One of the world's most environmentally friendly airplanes, the Boeing 767-400ER (extended range), enters revenue service today with Delta Air Lines, flying between New York's LaGuardia Airport and Florida's Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.
Sized between the Boeing 767-300ER and the Boeing 777-200, the 767-400ER is the newest member of the 767 family. The Boeing 767-400ER features a lengthened fuselage, additional wing span, improved electrical and air-conditioning systems, increased takeoff weight and a new 777-style interior.
"Today's flight is possible because of work that began more than four years ago by a team composed of members from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Delta Air Lines and The Boeing Company," said Peter Weertman, 767 chief engineer and the executive who led the Boeing involvement. "We worked together to find a solution that worked for all."
That solution included building an airplane that exceeds the most stringent environmental requirements, designing innovative raked wingtips so the airplane would provide improved performance and fuel efficiency and still fit into LaGuardia's existing gate structure. Also completed were minor modifications to the airport to accommodate the airplane's longer turning radius and gross weight.
"From the very beginning, Delta told us that a larger 767 would need to fit into LaGuardia's existing gate structure as well as continue being a good neighbor to the community," Weertman said. "Community noise and engine emission are huge issues at LaGuardia, and the 767-400ER was designed to help reduce them."
The Port Authority has taken a series of steps to accommodate the new 767s at LaGuardia, including taxiway improvements and new lights.
"The 767-400ER is consistent with the Port Authority's goal to reduce flight delays and congestion at LaGuardia Airport by increasing efficiency - limiting the overall number of flights by encouraging airlines to use larger, state-of-the-art planes that can carry more passengers and that are quieter, more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly," said Port Authority Director of Aviation William DeCota. "This way, LaGuardia can accommodate more passengers on fewer flights, and it can be sensitive to the concerns of our neighbors who live and work near the airport."
Today's Boeing jets are generally 10 times quieter than those introduced 20 years ago. The 767-400ER releases approximately 1 percent of the hydrocarbons, 10 percent of the carbon monoxide and 50 percent of the smoke of the L-1011. The Boeing 767-400ER meets 2004 emission standards for carbon monoxide hydrocarbons, smoke and nitrogen oxides set forth by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The airplane's highly back-swept (raked) wing-tip extensions increase the 767's 156-foot wingspan to 170 feet, 4 inches (51.9 meters) giving it a 5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. The raked wingtips also allow more gate and taxiway flexibility than any competing airplane model. The Boeing 767-400ER uses the same gates as the DC-10-30, MD-11 and L-1011, unlike the A330-200, which must use gates sized by the industry for larger airplanes.
"The Boeing 767-400ER is just the right size to carry passengers from Atlanta to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and it's got the legs to do it," said Mac Armstrong, Delta's executive vice president of operations. "I'm very excited about this airplane because not only does it fit into our fleet structure, it gives us a real competitive advantage in this case for operations out of LaGuardia," he said.
Delta is the world's largest 767 operator with 110 767s in its fleet, including 15 767-400ERs. Delta was the launch customer for the airplane and has ordered 21 of the 767-400ERs, with options for an additional 24.
To date, Boeing has delivered more than 830 767s and has received orders for 906 airplanes from 80 customers around the globe.