IAI Converts Boeing 737-700 BDSF From Passenger To Freighter


Aviation Week ShowNews
Noam Eshel
Wed, 2016-07-13 07:00
Israel Aerospace Industries is developing a supplemental type certificate for a 737-700BDSF cargo conversion. A first prototype aircraft is under conversion from passenger to full freighter configurations at IAI’s facility. The conversion includes the installation of a cargo door on the fuselage, additional structural modification to support full load capacity, and implementation of smoke and fire detection in the cargo bay.

The prototype work is done in Israel, toward the approval of STC expected during the fourth quarter of 2016. Serial production of the 737-700 conversions will ultimately shift to China and possibly Eastern Europe, where IAI is seeking to expand MRO operations. In the past, Bedek had converted 737-400 aircraft; it is now gearing up to offer the stretched, more efficient variant that is beginning to be phased out of service with airlines.


According to Yosi Melamed, corporate executive vice president and general manager of Bedek Aviation Group, the group is expecting the B737-800BDSF conversion STC approval a year from the B737-700BDSF STC approval, with 12 positions and carrying up to 52,000 lb. In the future, IAI plans to introduce more narrowbody airframes, including 737NG and Airbus 320 and 321. Introduction of a new widebody platform, based on the Boeing 777-200, is also on Bedek’s road map.

Through the conversion process, the 737-700 aircraft is fitted with an 84” x 134” cargo door on the left side and additional modifications of main deck to Class E cargo compartment. The converted B737-700 BDSF can carry a total of 10 ULDs – eight full 88” x 125” AAA plus one 80” x 43” AYK plus one 88” x79” AYF, providing a total useful volume of 3,673 cu. ft., enabling it to carry up to 45,000 lb.

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