Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Wichita Division, has delivered to Atlas Airlines the last of six modified 747 freighter aircraft under current contract.
The modification involved the removal of the passenger furnishings (to accommodate 10-foot high containers), installation of a side cargo door, replacement of floor panels and floor beams to strengthen the main deck floor, and installation of a powered cargo handling system.
Boeing began modifications to the first airplane under this contract in August 1996. The sixth airplane arrived in June 1997 and will re-enter revenue service immediately, under lease to China Air. As part of the modification work, the airplane's gross take-off weight was increased from 820,000 pounds to 833,000 pounds, enabling the airplane to haul 124 tons of cargo distances of 4,000 miles.
"Boeing has delivered a very good product to us," Atlas Chairman and CEO Michael Chowdry said. "In order to deliver the best product to our customer, we've got to have the best possible modification and Boeing has come through time and again."
"This modification further strengthens a long relationship we've had with Atlas Air," said Modification Responsibility Center Director Vic McMullen. "Atlas is now the world's largest operator of 747-200 freighter aircraft and Boeing is proud to be a part of the team that made it possible."
Boeing Wichita's full-service Modification Responsibility Center specializes in wide-bodied aircraft modifications and structural durability updates. Since 1972 Boeing Wichita has modified 79 Boeing 747 airplanes to freighter configuration.