A new freighter said to offer significantly more payload and containerised volume than competitors has completed its first flight.

Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture created by Airbus and ST Engineering, carried out the flight of the A320 passenger-to-freighter aircraft, the A320P2F, at ST’s facilities in Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore.

“With a cargo capacity of 10 ULD containers plus one pallet position on the maindeck, and seven ULD containers on the lower deck, the A320P2F offers significantly more payload and containerised volume than its closest competitor, as well as having the lowest fuel burn in its class,” said EFW.

This narrowbody freighter offers 21 tonnes of payload over 1,800 nm and up to 2,560 nm with 17 tonnes.

Notable features of the A320P2F conversion include a 142 inch width and 85 inch height maindeck cargo door in the left side of the forward fuselage that is hydraulically actuated and electrically locked; a 9G rigid cargo barrier with a lightweight and durable design for optimal usage of available space; a light-weight cargo lining; a manually operated cargo loading system with full support of industry standard narrowbody ULDs; reinforced floor panels and floor grid to cater for higher running loads; and a Class-E cargo compartment that fully meets the industry requirements.

It will be leased by ST Engineering Aerospace Resources (STEAR), the aviation leasing arm of ST Engineering, to Vaayu Group. Its re-entry into service as a freighter is scheduled to commence in 2022. Vaayu confirmed last month that it will lease five A320P2Fs from STEAR.

The A320P2F complements EFW’s current line-up of freighter converted Airbus aircraft which are in service today, including the A321P2F, A330-300P2F and A330-200P2F.

In May, leasing firm GTLK Europe signed up for four A321 conversions from EFW to meet growing e-commerce demand.


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