GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has delivered a Boeing 777-300/ER to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for freighter conversion, to become the prototype B777-300ERSF. The aircraft to be converted is owned by GE, and was previously leased to Emirates, registered A6-EBB.

The “Big Twin” B777-300/ERSF

The converted freighter, dubbed the “Big Twin,” is a collaboration between Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). The design will make use of the existing B777-300ER passenger airframe, which is now the most popular widebody aircraft variant in history.

The “Big Twin” will have 25% more cargo capacity than the standard B777 freighter, which is based on the -200LR series. Furthermore, the aircraft will burn 21% less fuel per tonne than a B747-400 freighter.

Despite having a larger airframe and larger capacity, the “Big Twin” is expected to maintain 90% commonality with it’s standard 777 Freighter counterpart; of which there are currently 170 in operation.

Aircraft Performance

The “Big Twin” will retain the existing GE90 engines that are seen on the B777 Freighter. These engines will offer a fuel efficiency that will rival those of the ageing B747-400 Freighters currently in service around the world.

As part of the conversion process, all but two of the passenger-use exit doors will be deactivated and the windows will be blocked out. In addition, customers will be able to keep an optional row of Economy Class seats for passenger transport.

Range4650 Nautical Miles
Maximum Takeoff Weight775,000 lb (351,534 kg)
Fuel Capacity47,890 Gallons (181,283 Litres)
Total Cargo Volume28,936 ft3 (819 m3)
Wingspan212.5 feet (64.80 meters)
Length239.75 feet (73.08 meters)
The “Big Twin” design diagrams. Source: IAI

Potential Customers

Set to enter into service in 2022, the “Big Twin” is expected to attract strong interest from cargo airlines looking to retire their ageing B747-400 Freighters. GECAS, in addition to being the program co-funder, will also be the launch customer.

GECAS has placed 15 firm orders and has 15 additional options for the aircraft, which will be leased to cargo operators and operate freight routes in times of disaster when extra cargo capacity is needed.

“The arrival of the prototype aircraft in Tel Aviv is an exciting milestone for the Big Twin freighter program. This aircraft sets out to meet requirements of the air cargo industry for the next 20 years.”

Richard Greener, SVP and Manager, GECAS Cargo

Article Sources: IAI and GE

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