TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has successfully completed the inaugural flight of its converted Boeing 777-300ER freighter, marking the first test of the aircraft following cargo modifications.

The plane took off from Tel Aviv's runway 30 on March 24 and underwent nearly two hours of flight tests over the Mediterranean Sea.

The conversion program was executed in collaboration with GECAS, which has since merged with AerCap, and utilized an ex-Emirates aircraft initially delivered to the airline in 2005. Kalitta Air, a US cargo operator, will be the first customer for the IAI-modified twinjet, designated as the 777-300ERSF.

IAI is currently finalizing the certification process for the aircraft, nicknamed the "Big Twin," and has a backlog of over 60 firm orders scheduled for delivery within the next five years. The 777-300ERSF can transport a payload of 100 tons.

The modified Boeing 777-300ER joins IAI's existing cargo modification portfolio, which features 747-400s, 767-200/300s, and 737-700/800s. To support freighter production, IAI is establishing multiple conversion facilities to supplement its original line.