Print Header

Boeing 757

Boeing 757 in Antarctica.

Modified Boeing 757 Project Delivered and Operational


Formal delivery of the NZ7572

The capability and flexibility of the modified RNZAF Boeing 757 aircraft now provides the NZDF a unique and potent platform unmatched in the family of 757 and other narrow body airliners.

The Project deliverable was to integrate in a single programme, numerous individual modifications. Many of the various modifications had previously been accomplished on other 757 aircraft as individual packages but no organisation or operator has attempted to achieve so many changes in one package.

In addition to the modification package, scheduled heavy maintenance (C Check), engine strut modifications, new Electronic Flight Bag and cabin interior refurbishment were included. The complete package was always going to be a challenge to achieve and this proved to be the case and more.

Modification deliverables:

  • Install a cargo door
  • Reconfigure the cabin interior for an 11 freight pallet capability
  • Install a cargo handling system able to accommodate numerous cabin configurations
  • Provide a VIP and AME capability
  • Install air stairs and crew access ladder
  • Upgrade aircraft communications and navigation systems
  • Install a package of military communications and cabin LAN equipment
  • Install a package of cabin noise-reduction features
  • Engine thrust upgrade.

Achieving Integration

The $221 million dollar acquisition and modification project commenced in May 2003 when the RNZAF replaced its aging Boeing 727 aircraft.



The Ministry of Defence acquired two B757-200 as replacement aircraft for the Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF) two ageing Boeing 727-100 QC airframes. The two aircraft were introduced to service with the RNZAF in early May 2003.

As part of acquisition process the aircraft are to be modified to meet the New Zealand Defence Force’s capability requirements on a programme based around Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approved Supplementary Type Certificate (STC) modifications. The modifications include, but are not limited to: the installation of a cargo door; internal access air stairs; internal aircrew access ladder; RB211-535-E4B engine thrust increase; and upgraded civil Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) and military communications capabilities.


Value Long Term Development Plan budget provision of  $221 million.


The contract to purchase the two aircraft was let in February 2003. The first aircraft, NZ7571, arrived in New Zealand early May 2003  the second aircraft, NZ7572, arrived in late June 2003. The first operational task was carried out in early July 2003. The modification phase began with the first aircraft being inducted into Mobile Aerospace Engineering in March 2007.

Current Status

Both modified Boeing 757s have returned to New Zealand and are in service. When the second Boeing, NZ7572, returned to New Zealand in February 2009 it was immediately pressed into service with a SATS task and ferrying fire fighters to Australia all in the same day.