The Boeing Company this week welcomed the second Japan Airlines (JAL) 747-300 jetliner to undergo domestic-passenger to international-passenger configuration at its commercial Modification Center in Wichita, Kan. Boeing Wichita is the company's principal site for commercial airplane modifications and operates under the direction of Boeing Airplane Services.
The modifications give JAL the flexibility to configure the airplane's passenger seating in four different arrangements to match the carrier's needs and the routes flown. Changes include new lavatories and galleys, rearranged seats and passenger-service units, and a video-entertainment system. The modifications also allow JAL maintenance crews to change seating configurations within a few hours.
"These modifications will allow JAL to respond quickly to changing requirements and market conditions, and give the airline the greatest possible value for its airplanes," said Vic McMullen, Modification Center director.
The contract to modify four JAL 747-300 airplanes was announced in October 1997. The first airplane arrived at Wichita in November 1998 and was delivered last month. The second airplane is scheduled for a May 1999 delivery; the third is scheduled for a May arrival and a July delivery. The last reconfigured airplane is to arrive in September and then deliver this November.
The Boeing Wichita Modification Center is a full-service facility, specializing in twin-aisle commercial airplane modifications, maintenance and structural enhancements. Since 1972, Wichita has modified 88 Boeing 747 airplanes from passenger to freighter/cargo configurations.