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Fri, Dec 16, 2005

Evergreen International Airlines To Operate Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighters

Modified Aircraft Will Transport 787 Components And Assemblies  

Boeing announced Thursday the company had selected McMinnville, OR-based Evergreen International Airlines, Inc. to operate the 747 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF) fleet, consisting of specially modified 747-400 jets that will be used to transport major assemblies for the upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Evergreen International Airlines, Inc. (EIA) is a subsidiary of Evergreen International Aviation, Inc. and has performed passenger and cargo services around the globe for more than 30 years. EIA has overall responsibility for the operation of the LCF fleet. It will fly routes to and from the US and Japan.

The 747s are being modified at Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp., in Taipei, Taiwan. As part of the transformation from a regular 744 to an LCF, the upper fuselage and interior structure are completely removed to make way for the build-up of the airplane with its enlarged upper fuselage (above). This assembly began earlier this month on the first airplane with the installation of an all-new pressure bulkhead.

First flight is scheduled for mid-2006, according to Boeing, followed by flight test and certification. The first LCFs will enter service in 2007 in support of Dreamliner production.

Evergreen has named Cargolux as a subcontractor to fly routes from Europe. Cargolux currently operates a fleet of 14 747-400 freighters. Sojitz Corp. of America has been chosen by Evergreen to coordinate logistics and other services for Japanese routes. Sojitz will establish an overall plan for receiving and transporting 787 components from Boeing’s Japanese partners, and will be the interface between Centrair and Nagoya airports.

"Evergreen International Airlines is an expert in its field, with nearly a half million hours of 747 experience," said 787 Vice President of Airplane Production Scott Strode. "We have complete confidence that EIA -- in partnership with Cargolux and Sojitz -- will meet the aggressive schedule required to transport Dreamliner components around the world." 

Boeing will use three Large Cargo Freighters as the primary means of transporting major 787 assemblies to its Everett, Wash., final assembly site from partners around the world.

"We thrive on the challenge of transporting unusual cargo," said Brian Bauer, president of EIA. "Operating these amazing airplanes for Boeing is a unique opportunity and we’re proud to play a role in the development of the 787."

FMI: www.evergreenaviation.com/EIA/, www.boeing.com

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