GECAS and IAI Launch the 777-300ERSF freighter conversion program

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood October 17, 2019 18:01

GECAS and IAI Launch the 777-300ERSF freighter conversion program

GECAS and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have announced the launch of the Boeing 777-300ERSF, and the establishment of a passenger to freighter conversion program. 

This new initiative, dubbed “The Big Twin” — denoting its status as the largest ever twin-engined freighter — is jointly funded by GECAS and IAI. 

The agreement was initially signed in July 2019 and a prototype aircraft to be provided by GECAS, the 777-300ERSF Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) Development Program has now been launched.

As launch customer and co-founder of the program, GECAS will commit 15 firm orders and has 15 additional options for the 777-300ERSF from GECAS’ owned portfolio to the program (including the prototype aircraft). 

The conversion of initial aircraft is expected to take place in Tel Aviv with further conversion lines contemplated in other locations outside of Israel from 2023. 

The program will also see IAI enter into conversion agreements for the 777-300ERSF directly with airlines as well as other lessors around the world. 

The 777-300ERSF STC development and prototype conversion is estimated to take over three years from the start of the program to achieving CAAI/FAA STC Approval, while subsequent aircraft will average four to five months to convert.

This new agreement marks a continuation of a decades-long partnership between GECAS and IAI. IAI’s experience and reputation in conversion programs include the Boeing 747, 767, 737NG and the 737 Classic, setting them apart as a leader in this unique passenger-to-freighter conversion space. IAI has a twenty-plus year relationship with GECAS, in which it has completed more than seventy conversions of GECAS’ aircraft, including 747, 767 & 737 freighters.

Richard Greener, SVP and Manager of GECAS Cargo, commented: “We are excited to join with IAI on this program. Their proven experience, knowledge, and unique engineering skill and resources in passenger to freighter conversions — combined with our working relationship with IAI stretching back into the 1990’s —gives us the confidence to co-fund the STC Development and commit to the Program as the Launch Customer of the B777-300ERSF.”

The program will also be supported by GE Aviation. The GE90 is the sole-source engine on this aircraft type and GE Aviation has worked with GECAS to create unique engine solutions dedicated to the support of freighter operators.

“The GE90 is designed specifically for the longer-range Boeing 777 aircraft, providing up to 115,000 lbs. of thrust, and has built a legacy of outstanding performance, reliability and payload,” said GE Aviation GE90 general manager Mike Kauffman. “GE Aviation looks forward to providing high-quality, cost effective MRO services for these engines, ensuring their exceptional performance continues through their lifecycle to support the operation of the converted freighters.”

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood October 17, 2019 18:01