Guggenheim Aviation Partners has ordered two 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter combi-to-freighter conversions. Both deliveries will take place in 2008, according to an agreement signed by Guggenheim and Boeing.
Guggenheim previously ordered five 747-400BCF passenger-to-freighter conversions. Boeing launched the Boeing Converted Freighter program for passenger conversions in 2004; it was known as the 747-400 Special Freighter program until recently. A Boeing-approved modification facility will convert the airplanes, a process that Boeing's Commercial Aviation Services unit will manage.
"We're thrilled to have Guggenheim order these combi-to-freighter conversions," said Lou Mancini, senior vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "Guggenheim already is a dedicated customer for the 747-400, and this new conversion will help them realize even more value from this market-leading airplane."
For the conversion, the 747-400 combi airplane receives a strengthened main-cabin floor, a full main-deck lining and provisions for a new cargo-handling system with an upgraded flight deck. The 747-400BCF has positions for 30 cargo pallets on the main deck and 32 LD-1 containers in the lower hold -- both comparable volumes to those of a new 747-400 Freighter. It is also capable of seating up to 19 people, an option found on no other converted freighter.
"The Boeing combi-to-freighter conversion offering continues Guggenheim's focus and commitment to the 747 freighter market segment," said Guggenheim Executive Officer Stephen Rimmer. "It builds on the 747-400BCF as well as the 747-400ERF (Extended Range Freighter), which it complements."
The Guggenheim team has undertaken several passenger-to-freighter conversions, and recently Guggenheim leased an MD-11 to Martinair in the Netherlands. The Guggenheim family has been involved in aviation for 79 years. They gave American aviation crucial support during its formative years when individuals could still impact the direction of an entire industry. The Guggenheims support a wide range of scientific, educational, and social programs relating to aeronautics.
Boeing Commercial Aviation Services offers customers reliable conversion-based engineering and certification expertise. Customers may choose and incorporate support packages during freighter conversions, including avionics and flight-deck upgrades, customized maintenance programs and integration of technical manuals.