Cutting edge: IAI marks milestone in first 777-300ER conversion

Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Aviation Group has reached a milestone moment in the conversion of its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft – cutting an opening in the hull to install a cargo door.

The part of the cabin removed from the aircraft is seven meters long and a third of the aircraft’s circumference, IAI said.

The cutting comes shortly after the beginning of the aircraft’s structural modification, a process that will take approximately 130 days, the company added. At the end of this time the passenger aircraft will be converted into a cargo aircraft.

The cargo conversion process includes modifying the aircraft structure, including the installation of a new cargo door, replacing and reinforcing the cabin floor, installing reinforcements in the cargo door area and adapting the electric network and other systems to enable a safe and convenient operation.

In addition, this process includes receiving certification for the converted aircraft from the Civilian Aviation Authority and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Completing the 777-300ER conversion on time and according to the planned schedule is at the top of the Aviation Group’s priorities. Today, we mark an exciting step in the prototype’s conversion,” said IAI’s Aviation Group executive VP and general manager Yossi Melamed.

“Cutting the aircraft’s haul for the new cargo door is a prime example, reflective of the cargo conversions at IAI, which significantly advances our development process for this conversion. This step will allow us, in the near future and with increased confidence, to establish more conversion lines all over the world in order to provide services to the dozens of existing orders and to many more expected orders to come.”

From left to right: IAI’s Aviation Group executive VP and general manager Yossi Melamed and GECAS Cargo’s SVP and manager Richard Greener

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