What is the Boeing 757 replacement going to look like?

Boeing 757 Replacement

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.

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?

SANspotter Boeing 757 redesign
I kind of know what I’m doing. Sort of. But not really.

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.

next-generation Boeing 757 wing
When’s the last time you saw Ben Schlappig build a next-generation Boeing 757 wing in Maya for his blog?
Boeing 757 Replacement wing design
I realize that I’m probably violating all sorts of rules of engineering (and physics) by pretending to know how to design airplanes, but…I’m having fun, ok?

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.

757 new engines
It’s fun to experiment with engine size when you’re just creating ac concept and you don’t have to worry about pesky things such as thrust and aerodynamics.

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.

757 engine with chevrons
Chevrons are a design decision that literally can only be made by rocket scientists of course, so this travel blogger (who went to art school) is not going to worry too much about it.
757 with hybrid engines
Oh – here’s an idea: what if there were smaller auxiliary electric motors attached under the wing to assist the main fuel-powered engines? That would essentially make this a hybrid design, kinda like a Toyota Pri…wait. Ok. Sorry. Bad idea.

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.

next generation Boeing 757 vertical stabilizer
Messing around with the vertical stabilizer design. I may not know what I’m doing, but…it kind of looks like I do, right?

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?

SANspotter redesigning the boeing 757
Mom and dad…if you’re reading…you might want to get that spare bedroom ready.

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:

Boeing 757 replacement concept rendering
Ta-da!
Boeing 757 Replacement
Here it is under more dramatic lighting. I say again: Ta-daaa!
757-8 engines
The engines are (by far) my favorite part of this Boeing 757-8 redesign concept. And once you notice that I forgot to include the cone (at the center of the fan blades), you can’t unsee it. Sorry.

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.

boeing 757 redesign close up
Did you really think that I was going to end this post without giving you one last up close look at the engines?

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.

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