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A320 Freighter  
User currently offlineSTEELHEAD From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 127 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5673 times:

With the current (and future) fuel prices flying the 727's as freighters must
become a nightmare for the operators.

Especially the parcel carriers also need to think on the noise issue - sooner
or later - as already done in Europe. I'm living near a nightly parcel hub -
even with stage 3 hushkits they are noisy. Not an issue for me, but people
will notice who is making the noise. See Paul Martin and his Starjet 727.

There are a few 737-300's flying around as freighters, but not a single A-320.

Any reason for that ? Some early A-320 are becoming old now - just right
for freighter conversations. Or is there any reason, why an A-320/321 will
not become a good freighter. Especially the A-321 must be very good for
parcel transportation i think.

What will become the future medium cargo aircraft to replace the 727 at
UPS/FedEx, Purolator etc. ?

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMagyarorszag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5636 times:

Are the A320 family cabin cross section large enough to receive cargo pallets or containers like those used with the B727/737 ?

Maybe the A320 members are still more valuable to fly as pax aircraft! Just a guess. Lets see what others have to say.

Cheers.


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

Quoting STEELHEAD (Thread starter):
What will become the future medium cargo aircraft to replace the 727 at
UPS/FedEx, Purolator etc. ?

Boeing has an advantage here in that they can sell a factory 737 freighter. Something to think about.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineCloud4000 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

Good question, I suppose.  Confused

I guess they're just too new to be turned into freighters at this point, and also too expensive.

Air cargo companies rarely buy new aircraft (except for the odd order here and there), but prefer buying old passenger aircraft and converting them into freighters, that's why you see a lot of 737-300s, 757-200s, 767-200s, DC-10s, MD-11s, A310s, A300s, etc.

In the next few years, I think you'll start seeing A320s turned into freighters eventually.



Boston, USA
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5591 times:

EADS has the A320F ready to go... it was expected to be available in 2004, but the collapse in funds from airlines pushed that back.

As it is, the routes its optimal for (US domestic parcels) has not recovered to the point long-haui shipping has. Neither FX or 5X seem ready to action that section of their fleets at this time.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 2):

Boeing has an advantage here in that they can sell a factory 737 freighter.

Again, I'm not 100% sure that's an advantage. They aren't modifying 733s and 734s in house at this time, and that's where the sweet spot would be.

The 73GC has not been taken up by anyone commercially, and again., this is not the high margin section of the freighter fleet. It will migrate the same way the pax fleets have, just a generation behind.

We've gone slowly DC-8/707 to D10/727 and then AB6/310/757 next will come the onslaught of M11s, 737s, 757s, and 767s followed later by A320s then 737NGs.

N


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5564 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 4):
As it is, the routes its optimal for (US domestic parcels) has not recovered to the point long-haui shipping has. Neither FX or 5X seem ready to action that section of their fleets at this time.

Besides, with lots of early build turbofan 737s entering their 20s, they will have lots of fodder to chose from. Better yet, these aircraft wont require hushkit conversion.

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 4):
We've gone slowly DC-8/707 to D10/727 and then AB6/310/757 next will come the onslaught of M11s, 737s, 757s, and 767s followed later by A320s then 737NGs.

Total agreement, though the 737NG would seem to have an advantage due to lift as compares to its lighter weight. I can actually see 739 PAX versions being replaced in passenger service by 739ERs and that limited fleet undergoing a successful conversion



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineMagyarorszag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5540 times:

Quoting Cloud4000 (Reply 3):
Air cargo companies rarely buy new aircraft (except for the odd order here and there),

Yes these are odd orders, but when you look at 5X fleet, they have 51 A300F4-622R in service or to be delivered, 32 new B767-300F, about 75 B757-200PF. Its quit a brand new delivered fleet. Okay, they still have the B747s, B727S and "some" MD-11F all of which are second hand, but 156 new aircraft isn't nothing. And FX has something like 20 newly delivered A300F4-605R, about 23 new MD-11Fs, and still a few DC-10-30Fs they have ordered from the manufacturer. And look at Asia. How many new B744F are flying from this part of the world?

But yes, its not the norm to have a whole fleet of newly delivered cargo haulers.

Cheers.


User currently offlineReins485 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5496 times:

I was wondering would the A-320 be a better freighter than the 737. B/c I know the A-320 can take containers both on the main deck and in the cargo hold. I would think that FedEx and UPS would really like them because they tend to fill up before they reach MTOW.
Reins485


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5433 times:

Good topic and valid question. Personally, I think the A320 would make an excellent package freighter and would hit the sweetspot for a 727 replacement. With pax versions selling briskly, there's no slack in the existing production lines for a F version; none sitting in the desert for conversion either. Could be that the contemplated offshoring of the A320 line in China could accomodate the demand if Airbus chooses to go this route?


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3076 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5414 times:

Most narrow body freighters fly 1-2 hours then sit on the ground for a few hours then fly back....using an aircraft 4-6 hours a day will not pay the cost. It will be a while before we see large scale replacements for the 727-200..

GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6294 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5401 times:

Time just isn't up yet. The oldest 320 out there is no more than 17 years old.

You don't get a used (say 10 - 15 years old) 320 for free. What lowered the price of a 727 even more was that fact that they for all practical things have become illegal in Europe. Only a few RR reengined 721s soldier on. Hushkitted 722s - no, not acceptable.

"Small" freighters are often involved in a very tight day-to-day delivery schedule which means that they can be utilized very little - one or two sectors five nights a week. To pay interests on a fairly new plane with such a low utilization is expensive. That's why an extremely cheap plane makes sense even if it's a fuel guzzler. With so few hours in the air there is a limit to how much fuel it can burn.

The heavy intercontinental frighters are an entirely different story. They usually fly all the time and are often built as frighters from the factory. Just have a look at the 747F and 380F order books. On the other hand there is no market for new built 737 or 320 frighters.

The densely populated parts of Europe have been very sensitive to nighttime noise during the last 20 years or so. That created a market for the BAe-146 frighter, which is almost silent. Now they are there and they will do perfect service for the next 25 years to come, maybe with a slow addition of a few pax conversions. Besides that large parts of Europe have a very good overnight railway infrastructure.

With the great tunnel under the British Channel Europe isn't separated from Britain any longer.  Smile

But as long as a hushkittet 727 is tolerated in the USA, and can be picked up in the desert for $100k, then they will fly Christmas gifts from state to state no matter what the fuel price will be.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5290 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 5):
Total agreement, though the 737NG would seem to have an advantage due to lift as compares to its lighter weight.

The difference between the two is miniscule to the point of providing almost no differentation between the platforms. The reports quarter to quarter flop back and forth between the 73G and 319 being the most efficient narrowbody in the class based on average reported selling price.

The A320 can carry containerized cargo on both decks. This could be construed as an advantage.

The A320 entered service almost a decade before. Older ones will come up for conversion first is my guess, long before the 73G but a long while after 733s and 734s.

N


User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5265 times:

correct me if im wrong, but isnt the A320 family a higher sitting a/c than the 737 or 727? could that be the problem for small(er) aircraft operations? example a FX using a 727 and the ground equiptment not being compatable with the 320's?


Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineAirTranTUS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5163 times:

I have thought about this myself. But when I look at an A320 and a 733, the 733 looks like it could handle the stresses of cargo work more than the A320 could. A simple analogy would be a pair of Dockers to a pair of Wranglers. You are not going to see somebody hauling logs in a pair of Dockers, they wouldn't want to rip them. This is the way I see the A320 as a cargo plane. Just my perception.

User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1337 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5143 times:
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Quoting Cloud4000 (Reply 3):
Air cargo companies rarely buy new aircraft (except for the odd order here and there), but prefer buying old passenger aircraft and converting them into freighters, that's why you see a lot of 737-300s, 757-200s, 767-200s, DC-10s, MD-11s, A310s, A300s, etc.

I think this at least goes some way toward explaining the lack of A320s as freight airplanes.

Boeing/Douglass aircraft are generally considered to be more robust than Airbus aircraft. Anyone familiar with the SRMs of the types can probably infer this on his own. This is not an attempts to start A v B here. Advantages exist to both schools of thought.

For any given investment on a freighter retrofit the Boeing/Douglass is likely to see a greater time in service - The negatives associated with old passenger airplanes may not apply to freighters.
Of course this must be traded against operating costs, etc.



Speedtape - The asprin of aviation!
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5075 times:

Quoting Magyarorszag (Reply 6):
they have 51 A300F4-622R in service or to be delivered

I believe they converted most, if not all, of their AB6s to A380Fs

Quoting Magyarorszag (Reply 6):
about 23 new MD-11Fs

Try 63 MD-11Fs

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 11):
a long while after 733s and 734s.

A long while no, the oldest 733 is only 5 years older than the oldest A320, and the oldest 734 even less.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1368 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5013 times:

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 12):
isnt the A320 family a higher sitting a/c than the 737 or 727? could that be the problem for small(er) aircraft operations?

Yes, the A320 family sits higher off the ground, but then so does the DC-8, and that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 13):
the 733 looks like it could handle the stresses of cargo work more than the A320 could.

What about the 733 "looks like" it is more robust? The 320's nose is fatter; is that more robust? Do looks matter?


User currently offlineJonathan-l From France, joined Mar 2002, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4970 times:

Quoting Magyarorszag (Reply 1):
Are the A320 family cabin cross section large enough to receive cargo pallets or containers like those used with the B727/737 ?

Yes, plus ULD in the lower deck.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 2):
Boeing has an advantage here in that they can sell a factory 737 freighter. Something to think about.

737 freighters are all converted pax aircraft


User currently offlineBryanG From United States of America, joined May 1999, 429 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4969 times:

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 12):
correct me if im wrong, but isnt the A320 family a higher sitting a/c than the 737 or 727? could that be the problem for small(er) aircraft operations? example a FX using a 727 and the ground equiptment not being compatable with the 320's?

No problem here. All the heavy cargo handling equipment currently used on the 727 would work fine on the A320. The 757 sits even higher, and all standard equip can be used on that type.

Another thing to consider is the cost of cargo refit. It's not as simple as taking out the seats and cutting a bigger door into the side. The floor might have to be strengthened, which can be costly. It all depends on how the aircraft was originally engineered.

I wonder... did the Airbus designers originally forsee the possibility that the A320 might have a second career as a cargo hauler, and design the plane to be easily convertible?


User currently offlineLotsamiles From United States of America, joined May 2005, 323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4932 times:

Another thing to consider is that the A320F would carry only 10 main deck pallets, 2 less than the 727-200F. Granted, the lower deck can be containerized, but only a fraction of the aircraft were delivered that way and the retrofit from Airbus would be expensive.

The 733SF is only 8.5 pallets and the 734SF is 9.5 pallets.

The 752 is 14.5-15 pallets, depending on the conversion and thus allows room for growth in replacement of a 727-200F. All other potential narrow body replacements for the 727-200F require the operator to give up payload or volume, including the 737NG when that time comes.

The extra diameter of the A320 airframe is nice but since all narrow body ULD's are based on the Boeing sized narrow body airframe an airline really would not get the benefit of the extra volume.

Regards,
Lotsamiles


User currently offlineMagyarorszag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4877 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 15):
Try 63 MD-11Fs

63 MD-11Fs means both new and second hand. When I said 23, it was just brand new delivered.

Cheers.


User currently offlineWINGS From Portugal, joined May 2005, 2831 posts, RR: 69
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4829 times:

I started a post yesterday which also has mention to the progress of the A320F. May be the following can also be of help to this topic

Taken from the Russian News & Information Agency NOVOSTI,

EADS buys into Irkut

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) has bought a 10% stake in the Russian aviation major, Irkut, for 55 million euros. EADS expects this deal to promote the European A-350 long-haul aircraft that is competing against the U.S. Boeing 787 in the Russian market.

In 2004 Irkut signed a ten-year contract with EADS for the delivery of components for the A-320. The EADS Irkut Seaplane joint venture was set up in 2005 to advance the Russian Be-200 seaplane on Western markets.

Vadim Vlasov, general director of OOO EADS (the Russian subsidiary of EADS), said the European company offered cooperation in three other areas related to Airbus civilian aircraft. Irkut can produce components for the new A-350 aircraft (commercial deliveries are to begin in 2010), as well as contribute to the joint construction of a promising medium-haul aircraft that would replace the A-320. Airbus will start creating the new plane after completing the A-350 project. And lastly, Irkut has been offered the right to participate in a program that will convert the scrapped A-320 aircraft into freighters.

In response, EADS expects Russia to do more than Irkut management can. Aeroflot, Russia's national carrier 51% owned by the Russian government, is holding a tender for new long-haul aircraft worth $2-$3 billion. The carrier is choosing between the A-350 and the Boeing 787 (the latter promises to be slightly cheaper than A-350 and is to be operational two years ahead of it, in 2008).

Vlasov said that the acquisition of A-350s by Aeroflot was the requisite condition for Irkut's admission to the production programs of Airbus and EADS.


Regards,
Wings



Aviation Is A Passion.
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4609 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 4):
The 73GC has not been taken up by anyone commercially, and again., this is not the high margin section of the freighter fleet. It will migrate the same way the pax fleets have, just a generation behind.

You can't necessarily say that:

http://www.aviationweek.com/shownews/01nbaa2/topsto32.htm

That article doesn't say who it is, but it might be commercial.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31580 posts, RR: 57
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4570 times:

Why has the A320F been considered by Airbus.If Boeing has the B737-700C.
I would think there would be Cargo operators keen on it.
Whats Airbus take.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineLotsamiles From United States of America, joined May 2005, 323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4541 times:

The 737-700C and C-40 have been delivered to:
Saudiaramco Aviation: 2
US Air Force: 7 (backlog of 3 for 2007)
US Navy: 8 (backlog of 1 for 2007)

Perhaps there are other orders kept confidential by Boeing.

Regards,
Lotsamiles


25 MD90fan : I thought TAAg Angola ordered 73G/C when they placed their 772 order this year?
26 Gigneil : The value of those 733s and 34s are much less. What? N
27 Tod : Don't forget aircraft lifespan is also measured in hours and cycles. Nobody that I know designs pax aircraft floor structure to take freighter load r
28 Post contains images LifelinerOne : Err, did I missed something? When did Aeroflot ordered the A350?? Cheers!
29 UA772IAD : Let's not forget those DC-8s, either! I saw one at an apron at RNO when I flew in yesterday. I also think that its a little too early for Airbus to b
30 STEELHEAD : Thanks for all your responses. I was thinking, that it must be time to start something, if the first examples of an aircraft type went to the scrapyar
31 Post contains images BuyantUkhaa : Ha! First scrap them, then turn them into freighters! But ok, at least Novosti writes stuff in English
32 KC135TopBoom : Because the A-320 series is slightly wider than the B-737 series, engineering and building the cargo floor is more expensive. Plus, with a few excepti
33 Avianca : I think the range wouldnt be a matter for a A320Cargo family, as the aircraft would be used mostly for shorter flights to the integrator hubs in the
34 Post contains images Tod : Cargo door design is a bit of a specialized field and finding good engineers that know what they are doing is expensive. Along with the fuselage stru
35 Spacepope : Only wider at floor level. It is narrower in section at shoulder/head level. This may sound like nit-picking, but it results in an entirely different
36 Prebennorholm : The 737 has a double bubble fuselage with the floor taking up the presurization load where the two bubbles meet. The 320 has a circular fuselage. Tha
37 Tod : Any insight into whether the certification basis for the fuselage structural substantiation was based on this assumption? The design knowledge and es
38 Lotsamiles : Actually, the floor strengthening required for a narrow body conversion is rather benign. There is no swap out of floor beam required as on a wide bod
39 Post contains images HAWK21M : Typo. Regret same. "read as why has not" regds MEL
40 Tod : Interesting for sure. Any idea who did the door mod? Tod
41 Lotsamiles : Tod, IAI Bedek has converted the new ABX Air 767's with the full main cargo door. Boeing and Aeronavali have a competing program which should be deliv
42 Tod : Thanks. Didn't IAI also do some 747 doors too? Tod
43 Lotsamiles : Tod, Yes, IAI has done several programs including 737-300 and 747-200 and they are now working on a 747-400. BTW, Boeing delivered the first of their
44 Tod : I saw that. We salvaged a bunch of interior stuff out of that plane (B-HOU)when we reconfigured the first three ex-SQ 744 into CX configuration in Xi
45 Avianca : and if the ulds of the mention aicrafts did not fit in into a A320C were would be the problem? for example the AMA containers are only loadable at th
46 Lotsamiles : Avianca, If the A320 freighter could not carry the standard container for a narrow body (88 x 125 inches) this would be a severe disadvantage. The ind
47 HAWK21M : Whats the Width of an A320 Fuselage compared to a B737. regds MEL
48 Lotsamiles : MEL, I understand that the A320 is approximately 6 inches wider than the B737 at the floor line. Airbus quotes the A320 external fuselage width as 13
49 HAWK21M : So a Pallet 128x88 should fit eaisly. regds MEL
50 Avianca : think the same. The AMA is not loadable all mentioned wide body freigters, maybe it is loadable on the MD11 using 2 positions due the contur of the a
51 JDD1 : Gents, The A320 fuselage is not , repeat NOT circular. it is also double bubble, but not as obvious as the 707,727,737,757 fuselage. the A320 fuselage
52 Lotsamiles : AMA containers can be loaded on the centerline of the MD11/A300/767 aircraft. In this way they do not contact the sidewall. The downside is that you
53 HAWK21M : Exactly the Doubt Why no Freighter. regds MEL
54 Post contains links and images ACdreamliner : I think the 737-8/9ER would be the best option for integrated haulers such as FX or 5X. For example the Royal Mail flies a 737 for small parcels and e
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