Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced yesterday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) have certified the conversion of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft from passengers to cargo configuration.

With this new certification, IAI becomes the only company to covert both the B737-700 and the B737-800. Both conversions were developed by IAI’s Bedek Aviation Group, in partnership with China’s Haite Group.

B737-800BDSF Passenger to Cargo Conversion

“We have witnessed increased demand for cargo aircraft in recent years. Being able to convert additional models will help us meet the demand.”

said IAI EVP and General Manager of the Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed

The IAI Aviation Group has already delivered the first two converted 737-800BDSF’s.

These two aircraft are N737KT, a 20 years old former Pegasus, and N916SC, a 21 years old former Transaero. Both aircraft have been delivered to DHL Aviation USA and will be operated by IAero Airways.

B737-800BDSF After Conversion

With the conversion to cargo, the 737-800BDSF has now a payload of up to 24 tons.

“IAI is excited to receive the FAA’s certification for converting B737-800s, and we thank both the FAA and the CAAI. I would like to thank our partners at the Haite Group in China for their trust in IAI. In addition, IAI sends our best wishes to all airlines impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and hope they will resume all their flights soon.”

IAI Aviation Group had converted more than 250 aircraft including B737-300/-400/-700/-800, B747-100/-200/-400, B757, B767-200/-300 and MD-11.

The converted aircraft fleet has already accumulated over 2,500,000 flying hours. It is important to note that no ADs have been issued against any of the IAI developed STCs (737, 767, 747).

The next big project of IAI is the conversion of a B777-300ER. For this IAI and GE Capital Aviation Services are combining forces to build the “Big Twin Freighter”. The 777-300ERSF is due to enter service in 2022, it will be able to carry 25% more volume than the 777-200F (Production Freighter).