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. (september 2018)
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a cargo aircraft (also known as freight aircraft, freighter, airlifter or cargo jet) is a fixed-wing aircraft that is designed or converted for the carriage of cargo rather than passengers. such aircraft usually do not incorporate passenger amenities and generally feature one or more large doors for loading cargo. freighters may be operated by civil passenger or cargo airlines, by private individuals or by the armed forces of individual countries (the latter is further discussed at military transport aircraft).
aircraft designed for cargo flight usually have features that distinguish them from conventional passenger aircraft: a wide/tall fuselage cross-section, a high-wing to allow the cargo area to sit near the ground, numerous wheels to allow it to land at unprepared locations, and a high-mounted tail to allow cargo to be driven directly into and off the aircraft.
by 2015, dedicated freighters represent 43% of the 700 billion atk (available tonne-kilometer) capacity, while 57% is carried in airliner's cargo holds, and boeing forecast belly freight to rise to 63% while specialised cargoes would represent 37% of a 1,200 billion atks in 2035.
the cargo facts consulting firm forecasts that the global freighter fleet will rise from 1,782 in 2019 to 2,920 twenty years later.