Photo Gallery: Boeing Celebrates Completion of 1,000th 767 Jet
The 1,000th airliner has the distinction of going to Tokyo based ANA (All Nippon Airways). The aircraft is a 767-300ER passenger model, registered JA622A. Since the planes first flight in 1981 a handful of passenger and cargo variants have hit the skies, including the -200, -300/ER, -400, -300F, and the aerial refueling tanker.
As if rolling out the 1,000th airplane was not enough, Boeing also introduced the public to their newest assembly line. The new line was built specifically for the 767 in an effort to increase efficiency in the manufacturing/assembly process. The production bay incorporates a number of changes and upgrades that are expected to result in a “20-30%” increase in efficiency, according to a company official who declined to elaborate further. The 1,001st frame is currently under production on the new line, which will replace the previous line.
The 767 is widely considered by the industry to be well past its heyday, surviving the past few years mostly on a handful of passenger orders from ANA and JAL along with freighters from UPS. The future of the program is widely expected to rest on the outcome of the hotly contested US Air Force KC-X aerial refueling competition, in which Boeing has invested deeply. Winning the competition would likely keep the sparkling new line running for years to come. Commenting on the tanker competition and future of the program Mr. Albaugh remarked that “we want to win [the contract], we’re going to win it, we should win it, but even if we don’t, we’ve taken enough costs out of this airplane that we can…be more competitive against the [Airbus] A330 as a result.”
“It takes an incredible airplane to make it to the 1,000 unit,” said the 767 Vice President Kim Pastega. Only time will tell how many more are to come.
NYCAviation correspondent Daniel Jones and staff member Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren contributed to this report.