Boeing Modification and Engineering Services, a business unit of Boeing Enterprises, today announced that it has been awarded a contract from All Nippon Airways (ANA) to modify one passenger 747-200 airplane into full freighter configuration at its Wichita, Kan., facility.
The airplane is scheduled to arrive at Boeing Wichita's Modification Center in early 1999, and is the fourth aircraft Wichita has modified for ANA. Boeing expects the conversion to take about four months. About 150 people will be assigned to the program.
The contract calls for the removal of the passenger furnishings in order 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 29-pallet-position, powered cargo-handling system. Boeing also will certify the aircraft for increased takeoff and maximum zero-fuel-weight operation, which will allow ANA to carry greater payload.
Boeing Wichita's full-service Modification Responsibility Center specializes in widebody aircraft modifications and structural-durability updates. Boeing Wichita has modified 87 Boeing 747 passenger airplanes to freighter configuration since 1972.
By the year 2015, according to Boeing's annual Current Market Outlook, air cargo carriers will need more than 2,000 additional freighters, 70% of which will be conversions from existing passenger airplanes.
Other modifications Boeing has developed to enhance airplane performance and productivity range from structural retrofits - such as stretching a 747 upper deck - to major maintenance and interior-reconfiguration programs.