The Boeing 757 is an American narrow-body airliner designed and built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The then-named 7N7, a twinjet successor for the 727 (a trijet), received its first orders in August 1978. The prototype completed its maiden flight on February 19, 1982 and it was FAA certified on December 21, 1982. Eastern Air Lines placed the original 757-200 in commercial service on January 1, 1983. A package freighter (PF) variant entered service in September 1987 and a combi model in September 1988. The stretched 757-300 was launched in September 1996 and began service in March 1999. After 1,050 had been built for 54 customers, production ended in October 2004, while Boeing offered the largest 737 NG variants as a successor.
Major customers for the 757 included U.S. mainline carriers, European charter airlines, and cargo companies. It was commonly used for short and mid-range domestic routes, shuttle services, and transcontinental U.S. flights. ETOPS extended flights were approved in 1986 to fly intercontinental routes. Private and government operators have customized the 757 as VIP carriers such as the US C-32. In July 2017, there were 665 Boeing 757 in commercial service, with Delta Air Lines being the largest operator with 127 airplanes in its fleet.
The Boeing C-32 is the United States Air Force designation for variants of the Boeing 757 in military service. Two variants exist, filling different parts of the military passenger transport role. The C-32A serves the Special Air Mission, providing executive transport and broad communications capabilities to senior political officials, while the C-32B Gatekeeper provides clandestine airlift to special operations and global emergency response efforts, a role known as "covered air".