Boeing Airplane Services this week welcomed the first 757-200 airplane at its Wichita, Kan., facility, where it will undergo passenger-to-freighter modification for DHL Worldwide Express. The airplane will be converted to Boeing's new 757 Special Freighter (757SF) configuration and provided to DHL under a multi-year program.
The airplane is the first of 44 airplanes Boeing Airplane Services is purchasing, converting and maintaining as part of a total fleet management solution for the global cargo carrier. Flight test certification for the 757SF is expected to begin in October and delivery of the first airplane is scheduled for later this year. A second 757 is slated to arrive in Wichita for modification in October.
"The arrival of the first airplane to be converted for DHL is an historic occasion," said Joseph Gullion, president of Boeing Airplane Services. "It marks an important step for a program that truly demonstrates Boeing's ability to offer our customers total service solutions designed to meet their unique requirements. This program reflects our commitment to grow our business in new and innovative ways that serve our customers. "
The work on the first airplane, to be done at Boeing Airplane Services' Wichita Modification Center, involves the removal of the passenger furnishings, installation of a side cargo door, replacement of selected floor panels, strengthening of the main deck floor, and installation of a cargo handling system.
When converted, the 757SF will be capable of carrying 60,000 pounds of cargo more than 2,000 nautical miles with a volume payload capacity of more than 8,000 cubic feet.
The 757SF program for DHL is an example of the total solutions packages Boeing offers to the world's airlines. DHL has also sought ongoing engineering and maintenance support for the 44 airplanes from Boeing Airplane Services under a separate contract.
Boeing Airplane Services provides total service solutions designed to meet an airline's individual requirements. Offerings include engineering retrofit packages, avionics upgrades, in-flight entertainment systems integration, cabin management solutions, passenger-to-freighter conversions, recovery and repair services, and airplane performance improvements for Boeing commercial airplanes. In addition, Boeing Airplane Services has the most comprehensive spare parts distribution system in the industry, with a worldwide network of distribution and service centers. It also provides technical consulting and general contracting support for passenger and cargo airlines.
Boeing Airplane Services is a unit of the Boeing Commercial Aviation Services organization, which offers the aviation industry's broadest array of support resources. As part of The Boeing Company, Boeing Airplane Services has access to all the experience and technical capabilities of the world's largest aerospace company. More than 11,000 Boeing airplanes are in operation today around the world.