Why is the 757 Unique? A Pilot Explains.

by Enoch

Even though Boeing stopped producing the 757 in late 2004, airlines haven’t stopped using it as a workhorse in their fleet. 12 years after production has ceased, American, Delta, and United all still own a good number of them. Nowadays, they are primarily used on transatlantic routes from the East Coast, and high-traffic domestic routes.

American Airlines 757-200

American Airlines 757-200

Benjamin Zhang at Business Insider talked to Patrick Smith, owner of the website Ask the Pilotabout why the 757 is so unique:

Boeing is trying to push the 737 as a viable 757 replacement. The 757 can be off the ground in 4,000 ft. and under 140 knots…Furthermore, the 757 can comfortably climb straight to its cruising altitude. On the other hand, the 737 requires a step climb procedure that calls for the plane to climb to a certain altitude and burn off some fuel to lighten the load before climbing to higher altitude.

As an aviation geek, I love the 757’s versatility. The physics of the the airplane is also fascinating, since for whatever reason it generates much stronger wake turbulence than even some 747s. As a passenger, however, I don’t particularly like flying the 757. An 8-hour transatlantic hop in a narrow body is hardly enjoyable, and with aging aircrafts come aging seats and furnishings. On one United flight from Newark to Hamburg, I spent a good half in BusinessFirst with water dripping from the ceiling onto my head. “The happens on these more often than you’d think,” the flight attendant said.

You can read more about the 757’s unique position in aviation on This is Insider.

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4 comments

Alan September 25, 2016 - 4:36 pm

“Even though Boeing stopped producing the 757 in late 2014”
> should be 2004

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Enoch September 25, 2016 - 6:10 pm

Hi Alan! Thanks so much—fixed!

Reply
Hari September 25, 2016 - 5:26 pm

It’s kind of amazing the kind of range they can achieve (http://www.boeing.com/resources/boeingdotcom/company/about_bca/startup/pdf/historical/757_passenger.pdf), and it’s not surprising that Norwegian is going to go with the A321neo-LR as a replacement, since the 737-MAX can’t get those ranges (http://www.businessinsider.com/norwegian-boeing-757-airbus-321-neo-lr-2016-9).

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Jimmy Gartman September 26, 2016 - 10:47 pm

One of the only planes to fly into La Paz, Bolivia, the 757 is an amazing aircraft. I currently fly both the 757 & 767, I’m amazed at the esse to fly it and the great performance you get from the aircraft.

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