Modified Aircraft Will Transport 787 Components And
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."