Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the successful completion of the first test flight, as part of the final certification process for the B777-300ER passenger aircraft converted to a cargo configuration, known as, The Big Twin. On conclusion of the certification process by the Civil Aviation Authorities, The Big Twin will be the first twin engine aircraft of this type, able to carry 100 tons' cargo payload. This program adds to IAI’s 45-year aircraft conversion track record including the B767-200/300, B747-400, and B737-700/800 freighter programs, in service today.
In response to the strong demand for cargo aircraft, IAI is currently establishing a number of remote conversion facilities around the world, in addition to the facilities at IAI’s home company. During the last year, IAI’s Aviation Group has 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, EVA Air and CargoJet.
Shmuel Kuzi, EVP 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.”