KMC’s “low risk” 777 P2F approach struggles to get traction

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By Judson Rollins

August 21, 2023, © Leeham News: Converting Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft to freighters has been fraught with challenges. One need only ask longtime P2F provider IAI, whose debut -300ER freighter has flown only once – nearly five months ago. Even Boeing shelved its own P2F plans for lack of a viable business case.

Photo credit: KMC.

Kansas Modification Center (KMC), launched just two years ago, believes it offers a P2F concept with a smoother path to certification. KMC says its competitive edge is a forward cargo door, requiring less structural reinforcement and thus significant weight savings versus an aft door.

KMC believes it will receive FAA type certification by December 2024, with European regulator EASA expected to follow in early 2025.

LNA received a program briefing from Jorge Della Costa, KMC’s CEO, and Eric Kivett, program manager at contractor National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) WERX. NIAR WERX, a unit of Wichita State University, provides engineering and modification services for KMC’s forthcoming 777-300ERCF.

  • Front loading door saves weight but may add loading challenges.
  • Lead engineering partner brings prior conversion experience.
  • Local partnerships, short supply chain reduce production risk.
  • Certification risk mitigated by human factors planning, not modifying software.
  • Lack of sales, capital are open questions.

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