BEN-GURION INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Israel --- Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)'s Bedek Aviation Group has announced that it will be proceeding with a cargo conversion program for Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
The decision to proceed with this program was reached after an extensive Bedek study was completed on the market potential for converting Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft into freighters.
Potential customers and the financial community were briefed on the various configuration options for a Boeing 747-400SF (Special Freighter) aircraft. The positive reaction from the customers and financial community to the Bedek preliminary designs prompted IAI and Bedek management to proceed with the program.
Based on current estimates, Bedek is confident that the first delivery of a reconfigured aircraft can take place in the second quarter of 2005.
Converting the Boeing 747-400 into a Special Freighter will incorporate the following elements:
--Installation of side cargo door at the aft of the main deck
--Reinforcement of Cargo Floor
--30 plus main deck container or pallet positions
--Fully powered cargo handling system
--20-foot container capabilities
--Increased cargo height (10 feet) capability
--Upper deck occupancy reconfiguration
--Systems and interior modification into freighter configuration
--Fully lined main deck cargo compartment
David Arzi, IAI Corporate Vice President and Bedek General Manager said: “The realities facing the airline industry today have created a scenario that makes for economic sense to convert existing Boeing 747-400 aircraft into special freighter aircraft. Because of the drop in prices for available 747-400 aircraft, a complete acquisition and conversion program can be accomplished for approximately $54 to $58 million.”
Bedek is a world leader in aircraft conversions. Currently, Bedek offers conversion programs for an entire family of aircraft including the B747-200SF (from Pax and Combi), B737-300/400 SF& QC and 767-200/300SF. Dozens of aircraft have already been converted including 35 (35) 747-200, fifteen (15) 757-200, and four MD-11.
Existing orders for 737-300 SF&QC and 767-200SF have created a backlog of almost 50 aircraft.