Boeing 757 / C-32A


The 757 was introduced as a short to medium range airliner to replace the earlier 727. The 757 project was launched simultaneously with the wide body 767. Launch customers announced in August 1978 were British Airways and Eastern Airlines who ordered 40 aircraft between them. The 757 was some five months behind the 767 and benefitted from the commonality in technology and design between the two models. The two types have almost identical cockpits and have a common type rating. The aircraft is part of the modern generation incorporating a variety of composites in its construction, and utilising electronic flight information systems through the so called 'glass cockpit' technology. Some 53% of components are produced outside of Boeing from a variety of manufacturers (nearly 700), and countries (including Pacific Aerospace Corporation in Hamilton, NZ), before assembly at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington. The launch customers selected the Rolls Royce RB211-535C powerplants - the first time Boeing introduced a new model with non-American engines. It was also offered with the Pratt &Whitney PW2037. The 757 has the same cross section as the 727 it replaced, but the initial -200 interior was based on that developed for the 'next generation' 737 family.

The first 757-200 aircraft (there was no -100) was rolled out from the Renton factory on January 13, 1982; and the first flight followed on February 19. The aircraft received FAA certification on December 21, 1982, and the first delivery to Eastern Airlines occured the following day. Subsequent versions of the 757-200 include the -200M Combi, and the 757-200 Freighter. With a large side door on the port side, the freighter has a payload of 39, 780kg (87,700lb) in two holds with a combined capacity of 239 cubic metres (8,430 cu feet). The 757-200PF was aimed specifically at the US small parcel market. Initially market penetration of the type was slow (ironically because of the longevity of the 727 it was intended to replace) with only 240 built or ordered in the first six years. Introduction of ETOPS and the certification of the 757-200ER model in the late 1980s made the 757 a more popular option.

The 757-300 was launched in 1996, with the initial customer being a German charter airline, Condor Flugdienst. The first aircraft was rolled out on May 31, 1998, with the first flight on August 2, and the aircraft received FAA certification on January 22, 1999. The 757-300 features a 7.1m (23'4 feet) stretch increasing passenger capacity to 280, and freight payload by 50%. Maximum take off weight was increased by 7,920kg (17,500lb) to 123,600 kg (272,500 lb). The wings and undercarriage were modified along with more powerful engines to take the extra load, and a retractable tail skid added to cope with possible tail strike at takeoff and landing. The flight deck has updated systems (also included on new build 757-200 aircraft) and the interior is modelled on the 777 which had been launched in 1990. The 757-300 has also been certified for ETOPs and is available in an ER version.

NZ Connections

The Boeing 757 is a not uncommon commercial visitor to New Zealand, but none have so far appeared on the New Zealand register. However, a few have been New Zealand based. Hamilton based Kiwi Air Charter Ltd made the leap to international airline status in 1995, changing its name to Kiwi International Airlines Ltd . Operations were initially with an Air Nauru Boeing 737-400 and then an AvAtlantic Boeing 727. Kiwi International Airlines then used a leased Air 2000 Boeing 757-2Y0 (G-OOOU) from November 1995 through April 1996. The aircraft arrived in Hamilton on November 21, 1995 and entered service on November 24th. The aircraft departed via Auckland and Honolulu on May 2 at the end of the lease, being replaced with an Airbus A320. Rival operator Freedom Air, a Mt Cook Subsidiary (in turn owned by Air New Zealand), was set up in 1995 in direct competition with Kiwi International Airlines. The new airline initiated services in December using a Britannia owned Boeing 757-204AER (G-BYAF), The aircraft having arrived in Hamilton on December 4. The final service was made on April 26 and the aircraft departed for Cairns and onto Singapore the following day to return to Britannia for the northern summer charter season. The aircraft was replaced with a Boeing 737-300.

Although the Boeing 757 has not entered the civil register in New Zealand, it does have a military operator. Two Boeing 757-2K2 aircraft entered RNZAF service in 2003 as replacements for the Boeing 727 longe range transports of 40 Squadron. The acquisition project (Project Waka) took six months from Government funding approval to delivery. A joint MoD/RNZAF team carried out the search for suitable aircraft, made the inspections and arranged the contract for the former Transavia Airlines aircraft which were purchased through General Electric Capital Aviation Services. The aircraft were accepted at RAF Brize Norton and initial crew training was carried from this location. Training was assisted by former owner Transavia and by United Airlines from whom the RNZAF had purchased the retiring Boeing 727 aircraft. The first Boeing 757 aircraft was due to be delivered to New Zealand on April 22, 2003, but this was delayed by 16 days after an accident with a ground vehicle at St Johns, Newfoundland. (see the notes on NZ7571 below). The aircraft reached New Zealand on May 7, 2003 where a formal welcome was made at Wellington, after which NZ7571 proceeded to its base at Whenuapai. The second aircraft, NZ7572, also experienced delays during the delivery flight after fuel leaks were discovered during a stop-over in San Diego. The aircraft was delivered to Whenuapai on Jun 30, 2003.

The RNZAF Boeing 757-2K2 aircraft are:

The aircraft's primary role is strategic airlift (transporting personnel and freight) for the New Zealand Defence force. The aircraft are also tasked for VIP transport. Operated by 40 Squadron from RNZAF Whenuapai, this includes domestic SATS (Scheduled Air transport Services), as well international operations. Fitted with Rolls Royce RB211535E4/4B turbofans, the aircraft have a range of over 7000kms. The aircraft have already been flown on operations as far afield as Australia, Korea, Afghanistan, Italy, and the United Kingdom. More unusual assignments include being displayed at airshows (domestic and as noted above, RIAT 2003) and carrying NZ combat veterans to attend WWII 60th Anniversary commemorations in Europe.

The aircraft will be converted (reportedly beginning sometime in 2004) to QC configuration , involving the fitting of a cargo door to the port fuselage forward of the wing, strengthening the cabin floor, fitting internal air stairs, and adding additional fuel capacity. Additional avionics (particularly navigation equipment) will also be fitted. Currently fitted with seating for 228, this will be reduced as seat pitch is adjusted for the long range nature of international operations from New Zealand.

For the modellers - the aircraft is in low vis grey (FS????) overall with blue cheat lines, but carries 'high-vis' New Zealand Roundels (blue circle with white centre carrying a red Kiwi) for better 'recognition' when overseas. The tail carries a 'hi-vis' fin flash (red, white, blue), with (unusually) a New Zealand flag high on the fin below the last two letters of the serial. The full serial is carried on the rear fuselage. The 'Royal New Zealand Air Force' titles are carried above the windows on the forward fuselage. NZ7571 was noted as incorrectly having the 'Airforce' as one word during several of the initial flights after painting at Filton.


The C-32A is a military version of the Boeing 757-200ER. Acquired as a replacement for the long serving VC-135 (military 707), the C-32A provides VIP transport for the US Vice-President, First Lady, members of Cabinet and Congress, and other dignitaries.

The C-32A is the first type purchased under a new method for the USAF, where the requirement was written to match available commercial aircraft. By using commercial acquisition processes, the VC-X programme was able to go from contract to delivery in under two years. The aircraft were ordered in August 1996, and the first aircraft (c/n 29025, 98-0001) flew from Boeing's Renton factory on February 11, 1998. Delivery to Andrews AFB was on May 29, with the second (c/n 29026, 98-0002) following on June 1st,. The final two (c/n 29027, 99-0003 and c/n 29028, 99-0004) in November and December 1998. The last of the C-137s they replaced were retired in September 2001 (the first had entered service in 1962).

The 757-200 airframe offered a number of advantages over the C-137. The specification called for an unrefuelled range from Andrews AFB to Frankfurt. ETOPS approved, the aircraft has a range of 4,150nm. The aircraft has the fuel economy expected of a modern airliner, and the PW2040 engines have commonality with the C-5. The noise envelope also fits within FAA and ICAO requirements and is Stage III compliant (unlike the C-137). The ability to use runways down to 1525m (5,000 feet ) is also an advantage. The high standing nature of the aircaft on the ground is seen as a benefit for security.

Built around a standard 757-200 airframe, the internal configuration is quite different. The forward section includes a communications centre with facilities for up to 10 passengers. Satellite and radio telephone equipment, television/video, and secure voice and data transmission facilities allow communication worldwide. For the main passenger(s) a fully enclosed stateroom with private facilities including a bed are in the second compartment. The third section contains an eight seat conference and staff facility. To the rear are 32 business class seats with associated facilities. The aircraft typically carries up to 45 passengers (compared with up to 231 on a standard 757-200) and 16 crew. Up front, as well as the standard airliner electronics, the aircraft is fitted with TACAN, IFF, TCAS, and military radio equipment. The first C-32A airframe served as a testbed for the Future Air Navigation system (FANS).

The C-32A aircraft are operated by the 1st Airlift Squadron of the 89th Airlift Wing. Pilots receive 757 training through the UPS training centre in Louisville, KY, and are FAA approved as well as tested by USAF examiners.

An unusual visitor to New Zealand, the type was first seen in Auckland/ Wellington/ Christchurch when the brand new (it had only been in service six months) 98-0001 toured in December 1998. The aircraft illustrated below (99-0003) was in New Zealand in August 2002 carrying a trade delegation. It arrived in Wellington on August 19, relocated to Hamilton on August 20, and departed for Pago Pago on August 22, arriving in Honolulu on August 23rd. The aircraft was photographed during the two day stop-over at Hamilton International Airport while the delegation was visiting Rotorua. (My thanks to Roland from the US Embassy and Simon from the Airport Company for allowing me access to the security area).

Last Update:- 28 June, 2004

Technical Data

Data is for the 757-200ER


The pictures on this page are in three blocks:
RNZAF 757-2K2
RNZAF 757-2K2 Close ups


RNZAF 757-2K2

Close Up

Remember to let me know if you have a request for an image of a particular part of the aircraft!

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