US AIRCRAFT-modification specialist TIMCO says that it has been selected by Airborne Express to develop a freighter conversion for the Boeing 767. Express-package carrier Airborne has acquired 12 ex-All Nippon Airways 767-200s for $290 million, including modification, and plans to acquire between ten and 15 additional aircraft for a total of $600 million.

Greensboro, North Carolina-based TIMCO has previously converted 15 McDonnell Douglas DC-8s to freighters for Airborne, says marketing director Brian McCarthy, strengthening the cabin floor and installing electronic flight-instruments. The 767 conversion will involve floor strengthening, a 9G cargo-barrier net, flight deck modifications and a new environmental control system.

The modification will not involve installation of a side cargo-door, says McCarthy, but he sees the programme as "paving the way" for development of a cargo-door conversion. The effort represents "three-quarters of the battle" in developing a full freighter conversion for the 767, he says.

TIMCO is a partner with British Aerospace in developing an Airbus A300B4 freighter conversion, using a modification designed by Seattle-based Flight Structures. BAe is performing its first A300B4 freighter modification for UK airline Channel Express.

Source: Flight International