The aviation world will soon welcome a new freighter, an Airbus A320P2F. After receiving the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
converter Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) has begun turning the pax version of the first jetliner ready for conversion into a freighter aircraft. To start with, a prototype will be built to finetune
technical processes and workflows. Once accomplished, it will be the first A320P2F aircraft to take to the skies.
The pool from which EFW can draw is immense. To date, some 10,180 units of this Airbus variant have been delivered, of which 9,580 are in service with airlines. “As the A320 is most popular and has been produced in high rates, the feedstock is definitely bigger compared to the slightly larger sister model A321,” confirms EFW spokesperson Anke Lemke. The prototype is already undergoing conversion at EFW and its two parents, Singaporean ST Engineering and plane maker Airbus. It can be expected that much more are to follow, since market demand is huge. So it seems that the entire STE/EFW group of companies will be pretty busy in the years ahead.
Full order books
As Ms. Lemke indicates, the upcoming A320 conversions program will take place predominantly in both Dresden and Singapore, but also in Guangzhou and San Antonio, where STE / EFW run technical facilities. In addition, two more shops will be set up: Mobile in Alabama and Shanghai. She further emphasizes that existing conversion lines of different Airbus variants are not affected by the upcoming A320 work packages. In total, well above 80 widebody aircraft are currently standing in the order books of the converter, for single aisle passenger aircraft it is more than 60.
The prototype A320P2F aircraft is owned by the aviation leasing arm of ST Engineering. It will be the first of several converted freighter aircraft on lease to Vaayu Group, an aviation solutions and services group of companies.
“With this Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), we have added another first in the world to our family of Airbus P2F platforms,” stated Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW. “The A320P2F is a great complement to our other conversion programs. Airlines which employ different Airbus freighters to meet their various needs will get to enjoy improved operating economics due to the commonality across these platforms. Being a newer-generation freighter, it also offers greener fuel burn outcomes for its operators.”
The A320P2F can accommodate 10 container and 1 pallet positions in the main deck, and seven container positions in the lower deck. Given its gross payload of up to 21 tons at a maximum range of 3,400 km (1,850nm) and total usable containerized volume of 159m3 (5,603ft3), the freighter aircraft has 85% stowage efficiency. This makes the A320P2F an ideal freighter platform to serve the fast-growing e-commerce market globally, states EFW in a press release.
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