Passenger-To-Cargo Aircraft Completes First Flight
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has completed the first test flight of its new cargo plane, which was converted from a passenger aircraft.
The B777-300ER, or the ‘Big Twin’, can carry 100 tons of cargo payload.
There is a strong demand for cargo aircraft by companies worldwide, especially as e-commerce sales and the need for medical supplies and personal protective equipment have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of wasting resources building entirely new plane, conversion facilities serve as a cost-effective solution.
The IAI is establishing a number of remote aircraft-conversion facilities around the world, which include military and civilian manned aircrafts, passenger-to-cargo conversion, maintenance, repair, and operations, aircraft upgrades, and more.
In the last year alone, it signed hundreds of millions of dollars of passenger-to-cargo conversion contracts with the world’s leading aviation companies including AerCap, Emirates Cargo, Challenge Group, and others.
Among IAI’s customers are the world’s leading logistics and delivery companies, including Amazon, FedEx, and DHL.
Sign up for our free weekly newsletterSubscribe
Passenger-to-cargo conversions include the removal of almost all of the interiors, like the seats, bathrooms, windows, galleys, and even more structural aspects like the roof and internal walls. The goal is to leave the body of the aircraft as empty as possible for subsequent modifications to take place.
Shmuel Kuzi, Executive Vice President and General Manager of IAI’s Aviation Group said: “The successful first flight conducted today is a world breakthrough in the field of widebody aircraft passenger-to-cargo conversions.
“The advanced capabilities and efficient solutions which IAI offers its customers provide the solution having the best value available in the market, supporting the growing demand for cargo aircraft around the world.”
Richard Greener, the Head of Cargo, AerCap, said, “IAI’s Aviation Group has achieved a significant milestone today. We would like to thank all of IAI’s employees who made this inaugural flight happen.
“AerCap firmly believes that this conversion program is the most comprehensive and well-designed widebody freighter to meet the future requirements for the global air cargo market.”