Boeing Freighters

Boeing Freighters -- Leading the Air Cargo Industry

Air cargo is an integral part of world business activity and currently generates revenues of more than $52 billion annually while growing faster than passenger travel. Boeing airplanes perform every role in the air cargo market and provide the most complete choice of freighters and "total solution" capabilities for conversion of airplanes to freighters.

As the undisputed air cargo market leader, Boeing offers a family of freighter models ranging from the 737 to the newest 747. In addition, Boeing passenger models consistently offer higher cargo capacity than their competitors, and Boeing offers the best in conversions of passenger and combi airplanes to freighters.

Boeing production and post-production freighters provide about 90 percent of the total worldwide dedicated freighter capacity, dominating the world's air cargo fleets. Freighters comprise a significant segment of Boeing Commercial Airplanes business, with record orders during the 2005-2007 three-year period, with more than 230 new production freighters added to the company's order book.

Boeing airplanes were the pioneers in air cargo from the start of the jet age, with 707 and DC-8 Freighters, and the development of newer Boeing freighter models has paralleled the expansion of the air cargo industry. Today, Boeing offers an unmatched selection of revenue payloads, from 20 tons (18 tonnes) for the 737-700 Convertible to 148 tons (134 tonnes) for the 747-8 Freighter, and keeps a studied eye on exciting ideas for the future.

In addition, Boeing passenger airplanes are highly respected for their lower-hold capabilities, which can make a significant difference for airlines by being the determining factor in whether a specific route is profitable.

747-8 Freighter

The new-technology Boeing 747-8 Freighter is the latest version of the undisputed "queen" of the air cargo fleet. It is based on the design recognized as "the single development that (most) shaped air cargo...over the last 25 years" by industry leaders.

The 747-8 Freighter continues the leadership of the 747 Freighter family in the world cargo market. Boeing launched the 747-8 Family with orders for the freighter in November 2005 from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines, after considerable study of the market feasibility of a new 747. By working together with customers and applying innovative new technologies of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing was able to bring the 747-8 family to market.

The 747-8 Freighter offers a range of 4,475 nautical miles (8,275 km) and has 16 percent more cargo volume than the 747-400, which allows it to hold seven additional pallets with the same nose-door loading capability, industry-standard 10-foot high (3-m) pallets and real-world cargo density capability at 9.8 pounds per cubic feet (158 cub kg/m).

With a payload capacity of 148 tons (134 tonnes) the 747-8 Freighter offers an additional 4,225 cubic feet (121 cu m) of volume -- accommodating four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets. The 747-8 Freighter enables operators to choose between carrying greater revenue payload -- up to an additional 22 tons (20 tonnes) more than the 747-400F -- or flying up to 1,400 nautical miles (2,593 km) farther in markets where cargo density requirements are lower. The airplane upholds its predecessor's legendary efficiency, with nearly equivalent trip costs and 14 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400F. In fact, the 747-8 Freighter will enjoy the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter, providing unmatched profit potential for operators.

Compared one-on-one, the 747-8 Freighter has no competitors. The 747-8 Freighter's empty weight is 82 tons (74 tonnes) lighter than the A380 Freighter. This results in a 24 percent lower fuel burn per ton, which translates into 20 percent lower trip costs and 23 percent lower ton-mile costs than the A380F.

747-400 Freighter

The Boeing 747-400 Freighter can carry 124 tons (110 metric tons) of cargo more than 4,400 nautical miles (8,150 km) Its unique nose-loading system makes full use of the main deck, which accepts 10-foot (3-meter) high pallets. From the beginning, the 747 family design has been specifically optimized as an all-cargo transport.

The 747-400ER Freighter entered service in late 2002. This model has an increased maximum takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,770 kg), allowing it to fly an additional 525 nautical miles (972 km) or carry an additional 22,000 pounds (10,000 kg) of payload.

A total of 23 customers ordered a total of 166 747-400/-400ER Freighters, all of which have been delivered.

Including classic 747 freighters, the 747 freighter fleet comprises more than half of the world's freighter capacity.

777 Freighter

Responding to strong demand from cargo operators around the world for an efficient, long-range, and high-capacity freighter, Boeing launched the Boeing 777 Freighter in May 2005 with a launch order from Air France.

Bringing unsurpassed efficiency to long-haul markets, the 777 Freighter will fly farther than any other freighter and will provide more capacity than any other twin-engine freighter. The 777 Freighter, which is based on the technologically advanced 777-200LR (Longer Range) Worldliner passenger airplane, and entered service in February 2009.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 766,000 pounds (347,450 kg), the 777 Freighter has a revenue payload capability of 229,000 pounds (103.9 tonnes). It provides the same 10-foot (3-m) interior height capacity as the 747 family, allowing for convenient transition of cargo between the models.

The 777 Freighter is capable of flying 4,895 nautical miles (9,065 km) with a full payload and general cargo market densities, making it the world's longest-range freighter. The airplane's range capability will translate into significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo-handling costs and shorter cargo-delivery times.

Air France took delivery of the first 777 Freighter on Feb. 19, 2009.

767-300 Freighter

The 767-300 Freighter can carry up to 60 tons (54.4 tonnes) of cargo 3,200 nautical miles (5,929 kilometers). It carries eight more tons (7 tonnes) 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) farther than the A300-600 Freighter with 15 percent lower cash operating costs per tonne-kilometer. Customers have ordered a total of 84 767-300 Freighters.

737-700 Convertible

The 737-700 Convertible is a freighter/passenger derivative of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-700. The 737-700C will set standards in its class with payload capacity of 20 tons (18 tonnes) and cruise speed of Mach 0.78 to 0.82. The 737-700C also is designated the C-40A as the replacement for the U.S. Navy's aging fleet of C-9 airplanes used for worldwide, short-notice transportation of military personnel and cargo. The U.S. Navy has ordered nine C-40As to date, bringing total 737-700C orders to 12.

Product Development

The 787, while not currently incorporating a freighter design, is being developed with lower hold cargo as a key consideration and will afford customers 40 to 60 percent more cargo revenue capacity than current airplanes in the 200-250 seat category.

Freighter Modifications

Boeing knows freighters and the business as well as anyone -- and that knowledge extends to the management of freighter conversion programs. Boeing Commercial Aviation Services offers a wide range of passenger-to-freighter and combi-to-freighter conversions for Douglas and Boeing airplane models. From a 34-ton (17-tonne) 757-200 to a 124-ton (113-tonne) 747-400 -- and anything in between -- Commercial Aviation Services can match virtually any air cargo requirement with one of its specially designed conversion programs.

Boeing offers the 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) and 767-300 BCF, providing the knowledge, experience, certification and support that only the original equipment manufacturer can provide. In addition, Boeing is currently conducting a development study for a 777-200ER BCF that could be introduced in the mid-to-latter part of the decade.

Commercial Aviation Services teams with industry leaders to provide innovative conversion solutions for 757-200, 737 Classic and MD-80 conversions through proprietary data licensees.