Integrator DHL is the lucky customer of the ‘triple 7’ Airbus aircraft (serial number MSN777). It is the first converted A330-300 licensed to transport a record gross payload of up to 63 tons per flight.
Smart loading system is the differentiator
Thus, this freighter, delivered to DHL last Thursday, can accommodate 3 additional tons compared to its sister models. Precondition for this, was the installment of an automated power loading system which reduces operating time and prevents damage when several containers are handled in parallel. It allows for the simultaneous loading and positioning of two 96” x 96” or 88” x 96” containers, the latter preferred by integrators. “It needs only two loaders to accomplish the loading or unloading job on the upper deck,” Wolfgang Schmid, VP Sales and Marketing, explains.
From China Eastern to DHL
Further to this, he points out that the former three passenger doors were deactivated, with a new main deck cargo door replacing them. The floor grid was reinforced, and new floor panels installed. “Particularly due to the automated cargo loading system, this aircraft has the potential to become a game changer since it speeds up loading and unloading processes, allows to reduce downtimes of the aircraft at airports and ups utilization considerably,” EFW executive Schmid states.
The EFW P2F converted A330-300 was built in 2006, flying since then for China Eastern Airlines before DHL purchased the aircraft in order to have it remodeled by Dresden, Saxony-based Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), to start its second life as a freighter. “Following its P2F conversion, the Airbus can easily be utilized for another 15 years – minimum,” Mr. Schmidt assures.
Track conversion record
As recently reported by CargoForwarder Global (24May20), two additional A330-300P2F will leave EFW’s Dresden hangars and be delivered to DHL in the course of this year, with up to 12 more P2F converted A330s to follow for this client.
With more than 20 years of experience and over 200 widebody converted freighters delivered to over 40 customers worldwide, EFW has become the center of excellence for Airbus freighter conversions. As reported, the company lately enjoyed increasing requests to convert A330, as well as A321 conversions.
The A330 program started at EFW in 2017 with the delivery of the first express cargo-optimized A330-300P2F to DHL. A year later, the P2F conversion of the sister aircraft A330-200 was certified by the authorities. Last February, EFW received the supplemental type certification for its A321P2F conversion from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Especially for the conversion of this Airbus variant, there is a high market demand.
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