ST Engineering and Airbus joint venture, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), has received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its head-of-version A320 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) aircraft.
This prototype unit is the first A320P2F aircraft to be developed in the world and is the second variant in Airbus narrowbody P2F solutions, next to the A321P2F version.
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.
EFW said the current feedstock of A320s offers ‘good-fitting options’ for airlines and leasing companies wanting to invest in converted freighters.
Also read: EFW’s A320P2F protoype takes maiden flight
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 tonnes at a maximum range of 1,850 nm and total usable containerised volume of 159 cubic metres or 5,603 square feet, the freighter aircraft has 85 percent stowage efficiency, making it an ideal freighter platform to serve the fast-growing ecommerce market globally.
To cover the demand, ST Engineering and EFW are setting up new conversion sites in China and the US this year and are ramping up capacity to accommodate over 60 slots for freighter conversions by 2024.