Production design of the 767-200 began in 1978 when an order for 30 short-to-medium-range 767s was announced by United Airlines. The first 767 was completed and rolled out of the Boeing plant in Everett, Wash., on Aug. 4, 1981. The airplane made its initial flight on Sept. 26, 1981.
The 767-300 program got under way in September 1983. This model is longer than the 767-200 by 10 feet (3.1 m) and has 20 percent more seating capacity (approximately 40 passengers) and 31 percent greater cargo volume. The first 767-300 was delivered to Japan Airlines in September 1986.
The 767’s uniquely low operating costs, are largely responsible for the fragmentation of the North Atlantic markets.
To take advantage of the airplanes’ increased ranges and long, over-water flights, several new features were added: an advanced propulsion system and auxiliary power unit with high-altitude start capability, a fourth hydraulic-motor-driven generator, increased cargo compartment fire-suppression capability and cooling sensors for electronic flight instruments.
The 767 has a long history of leading the way in technological innovation. Included in its list of “firsts” are: