After years and years of reading heated discussions about whether or not they should bring back the 757, I’ve decided to roll up my sleeves and create a Boeing 757 replacement concept of my own. With visuals, of course.
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Creating a detailed 3d model of the Boeing 757 replacement concept
Even though I know absolutely nothing about aerodynamics and aerospace engineering, I am an experienced 3D modeler. I also have decent knowledge about what both Boeing and Airbus have done to successfully modernize old airframes in the past. That should be enough to be able to crank out something halfway legit, right?
My plan is to redesign core elements of the existing 757 to bring it up to modern standards. With limits, of course.
For example, as much as I’d love to modernize the nose, I’m not going to touch the fuselage. It wouldn’t be a 757 anymore if I reshaped it, so let’s focus on other key elements that desperately need updating:
- The wings
- The engines
- The vertical stabilizer
- The horizontal stabilizer (maybe)
The important thing to note is that this is NOT an all-new “designed from scratch” design proposal like my Boeing 797 concept was. Think of of more like how I did my Boeing 727-300 concept. With that one, it was more about refining the indifudual components, and not the airframe itself.
With that disclaimer out of the way, here is a breakdown of my redesign process, component by component:
An all new wing
Arguably the most important upgrade for a modern Boeing 757 would be an all new wing. The original was designed in the late 1970s, and (as we all know) there’s not much from the late 1970s that’s worth keeping. No offense to anyone born in 1978 of course.
Anyway, I’m assuming that a redesigned 757 would be an aircraft for long and thin routes. Therefore, the wing needs to be longer, wider, and more efficient than the current design.
This wing features an Airbus-style winglet, I know, but I like the look of an exaggerated winglet design that accentuates the overall wingspan.
Bigger (and more efficient) engines
Next up are the engines. Hydrogen powered perhaps? Sure. Whatever. All I know is that I want them bigger than the previous Pratt & Whitney option – only because it looks cool.
I went back and forth on the idea of adding chevrons to the engine design, and ultimately I couldn’t decide if it looked better with or without them.
A simplified vertical stabilizer (and other little details)
Next up in this Boeing 757 modernization is the vertical stabilizer. The current one is too short and stubby to efficient on the long and thin routes that a 757-8 would be flying.
There I go talking like I’m an expert or something. The honest truth is that I just want it to look better. Not only that, who’s to say that my design proposal isn’t anywhere near as efficient as the current design?
And that it would snap off like a twig on a dead tree on it’s maiden voyage? And that I’d be sued for designing unsafe products? And I’d lose my home, life savings, and what little credibility I have left as an aviation blogger?
Moving right along, I think I’ve covered pretty much everything. I’m going to leave the landing gear alone, and there aren’t too many other details worth redesigning from scratch.
Other than pushing and pulling a few vertices here and there, I think I’ve accomplish my goal. Are you ready for the grand reveal?
Concept renderings of the 757 redesign proposal
If there’s one thing I’m not, t’s a show man. Therefore, I present to you the all new Boeing 757-8 without techno music, fireworks, or distracting fanfare:
To be honest, I kind of like the idea of a revitalized 757. Even though I don’t think Boeing should (or will) do something like this, it’s fun to put a creative hat on and give new life to objects past their prime.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much that can be done with an old airframe such as this, and pushing this design any further would be more effort than it’s worth.
I do believe that Boeing needs a 757-like aircraft in its lineup, but throwing lipstick on a pig like I did with this concept is not the way to go about it.
In other words, I just spent two weeks in Maya and Photoshop only to tell you that I’ve wasted two weeks in Maya and Photoshop to build a Boeing 757 replacement concept that shouldn’t even be built.
Boeing’s official stance on the 757 replacement
Ending 757 production prematurely was one of Boeing’s biggest mistakes in my opinion. Yes, it may have seemed somewhat logical of the time, given how slow the aircraft had been selling.
However, the commercial aviation market shifted quite significantly just a few years after production ended. Demand for air travel was growing rapidly, and 757-sized aircraft became needed once again.
Airbus chose to satisfy this need with the A321. Boeing, on the other hand, chose to go all-in on creating new variants of the 737. In hindsight, what they should have done was create some new and modern variants of the 757. But what do I know? I just travel for a living.
The unfortunate reality is that the 757 as we knew it will never return. Despite the rumors you may have been hearing on aviation hobby blogs and Twitter feeds, the tooling for the original 757 is long gone. Boeing couldn’t restart 757 production even if they wanted to.
However, despite many years of defending their decision to cut it from their lineup, it’s obvious that Boeing is struggling to stay competitive selling aircraft which had the capacity and capabilities of the original 757. They’ve pretty much maxed out the 737 (no pun intended). Meanwhile, Airbus is finding huge success with long-range variants of the A321.
What is the next-generation 757 most likely to be?
As of right now, the Boeing 757 replacement is not the 737 MAX series. It’s going to be the 797, which will likely be offered in a wide variety of configurations.
It is likely to be much like how the original 757 and 767 were designed on the same platform. The flight deck of both aircraft were the same, and from a pilots perspective, the aircraft are nearly identical. Boeing will likely take this approach with it’s upcoming replacement for the 757 – whatever it ends up being.
And if there are any Boeing executives reading this, just know that I’d totally be willing to sell you my 757 redesign proposal for a few billion dollars (give or take). Call me. We’ll do lunch.
Hi, Scott. Great re-do of the B757. However, personally, I would go for widening the width of the cabin another 16-17 inches. Ample shoulder room is what’s lacking in the single-aisle products.
Thanks! That’s a really good suggestion – it would be really nice to see slightly wider narrowbodies in the future. Just a few inches would make a world of difference!
Hi Scott, I worked on the 757-300 at Boeing as a Tool Designer. I just wanted to point out that the 757-200 airframe is hand drawn on mylar along with all the tooling. When we were working on the -300 we were told that the tools were to be done in CATIA. We ended up with a mix of hand drawn and digital data. It gave me a chance to break out my old school tools and techniques. I enjoyed working on that project a great deal.
That’s really cool! I had some technical drawing classes in school where we did everything by hand, and I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to design aircraft that way. It’s almost unbelievable when you really think about it.