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737-500s As Freighters?  
User currently offlineBluewave 707 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3152 posts, RR: 6
Posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2815 times:

With a few of the 737-500s headed to scrappers yard, has any of those -500 models ever been considered for freighter conversion? Are these ariframe cycles maxxed out?

Since they are relatively close in size to the -200, they would seem to make a good replacement.


"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCargoLex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1259 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2766 times:

Because the 737 classic's engines stretch out much further forward than those on the original 737 (100/200), the 737-500 isn't able to accommodate a cargo door the way the 737-200 was. I suppose it could be done - though it would be difficult and might involve moving the crew entry door forward - but nobody has and probably nobody will. There are good reasons for that.

Chief among those reasons are the door/loading problem and that you can buy a 737-300 for about the same price, and given the availability of conversion on that frame coupled with it's larger size and capacity, it's just a better fit.

You can see the difference here:


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Photo © Royal S King
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Photo © Christian Mandel



Very little room for a door on the 735. The loading equipment would be too close to the engine for comfort, it's close on a 733 too.


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Here you can see that the cargo door stretches right up to the leading edge of the wing on the 732 (a conversion, not a 732C) and what a converted 733 looks like. There's room to load safely and comfortably, but not all that much. The extra pallet conversion is even tighter.

(Apologies for the self-plug).

Though the 732 is even a little bit smaller than the 735, it was more commonly available as a QC/Combi, as there was more demand for new-build QC's in the 732's era - meaning that those that were built that way are easy to press into service as freighters. The ability of the 732 to handle special missions like those of Air North has also preserved it in a way that the 735 probably won't be.

[Edited 2011-06-16 22:05:30]

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24789 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2743 times:

I'd say why ??

The 733 as is has pretty poor economics as a freighter with the 734 the best of the bunch, the 735 would be atrocious.

Since you are essentially paying similar operating cost of the 735-733-734 serious, you'd want to get the bird that can produce the most revenue. (and reason why the 735 was not s stellar success amongst passenger airlines either).



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24786 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2240 times:

Quoting CargoLex (Reply 1):
Though the 732 is even a little bit smaller than the 735, it was more commonly available as a QC/Combi, as there was more demand for new-build QC's in the 732's era - meaning that those that were built that way are easy to press into service as freighters.

Boeing built 104 732C combis with a main deck cargo door.


User currently offlineBluewave 707 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3152 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1783 times:

@CargoLex: thanks for the input. I forgot how much the CFM56s extend forward of the leading edge.

I was just thinking that sooner or later cargo airlines Aloha Air Cargo is going to have to upgrade from their 737-200Cs, and what would replace it. With the longer load & unload times for freighters, I don't think Aloha Air Cargo will experience the same issue with the CFM56 as their predecessor, Aloha Airlines had when they had pax -300s and -400s.

Toll/Airwork NZ has had a few of their 737-300Cs pass through HNL on delivery flights.



"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
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