World-Famous Boeing 757 Test Aircraft Is Turning 40 Today

Honeywell's Boeing 757-200 Testbed 6 photos
Photo: Honeywell
Honeywell's Boeing 757-200 TestbedHoneywell's Boeing 757-200 TestbedHoneywell's Boeing 757-200 TestbedHoneywell's Boeing 757-200 TestbedHoneywell's Boeing 757-200 Testbed
Over the years, Honeywell's Boeing 757 testbed aircraft has been at the forefront of various key tests conducted by Honeywell Aerospace, including trailblazing engines, advanced avionics software, and high-speed connectivity equipment. Today, this workhorse turned 40, and although it might be getting old, Honeywell has no plans to retire it.
The plane rolled off the assembly line in 1982 and entered service with Eastern Airlines the following year. Then, in 2005, Honeywell acquired the aircraft and turned it into a reliable testbed.

The test aircraft might look like a regular 757 on the outside, but it's a one-of-a-kind plane that "has pushed the technological boundaries in the aviation industry." Numerous technologies are tested on it before being used on commercial planes, military jets, and smaller aircraft. From turbine engines to satellite communication systems, the 757 got up close and personal with a bit of everything in aerospace.

Perhaps its most distinguishing feature is the pylon that sticks out from the fuselage on the right side. The pylon comes in handy when the company wants to test turbojet and turbofan engines in real-world settings, allowing it to collect data that plays a crucial role in engine development.

Some 757s are still in service with airlines across the globe, but many have been retired in recent years and replaced with newer planes. Honeywell's testbed continues to be a dependable workhorse. Over the years, this aircraft has been all over the world. It has flown on five continents and clocked more than 3,000 flight test hours. It also successfully conducted over 800 flight tests.

"For the past 17 years, we have made so many technological modifications to our beloved 757 test aircraft that the only thing turning 40 years old is likely the fuselage itself," said Captain Joe Duval, director, Flight Test Operations, Honeywell Aerospace.

Even if the plane is already 40 years old, Honeywell is nowhere near ready to retire it. The company will continue to test new systems and groundbreaking technologies using the 757, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a safer and more pleasant flight experience.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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