Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has announced that GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) will be the launch customer for the AEI B737-800SF programme. GECAS plans to convert up to 20 of its Boeing 737-800NG passenger aircraft to freighters. The first aircraft is scheduled for conversion starting in 2016 and will achieve FAA supplemental type certification (STC) in 2017.
AEI president Roy Sandri said: “As the pre-eminent commercial airline leasing company in the world, we are elated to announce that GECAS is the launch customer for the AEI B737-800SF conversion programme. This award is testament to the extraordinary quality, durability and value offered by the AEI conversion products.”
In October of 2014, AEI formally launched the B737-800SF passenger-to-freighter and combi programme, in conjunction with the announcement of AEI finalising an agreement with Boeing to license engineering data for the B737-800/-900 aircraft. The AEI B737-800SF converted freighter will be able to accommodate eleven 88”x125” AAA full height containers or pallets and one AEP/AEH container for a total of 12 positions. Depending upon the aircraft model and aircraft weight limits, the AEI B737-800SF will be able to carry a payload of up to 52,000 LB (23,587 KG). Additionally the AEI B737-800SF freighter will incorporate an 86” x 140” main cargo door and will include up to five supernumeray seats.