Boeing 767-200 ER, -300 ER. 1989.

Kraków 2009-10-07


285 b Rozdział 24.04.1989 year.

Boeing B-767-200 ER, –300 ER in Poland.

Boeing 767-200 ER SP-LOB Balice. 2004 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Boeing 767-200 ER SP-LOB Balice. 2004 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Artistic vision of a Boeing 767 in the colors of PLL LOT. 1988 year. Photo of Boeing.
Artistic vision of a Boeing 767 in the colors of PLL LOT. 1988 year. Photo of Boeing.

In order to understand why at the end of the 1980s, in Poland ruled by communists, such a modern passenger plane from evil capitalism (as we were taught at the time) appeared, we must go back a few years early.

On March 14, 1980, the Iliuszyn Il-62 SP-LAA plane fell to the ground. All people on board were killed. The national carrier PLL LOT was changing the fleet. Ił-62 M planes with a completely different power unit were purchased. Unfortunately, on May 9, 1987, the Il-62 M SP-LBG fell to the ground. Again, everyone on board died, and ironically the cause was similar. Disadvantages of engines. Polish society is in shock. There is only one conclusion. You can't fly these machines any longer. The Americans ban the Iliuszyn Il-62 machines from arriving in their country. The Russian side is strong, but they are taking the planes back.

And then it turned out that PLL LOT does not have a single machine capable of maintaining the Atlantic connection. After many talks, decisions were made and in 1987, a contract was signed for the annual lease by LOT Polish Airlines of one Douglas DC-8 Super 62 aircraft, registration N8968U serial number 46069.

This solution was of course an ad hoc and the entire Polish society waited for concrete steps by the government. Finally, on November 4, 1988, the Government Press Office announced that the Prime Minister had approved LOT Polish Airlines' intention to lease three new, modern long-distance Boeing B-767 aircraft. The news made the Poles extremely happy, especially those behind Wielka Woda. At that time, there were approximately 140 B-767 airplanes operated by 36 airlines.

The lease was to be for up to 20 years. Thanks to this, it did not burden the state budget very much, because it was financed annually only with foreign currencies (exchangeable currency - zlotys were not exchangeable then) from the receipts of PLL LOT. The owners of the planes were an alliance of several American banks. It was also thanks to the Polish community.

Why was the Boeing B-767 selected? According to experts, it was the best plane in the world at that time. In 1984, it was the first twin-engine to be approved for transocean flights. The previous condition was a minimum of three engines. Boeing has had the most experience in passenger transportation over long distances and serving mass passengers. The Boeing service network was already well-developed in Europe. There were already several depots-warehouses for spare parts.

Aircraft construction.

LOT Polish Airlines has ordered three Boeing B-767 planes, in two different versions. The first two planes are the Boeing 767-200 ER. It is the basic version of the airframe, taking 208 passengers on board. 18 business class and 190 economy class seats in two cabins. ER (extended range) letters distinguish the model with an extended range of over 12,000 km. The prototype of the aircraft made its first flight in 1984. The power unit consists of General Electric CF6-80C2B6 engines, with a thrust of 2 x 266.9 kN. The price of the plane is $ 56-66 million. The contract stated that the first copy would be delivered in April 1989 and the second in May 1989.

The third copy is the Boeing 767-300 ER. The aircraft has a fuselage 6.5 m longer and thus takes 249 passengers, and the lower hold volume increased by 33%. 24 passengers in business class and 225 in economy. The fuselage, wings and undercarriage were strengthened. The first flight of this model was made in January 1986. The price of such a plane is $ 67-74 million. Delivered for PLL LOT in June 1990.

In the USA, in Everett, Washington, the construction of Polish aircraft was carried out as planned. It was already known that the first aircraft would receive the SP-LOA registration, and the second SP-LOB. The employees of the aviation giant, who admit to their Polish roots, put a lot of heart in the production. On April 16, 1989, a solemn mass was held with the blessing of the first machine. The celebration attracted a large number of Poles. The mass was celebrated and the plane was blessed by the priest of the Polish parish of Saint Bridget in Seattle-Tacoma, priest Józef Calik.

On April 23, 1989, at the Boeing Field Flight Test Center in Seatte, a Boeing 767-200 ER aircraft in the colors of PLL LOT stood at RWY, with a length of 2,800 m. The first modern Polish passenger plane. At this time, the handover ceremony of the plane to the Polish company takes place in the hangar. There were present representatives of Boeing management, vice-president of Boeing, Mr. Albrecht, director of PLL LOT for commercial matters, Mr. Z. Dąbrowski, captain pilot Władysław Wójcicki, captain of the crew that later flew to Poland. There were also representatives of the Polish community who always have tears in their eyes when they talk about Poland; Halina and Michał Jabłońscy, Walter Brachmański and others. Everyone visited the plane. Many people were very moved. For the Polish diaspora, this plane is a piece of the homeland.

During the inaugural flight with the Boeing 767, LOT Polish Airlines employees recalled the famous flight of the PLL LOT Lockheed L-14 H Super Electra with a Polish crew from 51 years ago. That flight was long and passed through South America, the South Atlantic and Africa. Now the distance to Poland is 8,623 km. The flight duration is only 10 hours and 15 minutes and you fly at an altitude of 10,600 meters.

Training of Polish crews for Boeing 767 planes.

The Boeing 767 is one of the first passenger airliners to be flown by only two people. There is no navigator, radio operator and on-board mechanic. Therefore, 30 people qualified by LOT Polish Airlines, i.e. 15 crews, flew to the US for training. The training was conducted in four stages.

The first stage is self-education. The pilot receives the materials; videotapes, slides, instructions. Then he takes the first exam. It was a 50-question test. There were three answers to each question and only one correct one. Time to complete the test 90 minutes. The second exam is also a test. 100 questions and 180 minutes. To pass both tests, you must get at least 70% of good answers. Our pilots scored 90-100%. Bravo!

The second stage was a simulator. 35 hours of exercises, mainly on computer programming for flight and abnormal situations, with procedures. The stage ended with an exam.

The third stage is also a simulator with 6 degrees of freedom. 35 hours of exercise. Flight without a computer, manual and automatic control and unusual situations were practiced. All activities of the pilots were assessed and scored. Pilots said that after 30 minutes of such training, they were completely sweaty. The final exam is a 240-minute flight in a crew simulator with an instructor.

The fourth stage is flying. 8 hours. Mainly take-offs and landings were practiced. Each pilot made 30 to 40 take-offs and landings. The final exams were conducted with the participation of the Polish side in the person of Colonel Czesław Filonowicz, the chief inspector of aviation personnel from the Civil Aviation Inspectorate in Warsaw. These four steps were performed over 45 days. For the next 30 days, Polish crews on Polish planes flew with an American instructor. Our pilots returned from the USA without any complexes. Throughout the training period, they never used translators. They were treated the same as US pilots, i.e. equally. At the same time, our pilots confirmed that the B-767 flight is two generations ahead of the equipment with CCCP. This is a completely new philosophy of flying. Thanks to the computers, the plane will not allow for a maneuver that could cause a dangerous situation. Despite the crew of two people, piloting is not problematic. There are not hundreds of analog gauges in the cabin. Most of the information is collected on two cathode-ray color screens. The crew cabin is quiet (additionally soundproofed) and "dark", ie only relevant information is displayed. According to the regulations, a flight of up to 10 hours is piloted by a two-person crew. If the flight lasts 10 to 12 hours, there must be a third pilot with captain rating on board. If the flight is longer than 12 hours, there must be two crews on board. During the first months, until December 1989, both Polish planes had a flight time of 6,375 hours. According to specialists from Boeing, LOT Polish Airlines planes broke the world record, staying in the air for 14.5 hours a day. The planes performed very well, and Polish pilots proved that they mastered high technology.

History Construction.

Structure of the Boeing B-767-200 ER, –300 ER.

Development of the B-767.

In 1978, Boeing developed a family of three modern passenger airliners: the B-757 narrow-body twin-engine, the B-767 wide-body twin-engine, and the B-777 wide-body three-engine. For the B-767 version, the B-767-100 for 180 passengers and the B-767-200 for 220-240 passengers were initially planned. The order of the American airlines United Airlines for 30 B-767-200 machines decided that the implementation of this variant had begun, completely abandoning the construction of the B-767-100. United Airlines has become a consultant in the development and design of the aircraft itself. The B-757 model was further developed. Due to the possibility of a twin-engine aircraft flight across the Atlantic, the B-777 three-engine program was redundant.

Here's an explanation. At the beginning of the 1950s, ICAO introduced a regulation for twin-engine communication airplanes that on one engine they must be able to reach an airport where it is safe to land in a minimum of 90 minutes. This recommendation was influenced by B-767 and changed by ICAO. This limit has been allowed to increase significantly. The aviation authorities of many countries then assumed that this limit could be increased to 180 minutes. It was these new regulations that allowed that, since 1986, more planes can fly across the Atlantic with only two engines. It should also be added that then a new family of modern turbofan engines was put into operation, the risk of failure of which dropped by 800% compared to the previous generation, not to mention the propeller engines that ruled the Atlantic in the 1950s. Let's add to this the huge power reserve of a modern turbofan engine. So there is no problem with flying on one engine. The company American Airlines gained the most experience, which in those years (1980 - 1983) crossed the Atlantic 280 times a month.

At that time, the technology was so developed that Boeing could afford to abandon the construction of prototypes and immediately build a fully utility plane. The construction of the first B-767-200 was started on July 6, 1979. From the very beginning, the cabin was designed to accommodate 220 passengers. Interestingly, the plane's tail was initially supposed to be in the T-layout, but it was quickly returned to the classic layout. The first N767BA registration was bred from an assembly hall in Everett, Washington on August 4, 1981, and the first flight was made on September 26, 1981.

The second airframe was made for static tests, which were completed in February 1982, followed by fatigue tests, which were completed in October 1983. During the tests, the wingtips were bent upwards by 4.75 m, and the structure was not damaged.

The first Boeing B-767 was powered by Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D engines. On July 30, 1982, the plane obtained an American certificate. On August 19, 1982, the plane was handed over to United Airlines, where it entered service on September 8, 1982. The next two copies were similar to the first. The fifth machine received General Electric CF6-8A engines. He made his first flight on February 19, 1982, and on September 30, 1982, he obtained a certificate. The plane was handed over to Delta Airlines on October 25, 1982, where it began service on December 15, 1982.

We need to know that up to this point the plane was designed as a medium to short range machine. Positive results from operation prompted the company to go towards extending the range of the machine by developing a variant called ER (extended range) subversion. In 1984, the B-767 was approved to fly across the Atlantic (with certain restrictions), which was a huge success for Boeing.

Compared to previous aircraft, composites, i.e. plastics, have been widely introduced. They had a positive effect on the lower weight of the machine. Electronics have been widely introduced. Digital technology replaced analog. Computers were introduced in the aircraft control system in each flight phase. Economical and high-thrust turbo-fan engines were built. In the booth, most of the information is displayed on 6 cathode-ray monitors (picture tubes). Each pilot has two of them in front of him. The first EADI (electronic attitude director indicator). It resembles an artificial horizon, but with other information. The second is the EHSI (electronic horizontal situation indicator) displaying your current position against a colored map and in relation to the planned route. The other two screens were placed in the central panel. These are EICAS (engine indicating and crew altering system). They inform about the operation of the aircraft systems and systems. They warn about failures and recommend ways to fix them. Information on the operation of the systems is displayed at the request of the crew, and continuously displays selected information necessary in a given phase of the flight, e.g. during take-off, landing approach. The cabin uses the idea of a so-called dark cabin. Buttons and indicators light up only in case of failure. The computer calculates and designs the route taking into account the weather conditions.

This Collins system, used for the first time in the world on a Boeing 767, was a real revolution in the control systems of commercial aircraft. The use of screens made it possible to eliminate the instrument panel of the flight engineer, who usually sat sideways to the direction of flight. As a result, the so-called FFCC (forwad face crew cockpit) system was created, in which three crew members face the direction of flight. The role of the on-board engineer was limited so much that it became possible to resign from him. It should be remembered that in the first half of the 1980s, the introduction of a two-man communication aircraft crew sparked a wave of safety discussions. The managements of the shipping companies were in favor of two-person crews, and the trade unions were against. There were even protests and strikes in France and the USA.

The reliability of the B-767, measured by reaching the destination airport, is 99.838 percent. By January 1988, 29 carriers had ordered 277 machines, of which 195 machines were delivered. The cheapest was $ 51 million, the most expensive was $ 74 million.

The B-767 is a typically American product, but hundreds of subcontractors were involved in its construction, not only from the USA. In August 1978, a contract was signed with the plants in Italy. In September 1982, several contracts were signed with companies in Japan, where it was even planned to launch a second assembly line, which, however, did not happen.

Most important subcontractors: Grumman Aerospace Corp .; center wing and part of the fuselage. Link Temco Vought; horizontal tail. Canadair Ltd; the rear of the fuselage. Aeritalia Italy; airfoil mechanization, ailerons, wing tips, elevator, vertical tail, fuselage front cover. Fuji Japan; wing components, landing gear flaps. Kawasaki Japan middle fuselage, wing parts, emergency exits. Mitsubishi Japan; aft fuselage, hull side members, passenger and hold doors. In total, over 1,300 suppliers participated in the construction. Final assembly takes place in Everett in a hall with dimensions of 641 m by 481 m and a height of 27 m. It is said to be the largest building in the world in terms of cubature. Its volume is 9 million cubic meters. In the 1980s, work here took three shifts. Except that shift III, the night shift was used to deliver parts for assembly to the stands. Most of the components were delivered by rail.


Boeing B-767-200 ER, –300 ER in Poland.

Boeing 767-200 ER No. 24733/261 (VFO 41) registration SP-LOA Gniezno delivered on April 24, 1989. was painted typical for PLL LOT. Painting design by Andrzej Zbrożek and Roman Duszek. The interior colors are also Polish. The Polish B-767, compared to its predecessors, has an enlarged kitchen of the Sell company from Germany (West Germany). Arrived on April 24, 1989, set off for the first voyage on April 28, 1989. to New York (JFK airport). Returned after 20 years in 2009.

Boeing 767-200 ER No. 24734/266 registration SP-LOB Kraków. The first scheduled flight from Warsaw to Chicago took place on May 26, 1989. It was returned after 20 years in 2009.

Boeing 767-200 ER registration ZK-NBJ No. 23250/113. On loan.

Boeing 767-300 ER No. 24865/322 registration SP-LPA Warsaw. The third aircraft, and the first version of the B-767-300 ER, was delivered to Poland in August 1990. This aircraft flew the longest in the LOT Polish Airlines fleet, until the fall of 2013.

In order to cover the demand for an increased number of transports in the summer, LOT Polish Airlines rented planes from other transport companies. The first was B-767-200 ER, registration ZK-NBJ no. 23250/113, borrowed for summer (May-September) 1992, (March-October) 1993 and (May-November) 1994. from Air New Zealand. Not counted because it did not fly with Polish registration.

Boeing 767-300 ER (35D ER) registration SP-LPB No. 27902/577. The machine was given the proper name Gdańsk. The plane was delivered to Poland in May 1995. as the fourth Boeing 767 aircraft.

Boeing 767-300 ER registration SP-LPD. In 1996. LOT Polish Airlines rented a B-767-300 ER, registration A40-GH No. 24484/260 from Gulf Air. The plane was borrowed from June 1996. until November 1997. This machine then flew in Malev with HA-LHD registration. Then it was returned to LOT with SP-LPD registration for the period from June 2002. until November 2002 The plane was rented under a contract with Universal Airlines from Guyana. Counted as sixth.

Boeing 767-300 ER SP-LPC. In May 1997. the fifth Boeing 767-300 (35D) ER SP-LPC aircraft No. 28656/659 was delivered to Poland. He was given his own name Poznań. For some time (2006) he flew with a vertical tail in the colors of Air Italy. On November 1, 2011, the plane crashed into Okęcie airport. The reason was that the landing gear was not extended.

Boeing 767-300 ER SP-LPE. In July 2005. The seventh B-767-300 (341) ER SP-LPE aircraft No. 24843/314 was delivered to Poland. The plane was not new. Previously operated as PP-VOK of the Varing line. In LOT Polish Airlines, he wears the Star Alliance paint job. Star Alliance is an alliance of over twenty airlines, founded in 1997, to which our carrier LOT also joined.

Boeing 767-300 ER SP-LPF. In April 2006 The eighth B-767-300 ER No. 24876/319 was delivered to Poland. Previously as ZK-NCF Air New Zealand.

Boeing 767-306 ER SP-LPG. In 2009. The ninth B-767-300 ER SP-LPG was delivered to Poland.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman