|Boeing 737-800 converted freighter, rendering. Photo: Boeing|
[Avionics Today 02-25-2016] Boeing has launched the Next-Generation 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) with orders and commitments for up to 55 conversions from seven customers.
Through its freighter conversion program, Boeing transitions passenger airplanes into freighters, extending the economic life of the airplane. The 737-800 is the first Next-Generation 737 that Boeing has offered for conversion. While large freighters carry high-density cargo on long-range routes, the 737-800BCF will primarily be used to carry express cargo on domestic routes.
"While the recovery of the global cargo market has been slow, we see demand for freighters, such as the 737-800BCF, that will carry express cargo on domestic routes," said Stan Deal, senior vice president of commercial aviation services at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts customers will need more than 1,000 converted freighters the size of the 737, with China's domestic air freight carriers accounting for nearly one-third of the total market."
The 737-800BCF carries up to 52,800 pounds of cargo, flying routes of nearly 2,000 nautical miles. Boeing has slated delivery of the first 737-800BCF in the fourth quarter of 2017.