KMC and NIAR WERX 777 freighter conversion plans accelerate

Recently NIAR WERX and KMC began testing of a full-scale demonstrator cargo door for the 777-300ER conversion. Photo: Wichita State University

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has accepted the certification plan for Kansas Modification Center’s (KMC) 777-300ERCF passenger to freighter conversion FAA Supplemental Type Certificate programme.

KMC is developing its 777-300ERCF converted freighter in partnership with maintenance and overhaul shop NIAR WERX – a division of Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). 

This acceptance is the culmination of several months of direct coordination between the FAA, NIAR WERX and KMC, indicating agreement on design, modification, and certification approach specifications for the programme.

“The KMC and NIAR WERX team has achieved another monumental milestone for Wichita State and the state of Kansas, said NIAR WERX executive director Dave Jones.

“I’m beyond proud of them and their incredible efforts to consistently achieve critical program milestones.”

FAA acceptance of the certification plan reduces programme risk by enabling design and analysis teams at NIAR WERX to work to stable requirements, minimising the possibility of a major redesign due to a change in the certification approach and associated schedule delays.

Recently NIAR WERX and KMC began testing of a full-scale demonstrator cargo door for the 777-300ER conversion. Multiple other conversion structures and assemblies are in fabrication.

In April last year, Backbone Freighter Leasing became the launch customer for the 777-300ER converted freighter.

Backbone Freighter Leasing confirmed three firm orders for the freighters with deliveries in 2024 and 2025, and options for seven additional conversions in 2025, 2026 and 2027.

The order and options total in value over $300m, according to KMC.

Telair to supply Kansas B777-300ERCF P2F conversion cargo loading system

Backbone Freighter Leasing to become launch customer for KMC’s B777 conversion

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]