Boeing has completed installation of new cargo handling systems for the first 757SF (Special Freighter) at its Boeing Airplane Services Wichita facility. Launch customer DHL Worldwide Express will receive the aircraft from Boeing in early March.
The systems, designed and built by Boeing, are installed on the main deck, lower forward compartment and lower aft cargo compartment. Both systems use robust hardware to meet the high reliability requirements of time sensitive shipments. The main deck system can accommodate a variety of certified Unit Load Devices (ULDs), such as pallets and containers, at the same time, a flexibility which will allow DHL to interline a wider variety of freight with other aircraft.
The lower deck system features the ability to carry DYH containers in a narrow-body aircraft for the first time. By using containers in the lower deck, turn-around time is expected to decrease significantly. The system can be quickly installed to the existing anchor plates. The aircraft is the first of 44 that Boeing Airplane Services is purchasing, converting and providing to DHL under a multi-year arrangement, as part of a total fleet management solution.
The 757SF modification involved the removal of the passenger furnishings, installation of a side cargo door, replacement of selected floor panels to strengthen the main deck floor, as well as installation of the new cargo handling system. The 757SF will be capable of carrying 27,210 kilograms of cargo more than 3,700 kilometres with a volume payload capacity of more than 226 cubic metres.
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