Before the attacks on September 11, Boeing was considering modifications to its 757-200 line. As the Boeing 757 design nears 20 years of age, a replacment or upgrade needs to be considered, as the 739 comes close, but doesn't exactly match up the the Boeing 757 in terms of performance, load, range, etc.
I think that a low-cost upgarade to the 757 should be in order, and might make for a longer production of this great aircraft. My ideas are as follows.
As you all know, the 777, 767-400 and 737NG all have a very similar flight deck, so would it not be a good idea to introduce an NG flight deck to the 757? It would provide better commonality for the future, and Boeing could add a feature like they have done with their 737 NG aircraft that allows the CRTs to dispaly the old instruments on new screens. This would allow the 757-200ERX/NG to be compatible with earlier 757 versions, but with an updated flight deck, compatible with most Next Generation Boeings.
Boeing could also make aerodynamic modifications, such as raked wingtips, or winglets, to improve range, also perhaps slightly modified Rolls Royce engines. I hear RR was considering an upgrade to their RB-211 using some parts from Trent engines, could this be a good improvement for the 757?
Now dont get me wrong I'm not saying that the 757 is obsolete, but the 757's current flightdeck and engines don't provide the latest technology the airlines want. However, I do not think an FBW upgrade would be a good idea.
In essence, if Boeing redid the 757 a bit, added new cockpit, aerodynamic upgrades (winglets/wingtips), added fuel, and perhaps upgraded the engines, it would make for a very interesting new 757, and the cost would not be all that high. Boeing already uses the technology I'm talking about on their NG aircraft, so it wouldn't be as expensive as something right off the drawing board.
Also, I wonder if the 757 cabion could be upgraded. That is the least of the worries, but it is a though, perhaps a scaled down 777 style?
Also, didn't CO have firm interest in the 757-200ERX before the attacks? Where does the program stand now?
I do not see any information on the Boeing website about the 752ERX, I'm afraid they may have scrapped the project, and I certainly hope they didn't. I love the 757-200 and would hope that Boeing upgrades her and keeps her in production for the next 20 years.
Any thoughts, comments, or ideas?