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The 777 now comes in a new form: the 777X, which flew for the first time in January 2020, becoming the largest twin-engine airplane ever to fly. You can expect to see it flying passengers this. Boeing 777-300 Our 777-300 aircraft offers a revolutionary new way to travel long haul. COVID-19: Changes to seat select As a response to COVID-19 requirements, we will be physically distancing passengers from each other and crew on international flights, when capacity allows.

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. Keno live draw.

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.

About NIAR
NIAR provides research, testing, certification and training for aviation and manufacturing technologies. Established in 1985, NIAR has a $96 million annual budget; a staff of 650; and nearly one million square feet of laboratory and office space in four locations across the city of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics/Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites/Advanced Materials, Crash Dynamics, Environmental/Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics/Automation, Virtual Engineering, eXtended Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel.

About Wichita State
Wichita State University serves as the Kansas urban-based research university, enrolling more than 20,000 students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.


The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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Satellite images featuring grounded Air New Zealand aircraft have provided a glimpse into the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the global aviation sector.

Five Air New Zealand 777s, with their distinctive fern liveries, can be seen in Google Earth images of a plane graveyard in California's Mojave Desert.


When international air travel came to a near standstill in 2020 as a result of Covid-19 airlines grounded fleets and put planes into long term storage facilities in the dry heat of deserts, where they are less susceptible to corrosion.

In Air New Zealand’s case it sent 15 Boeing 777s to long term storage facilities in New Mexico, California and Auckland.

New Boeing 777 Folding Wings

* First of eight Air NZ Boeing 777-200ERs departs for desert 'plane graveyard'
* Coronavirus: Air NZ extends Boeing 777 groundings as international recovery outlook worsens
* Coronavirus: Three Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300ERs flown to plane graveyard in US desert

Last year was the worst on record for the aviation industry due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with full year traffic down around two thirds on 2019.

And the International Air Transport Association isn’t predicting 2021 will be much better with losses of US$39 billion (NZ$54b) forecast for the global industry over the year.

Satellite images show three Air New Zealand 777s parked at Victorville Southern California Logistics Airport surrounded by FedEx planes and a stone's throw from nine hibernating Qantas Airbus A380s.

Two more can be seen closer to the facility's operations centre.

The high desert facility is the same place Air New Zealand sent its retired Boeing 747-400s in 2014.

In September Air New Zealand said the 777s won’t be coming out of storage until September at the earliest.

The airline indicated to analysts last year that its 777-200ERs were no longer needed. If that were the case they could be sold to an air freight company or turned into scrap and sold for parts.

The grounding of its Boeing 777-200ER fleet alone resulted in a $338 million aircraft impairment charge, the airline said in August.

Frequent flyer Christopher Walsh of Money Hub said he had flown on the 777s numerous times including a 777-200ER flight to Narita, Tokyo in January 2020, not long before coronavirus became a global emergency.

He said it was a sad sight to see them parked up in the desert.

“They’re all boxed in there.

“I think it will be a while before we see them back, if ever.”

He said a generation of New Zealanders would have grown up travelling on those planes and in an instant they became redundant.

“This is our airline and now it’s on a scrap heap.”

The 777-300ERs were once a daily sight in London and Los Angeles before the pandemic. Air New Zealand no longer flies to London and operates just two return services per week to Los Angeles using Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

“It’s kind of the end of an era,” Walsh said.

Air New Zealand’s 777 fleet was made up of four owned and four leased 777-200ERs, and four owned and three leased 777-300ERs.

The 777-300ERs started entering the airline's fleet in late 2010, five years after it took delivery of its first 777-200ER.

The airline secured purchase rights for both fleets in a 2004 deal.

The four 777-300ERs it bought had a combined list price of $1.4b but airlines usually negotiate substantial discounts and the actual amount paid by the airline was kept secret.