NIAR announces new partnerships for Boeing 777 conversion program

Through a new partnership with Sequoia Aircraft Conversions and the Kansas Modification Center, the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University will begin a large-scale entrepreneurial Boeing 777 passenger-to-freighter conversion program.

The program, led by NIAR’s Engineering Design and Modification Team (EDM), will focus on the conversion of 777-300ER passenger aircraft from passenger-transport operations into cargo aircraft to meet the growing e-commerce high-volume freight transportation market.

The program allows NIAR EDM to provide engineering, modification, flight test, and certification for this and other commercial and defense programs, initially providing jobs for nearly 40 full-time engineers and 10 Wichita State engineering students. As the program progresses, there will be additional opportunities for WSU and WSU Tech students, especially those in the Aviation Maintenance Technician School.

Sequoia Aircraft Conversions will market the passenger to freighter conversions. Kansas Mod Center will own the STC and license the conversions.

NIAR EDM is based out of the former Boeing Air Force One modification facilities adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base. They provide new product development, production design, initial and Supplemental Type Certification, instrumentation installation, modifications and field support/repair.

The team consists of 140 engineers with more than 3,500 years of combined experience in engineering and program management.