IAI Aviation Group’s Air to Freight Conversion Business Expanding, Marks the Process of Converting a Boeing 777-300 ER by Cutting an Opening in the Hull

Civil Aviation

By ARIE EGOZI

Tel Aviv: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Aviation Group is expanding its conversion business. On October 26, the process of converting a Boeing 777-300 ER was marked by cutting an opening in the hull to install a cargo door.

 

The part of the cabin removed from the aircraft is 7 meters long and a third of the aircraft’s circumference. This important milestone comes shortly after the beginning of the aircraft’s structural modification, a process that will take approximately 130 days, at the end of which the passenger aircraft will be converted into a cargo aircraft.

 

The process of converting the aircraft from passenger to freighter configuration, and especially the step of cutting a large segment of the aircraft’s hull, is a testament to IAI’s decades-long aviation experience and engineering capabilities being among the most advanced in the world. Carrying out the cargo conversion with high quality and capability ensures an optimal solution for customers and secures the future of cargo conversions for the company.

 

The cargo conversion process includes modifying the aircraft structure, including the installation of a new cargo door, replacing and reinforcing the cabin floor, installing reinforcements in the cargo door area and adapting the electric network and other systems to enable a safe and convenient operation. In addition, this process includes receiving certification for the converted aircraft from the Civilian Aviation Authority and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 

“Completing the B777-300ER conversion on time and according to the planned schedule is at the top of the Aviation Group’s priorities. Today, we mark an exciting step in the prototype’s conversion,” said Executive VP and General Manager of IAI’s Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed. “Cutting the aircraft’s hull for the new cargo door is a prime example, reflective of the cargo conversions at IAI, which significantly advances our development process for this conversion. This step will allow us, in the near future and with increased confidence, to establish more conversion lines all over the world in order to provide services to the dozens of existing orders and to many more expected orders to come.”

 

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in demand for cargo planes due to a global rise in e-commerce, which has peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic. IAI is the leader of cargo conversions, and leading companies like Amazon, DHL, UPS and other are amongst our clients.

 

IAI’s Aviation Group, the home of aviation in Israel, unites all activity in aircraft piloted by humans: maintenance (MRO), business jets, converting passenger jets to cargo configuration, hangars and aviation arrays, aircraft upgrading and more. With knowledge and accumulated experience in aviation spanning almost 70 years of the company’s existence, excellent human capital and ground-breaking technologies, the group is in line with the world’s leading aviation companies.