The Boeing 757 and 767 were developed simultaneously, the 757 as a narrow body and the 767 as a wide body aircraft. Hence it is not strange that both aircraft have a lot in common. Look for example at the shape of the cockpit windows, tailcone and vertical stabiliser. However the Boeing 767 being a wide body gives it a distinctively more rounded nose shape and appearance. Another distinctive feature is the main landing gear, of which the four wheel bogeys are tilted forward when the aircraft is not on the ground.
Many Boeing 767s have been fitted with winglets after delivery. This has not changed the type designation however.
To differentiate between the different 767 subtypes you have to look at
- the length of the fuselage
- the presence of a cargo door in the left forward fuselage
- the presence of cabin windows
- the number and location of cabin doors and emergency exits
- the shape of the wingtips
- the presence of a refueling boom
- the presence of hose & drogue refuelling system
- the presence of a radar disk
Boeing 767-200 & 767-200ER
These are the original versions of the 767, with the shortest fuselage. The -200ER is the Extended Range variant, with more fuel tanks but no external differences. It has two regular size doors on each side, at the front and rear, and one small overwing emergency exit. The wing tips are square and never fitted with winglets, as the conversion programme was limited to the -300ER. This version comes with two engine options, the General Electric CF6 series or the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 series.
This conversion of the Boeing 767-200 was made especially for the transport of packages. Therefore it has a cargo floor, but no large cargo door in the left front fuselage. Packages are (un)loaded through the main doors. The cabin windows seems to have been kept. The absence of a cargo door distinguishes the 200PC (package carrier) from the -200SF -200ERSF below, but not (much) from a passenger 767-200/-200ER.
Boeing 767-200SF & 767-200ERSF
These are the "complete" cargo conversions, with SF standing for Special Freighter. They also have no cabin windows, like the 767-200PC, but additionally a large cargo door in the left front fuselage. Most aircraft have been converted by IAI Bedek, which got the marketing name -200BDSF (BeDek Special Freighter).
Amerijet International has a fleet of cargo 767s. This one is a 767-200BDSF, so with a cargo door. You will have to look closely to see it though.
Boeing 767-2C & KC-46 Pegasus
In competition with Airbus for a new cargo and tanker aircraft for the USAF Boeing offered the 767-2C, a dedicated cargo version of the 767-200ER with the wing, gear, cargo door and floor of the 767-300F, and the digital flightdeck and flaps of the 767-400ER.
This version was the basis for the KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft for the USAF. Underneath the rear fuselage the KC-46 has a retractable refueling boom. Additional refueling capability is offered by a hose and drogue system under each wing tip.
The KC-46A Pegasus has a refueling boom underneath the rear fuselage and a hose & drogue system under each wing tip. (photo USAF/WikiMedia)
The E-767 is the designation for an Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) platform based on the 767-200ER for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The radar is in a rotating disk on top of the fuselage, like on the E-3 Sentry. The aircraft has no cabin windows.
Before Boeing developed the KC-46 for the USAF there were already tanker transport aircraft based on the 767-200ER. These are slightly different though, as they have only a refueling boom under the rear fuselage. Generally, they are named KC-767, with the Italian air force aircraft being designated KC-767A locally and the Japanese versions KC-767J.
On this photo of a JASDF KC-767J it is clearly visible that this version has a boom only, no hose and drogue system.
Boeing 767 MMTT
The Multi Mussion Tanker Transport (MMTT) is a tanker conversion of 767-200ERs offered by IAI Bedek. It has the cargo door and floor of the BDSF (BeDek Special Freighter), complemented by hose and drogue pods under the wing tips. It has no refueling boom.
The single 767 MMTT so far is operated by the Colombian air force. You can still see where the cabin windows were. Note no boom. (photo Chris Lofting/WikiMedia)
Boeing 767-300 & 767-300ER
A fuselage stretch of nearly 6.5 metres resulted in the series 300 and 300ER. The latter is of course the long range version. The 767-300 has on each side two overwing emergency exits, and optionally a regular door in front of the wings. The -300ER has three options: the two of the 767-300 and one with three regular doors and a smaller door behind the wings.
Normally, the 767-300 and -300ER have straight wing tips. Aviation Partners have many aircrfat fitted with tall winglets though.
This Boeing 767-300ER has two main doors and two overwing emergency exits on each side. It is powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.
Boeing 767-300BCF & 767-300BDSF
These are the passenger to freighter conversions of the 767-300 and -300ER. The BCF is the official Boeing version (BCF-Boeing Converted Freighter), while the other one is designed by IAI Bedek (BeDek Special Freighter). Both have a large cargo door in the left front fuselage and metal plugs in place of the cabin windows. The latter is the main difference compared to the 767-300F.
The Boeing 767-300BCF, pictured here, and 767-300BDSF are converted passenger 767-300ERs. If you look more closely you can still see the window plugs.
Boeing also offers newly built 767 cargo aircraft, designated Boeing 767-300F. They had no cabin windows from the start so this is the way to recognise them from the 767-300BCF and -300BDSF.
Most Boeing 767-300Fs have been ordered by the package carriers FedEx and UPS. They have tall Aviation Partners winglets, available as retrofit for all 767-300ERs.
Especially as repacement for the Lockheed TriStars of Delta Air Lines Boeing developed the longest version of the 767, the -400ER. It is again 6.5 m longer than the 767-300. They all have six large main cabin doors and two smaller exit doors behind the wings, like some 767-300ERs. More notable are the raked wing tips, similar to the 777F and 777-300ER.
This aircraft was to be used as basis for a replacement of the E-3, E-8 and RC-135. Designation E-10 was already reserved, but the programme was stopped before any E-10 was made.
Confusion possible with
Look only quickly and you can easily confuse the Boeing 767 and Boeing 777; the 777 is just a blown up 767. But there are significant differences: the Boeing 767 has four wheels on each main landing gear leg, the 777 has six. Also the tail cone of the 767 is rounded, while that of the 777 is flat and square.
Like explained in the main text the Boeing 757 and 767 have a lot in common when it comes to external recognition points. The main difference is in the fuselage diameter, which is narrower on the 757 than on the 767. Thus in particular the nose shapes are different.
The Boeing 767 is the direct competitor of the Airbus A330 in size and performance. The main recognition points of the 767 compared to the Airbus are the cockpit windows and titled forward main landing gear bogeys (backward on the A330), but also the winglets - if present (at a 45 degrees angle on the A330).
The main recognition points of the 767 compared to the older model Airbusses are similar as for the A330: the cockpit windows and titled forward main landing gear bogeys (not tilted on the Airbus), but also the wingtips.