First 767 ETOPS Flight at 35

35 years ago this month, TWA flight 810 departed Boston en route to Paris on the first flight operated under new ETOPS-120 rules. At the time, ETOPS (Extended range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) was a new concept, with three and four-engined aircraft being the standard for ocean crossings. The 767-200 used for this flight had Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, and was found to burn 7,000 lbs less fuel per hour than the L-1011 Tristar that was normally used on the route. Prior to this, twin-engined aircraft had to stay within 60 minutes of a diversion airport during an ocean crossing. Increasing this to 120 minutes opened many new routes, and greatly expanded an airlines reach by 1985 standards. In 1989, the FAA approved an ETOPS extension to 180 minutes, making it possible to safely operate the 767 to Hawaii from the US mainland. That same year, the first ETOPS-180 flights were made by American on the Dallas-Honolulu route. In 1991, 767s carried more passengers across the Atlantic than any other aircraft type. By 2000, over 50% of all trans-Atlantic crossings were being made by the 767 family of aircraft. The 767 was the aircraft that proved vast distances over water could be safely and efficiently crossed with only two engines. These historic flights will be its legacy, and paved the way for the 777 and A330 that followed in the 1990s. Although it’s been 35 years, it all started with the 767, and that first ETOPS flight.

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Very insightful, thank you for sharing…

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Congrats to the B767 for this amazing feat. It is great to know that these birds continue to serve us overseas.

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“It’ll be a cold day in hell before I let twins fly long haul, overwater routes.”

Well well well, what have we here?

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The 767 is one of the lesser-known Boeing aircraft (compared to the 777 or 737). It’s cool to know that it was the 767 that paved the way for twin jet oceanic flights. I didn’t know how that process worked to make that mainstream, so it’s cool to learn that.

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This is a really cool bit of av history, thank you for sharing this with the community!

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There has always been something special about the 767. This shows how its capabilities revolutionised long haul travel.

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This cracks me up. Now a days we don’t even consider aircraft with any less than 3 to be fuel efficient, an are become less and less common. Think about San Francisco to Auckland with NZA. Back in the days of the 747 they would’ve considered this crazy. Look where we are now.

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You mean minutes, not miles.

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Kinda sad when you think how the 767 is overlooked these days.

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Interesting topic! I think a long while back I flew a 767 if I remember correctly. Great plane. Sad to see these go soon.

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My first flight was with American Airlines in a 767. That was a long time ago, 1992 to be exact. It was also the first time in 5 years that me and my sister got to spend a summer with our father.

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I couldn’t imagine life before Etops

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Yep. ETOPS 180 killed off the tri jets. 😔 Nice piece of history though.

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That’s nice! I flew a 767 from ATL to LAX after going to Ohio for an NFL Hall of Fame game. Had to catch my connection in ATL. Was a nice flight with the little I remember.

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An interesting piece of aviation history! Thanks for sharing…

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