AV8AJET From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1266 posts, RR: 1 Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2289 times:
Does any think the shipping companies will ever look into converting passenger CRJ's or ERJ's into package freighters? It would seem to me as a possible future "box hauler." Who would have thought that planes like the L-1011 and DC-9's would be converted later to carry cargo. I also wonder about aircraft like the A320 series and I know there has been talk of the B777 as a freighter. Anyone else think this could happen?
N863DA From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 48 posts, RR: 6 Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2215 times:
As someone with a great deal of interest in Air Cargo Logistics, I have two responses to this.
On one level (that of an enthusiast), the idea of a CRJ-F is a cool idea. It would allow "all jet" operations for cargo.
HOWEVER, on an economically feasibility level, there are major problems with this. For one, cargo is often not time sensitive. If it is, however, it is usually not time-sensitive to within an hour or so. This is the only difference in timing that you would get from a CRJ in comparison to an ATR, for example, even on its longest feasible routes (~600nm or so).
By extension, regional jets have higher cost per ASM -CASM - (or, in the case of cargo, cost per available ton mile - CATM) than their turboprop counterparts. In pax service, this is made up for because jet aircraft tend to produce more revenue than props, partly because they stimulate pax traffic to some extent, and because people are willing to pay slightly more, in general, for RJ service over propjets.
However, cargo cares little about whether it gets there by prop or by jet, and the time difference between an RJ and an ATR-72 is neglible for this cargo transportation. Add to that the operating restrictions (such as runway condition, etc.) that RJs have over aircraft such as the EMB-120 and the ATR-72 utility aircraft, and the advantage of RJs in freight service over aircraft like the ATR-72, become a disadvantage.
N863DA From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 48 posts, RR: 6 Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2157 times:
The CRJ could carry an equivalent load to, say, the ATR-42 freighter, and certainly one larger than the EMB-120 utility aircraft (both of which are in use in various parts of the world).
However, the economics of the aircarft, as stated above, would likely simply not hold water. You also raise an interesting point that the acquisition costs, as another part of the overall economic picture, are not favorable toward the CRJ as a freighter.
DLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2110 times:
Well, economics has proven that it wouldn't work through specified uses, but the possibility of using CRJ's as freighters has it's merits. Think about this: Instead of waiting several hours or even days for packages to travel from Denver to Gunnison, instead FedEx or UPS or hell even a farcical "Great Lakes Cargo Service" could deliver packages in an hours time where a 727 is not needed.
Boeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2025 times:
I think it's an intriuging idea. You could start service to a smaller market without having the costs of flying a larger aircraft.
But as N863DA stated is his post, (a good one by the way) a turboprop would be a better suited aircraft for such missions. ATR already offers thier aircraft in a cargo configuration. Pretty cool actually, it can carry LD3's.
Chriskam From Norway, joined Jun 2000, 44 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1949 times:
I agree with the economics - today - but as 1000 CRJs become ageing in 20 years time, I bet you can buy them pretty cheep. Their ranger, rather than speed would be their main selling-point. But, I don't think we'll se freighter-conversions until 2015 at the earliest, and NO off-the-factory freighters. In Span Gestair does fly a fleet of Falcon 20s on freightflights.
PSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 6874 posts, RR: 29 Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1678 times:
A frieghter CRJ would be weight-restricted on its longest routes, thus limiting the range. Its narrow width severely limits the size of cargo. Also, the aircraft would be extremely difficult to fit with a side cargo door, due to the curvature of the fuselage and the placement of the wings.