ST Engineering’s joint venture with Airbus, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), has received Supplement Type Certification (STC) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its A321 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion. The STC comes one month after the prototype unit, to be delivered to launch customer Vallair, made its maiden flight test on 22 January.
Mr Lim Serh Ghee, President of ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector, said, “The swift process in attaining EASA’s STC shortly after our first flight test is a testament to the engineering and design strengths of our P2F solution. With this STC, we have added another first in the world to our family of Airbus P2F platforms, to provide a wide array of attractive and proven solutions for the air cargo industry.”
Andreas Hermann, Airbus’ Vice President, Asset Management, and Member of the EFW Shareholders’ Committee, commented, “It is great to celebrate yet another milestone with our long-standing partners, ST Engineering and EFW for the A321P2F programme, which bears testament to the strong co-operation and commitment in this freighter conversion venture. With the EASA approval, we are confident of seeing more operators show interest in the highly capable A321P2F to meet their operational needs, and we look forward to the aircraft entering into service soon.”
“EFW is the centre of excellence for Airbus freighter conversions, with more than 20 years of experience and over 200 widebody converted freighters delivered to over 40 customers worldwide,” said Dr Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW. “We are glad to now add an additional member to our Airbus freighter family with the A321P2F, which complements our A330P2F as another best-in-class volumetric freighter. The A321P2F offers other unique advantages such as having the lowest operational cost and fully containerised upper and lower deck, making it an ideal replacement for the ageing Boeing 757 converted freighter.”
The A321P2F programme, launched in 2015, is the result of a collaboration between ST Engineering, Airbus and EFW. This is the exclusive A321P2F programme whereby Airbus contributes with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) data and certification support.
ST Engineering is responsible for the engineering development phase, up to obtaining the STC from EASA and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, while EFW leads the overall programme as well as marketing & sales. As the STC holder, EFW is also responsible for the adaption engineering in the serial phase as well as for customer services and support.
ST Engineering and EFW are the only provider in the world offering Airbus freighter conversions through their own STC developed using original OEM engineering data, which make their solutions all the more robust and reliable.
The A321P2F is a perfect replacement for the older generation of single-aisle freighters. It is the first in its size category to offer containerised loading in both the main deck (up to 14 full container positions) and lower deck (up to 10 container positions). With a generous payload-range capability that can carry up to 27.9 metric tons over 2,300 nautical miles, the A321P2F is the ideal narrowbody freighter aircraft for express domestic and regional operations.