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With an intention to convert the giant B777-300ER into a freight carrier, GE Capital Aviation Services has handed it over to Israel Aerospace Industry. IAI intends to convert this commercial passenger plane into the prototype of 777-300ERSF. GECAS owns this aircraft and it had previously given this to Emirates on lease where it got registered as A6-EBB. However, now the owner of this jet i.e. GECAS is now introducing its new utilization by converting it into an Extended Range Special Freighter.
Features of The Big Twin
This converted version of B777-300ER is also known as The Big Twin simply indicates its massive capacity of accommodating freight. Flipping an ideal passenger plane into a freight carrier is a joint effort and collaboration of GECAS and IAI. The magnificent production of Boeing i.e. B777-300ER has been extensively serving the aviation industry with the help of its reliable passenger airframe. However, now its conversion into a freighter will serve another purpose by transporting air cargo from one state to another. Due to its magnanimous size, this pane of GECAS will become capable of carrying 25% more cargo than that of B777 freighter. Similarly, it will reduce the fuel consumption as will intake 21% less fuel than that of B747-400 freighter aircraft.
Besides it, this B777-300ERSF intends to meet the standardized protocols of a freighter jet, hence will be sharing 90% common features of its counterpart B777 freighter. Almost 170 of B777 freighters are in operation worldwide hence GECAS is relying on its features to incorporate into B777-300ERSF.
Technical Aspects of B777-300ERSF
To retain its extraordinary performance, B777-300ERSF will keep its already existing GE90 engines. For conversion purposes, IAI will deactivate two passenger exit doors. Moreover, GECAS and IAI have planned to block out the windows. In addition to it, B777-300ERSF will have 10 ore positions than that of 200LR hence making spacious space for carrying cargo. For passengers traveling through this converted aircraft, an optional row for the economy class will be placed. The rest of the technical aspects of this B777-300ERSF are given below:-
|Maximum takeoff weight 775,000lb|
Range 4650 Nautical Miles
Fuel Capacity 47,890 Gallons
Total Cargo Volume 819cb m
No of Pallets 47
Wingspan 212.5 feet
Length 239.7 feet
Procedure of Conversion Program
There is a proper streamlined procedure of converting this passenger plane into a cargo aircraft. That’s why GECAS contracted with IAI for making it happen smoothly. GECAS hopes the occurrence of initial procedures of conversion in Tel Aviv while it will complete the entire it’s entire phases in other locations of Israel. However, the process of conversion requires the acquisition of approval of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from CAAI/FAA. In this way, 777-300ERSF development and prototyping will take almost three years from initiating this program to acquiring the Supplemental Type Certificate. After getting this certificate, the aircraft needs four to five months to appear and serve as a freighter jet.
What made GECAS to start this Conversion Program?
GECAS took this initiative at the right time for providing airlines with wide-bodied cargo jets. This conversion will help airlines to earn the maximum accommodative payload from a single flight. Since Boeing and Airbus are currently not producing new variants of freighters yet the demand for air cargo transportation has been increasing day by day. In order to cater to this ever-increasing demand, airlines are seeking new ways to tackle the transportation of cargo by generating maximum revenue through reducing their cost of operations. Therefore, airlines are praising this initiative of GECAS.
Moreover, airlines around the globe mostly rely on 747-400 freighter carriers to transport the maximum of the cargo. Due to the massive size of B747-400, it accommodates a large number of shipments by loading them onto containers or pallets. However, these frequently used B747-400 are getting aged and their life span is declining with the passage of time. The aging factor of aircraft with a decrease in its remaining life cycle does not leave it reliable for usage. Therefore, airlines are seeking to get a better alternative so that they can keep on moving cargo with the same efficiency. That’s the reason conversion of B777-300ER into B777-300ER Special Freighter seems to be the success story of the near future.
Featured Image: GECAS