/767 family of airplanes and therefore has a common pilot type-rating between the 757 - and the 767 with minimal additional instruction required for a pilot to switch between models. The new flight deck makes the airplane easier to maintain and provides flexibility to tailor the equipment to their training needs. The instrument panel uses six large LCD's in the same arrangement as the 777, 747-400 and the 737 next generation flight decks. The panel was a triumph for Boeing engineers as it contains 82% fewer parts than earlier 767s. By using cast parts, the part count was reduced to 53 from 296. Production hours plummeted to 20h from 180h.ExtensionsThe 767-400ER also features new raked wing tip extensions that increase the 767's wingspan to 52 metres. The 2.4m wing extensions are designed to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the wing. Boeing's Chris Kettering, regional director of product marketing emphasises that this gives the aircraft another advantage. "We can use the same gates as the DC10, the MD11, and the L1011," he says, "unlike the A330-200 which must use gates sized by the industry for large aircraft, such as the 777 or the 747"


It is the interior design of the cabin that will dazzle showgoers. The newly sculpted walls, ceilings and stow bins enhance the wide open feeling that passengers have praised on the 777. "The overhead bins have more space and a higher profile giving more headroom," says Weertman. "The whole look is very very impressive."

Source: Flight Daily News