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Best Freighters  
User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4027 times:

Which are the best freighter aircraft currently available? Typical payload capability should be between 4 to 8 tonnes and minimum range should be 2000 kms. It must be able to fly "above the weather".

The Caravan would have been ideal but is too small and cannot fly above the weather. That leaves the Fokker F27/F50 and the ATR series. The ATR series has the advantage of being a newer DESIGN and also offers crew commonality benefits across the 42/72 models. But on the downside it is expensive.

The aim is to put together a bizplan for a airline operating Freighter service from Pune(VAPO) to other cities within the state as well "long haul" to DEL, CCU and GAU (max 1800 kms, min 120 kms, avg 300-400 kms). Ability to operate from RWY's less than 3000 feet is a must. Max fleet: 4-5 aircraft.

Any ideas?

-Roy

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6206 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4006 times:

Companies such as FedEx seem to be in love with the MD-11. Why? I'm not exactly sure. The passenger airlines seem to hate them.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3989 times:

Shorts 330/360.


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Photo © Bruce Highland



JET


User currently onlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined exactly 15 years ago today! , 2995 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3999 times:

There are EMB-120, Saab 340A, and Beech 1900 cargo conversions that would fit in nicely between the C-208 and the ATR/Fokkers. Not sure when the Saab 340B will become available, but there are 6 of them in storage up here at KLAN at Aerogenisis.

T.J.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3920 times:

What baout the Chezch built LET's? The LET-410 seems to be in that size range and should be cheaper as well.

Also, how important is teh ability ot carry LD3 containers? Are these aircraft capable of carrying containers?



User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3903 times:

How about the BAE146-100/200/300? Can carry a good load, very quiet and can land and takeoff from very short runways. The Metro 3/23 is another popular freighter and cheap compared to an ATR/Saab. Or what about some of the smaller jets like the Falcon/Learjet/Citation? These could be converted to carry freight.

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3897 times:

The best freighter is the one that can be aquired cheaply, flown cheaply, maintained cheaply.

The shorts 360 has bullet proof PT6 engines, and can be aquired for a song, and a dance, and fixed at any corner of the planet.

It has large interior volume, and cargo weight capacity.

It has basic systems. No retractabple landing gear. No pressurization system, no FBW, no EFIS.

All 360's have a large foward loading door negating the need to cut a hole in the plane.

Training crew is innexpensive as sim time is only $600 per hour.

What else can you ask for?

Ohhhh... and the Shorts can carry 4 LD3 containers.

JET

[Edited 2003-06-29 13:36:48]

User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3897 times:

Only problem with the Shorts is it aint pressurised, and he wants something that can fly "above the weather", which a Shorts cannot do.

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3854 times:

Sure it can..... crew goes on supplemental oxygen.

JET


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3776 times:

Speaking of pressurisation: at what altitude does pressurisation become essential? And Is 15000 feet flying "above the weather"?

Also, "Cut flowers" and vegetables, which would form an important part of the freight for us would require presurrisation wouldnt it?

Also, could someone explaing trhe relation between container (LD3/LD4 etc) and weight? (1 LD3=XXXpounds?)

What are the advantages of containerisation?

-Roy


User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3762 times:

The only reason to fly above weather is passenger comfort. You don't carrry passengers so why do you care?

Pressurization is only required for organisms that respirate.

There is no altitude where pressurization becomes essential. It is never essential, and is only a creature comfort.

What weather are you looking to get above? Why do you need to get above it? Deviate around it. Anything your going to fly will be certified to fly in known icing conditions. Your not likely to get above thunderstorms, and have to deviate around them anyway.

In your business the probably wont be any need for containerisation.

JET







User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3762 times:

Speaking of pressurisation: at what altitude does pressurisation become essential? And Is 15000 feet flying "above the weather"?

Strictly speaking if you fly above 10,000 feet your plane will need to be pressurised. Cargo flights can go a little higher i think- FL120 or so without oxygen(don't quote me on that). I wouldn't consider 15,000 feet to be "above the weather"- although sometimes it is. FL200+ is above the weather.



User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3762 times:

Pressuization probably isn't an issue with them, but you would have to protect those items from freezing. Flying Tigers got their start moving flowers around the US in unpressurized C-46's after the war.

Roy, I remember reading that India had a mandatory 20 year retirement on airframes, can you elaborate?

But, cheap easy and bulletproof is the way to go.

I remember reading an article touting the A300 freighter conversion over a simular one for the 767 because of the laters higher resale value.

The problem with freight containers is that the smaller the aircraft is, the more payload you are sacrificing for the load itself. And 4 tones, isn't that much to load, it might be simpler just to bulk load. Less containers and equiptment to buy and maintain that way too.

4 to 8 tones isn't a whole lot of weight, shoot, A C-46 will lift 10 tones.

The ATR on your list is probably the best choice, The 42 is about your size, It has that big forward cargo door. And since it is still in production parts shouldn't be a problem. The large worldwide fleet is a plus to.

Initial costs will be higher then the F-27. But the heyday of converting those to freighters was 10 years ago. If you invest in that aircraft, you are investing in an orphan with no support.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3756 times:

He may as well burn his money if he's going to buy an ATR....

Operating costs of the ATR could never be coverd by this kind of operation.

My opinion of course.

JET





User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3735 times:

I don't know.

Word is that Northern Air Cargo signed the papers to buy two of them to start supplementing their DC-6 aircraft.




OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

Actually thinking about it more, I think he might want to look at a used Embrarer 120.

They are cheap, they built a lot of them, Embrerer is still in buisness so hopefully parts aren't aren't an issue.

I don't remember the payload of one of them, but there is nothing wrong with running an extra section if you have to.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineT prop From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1029 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3729 times:

Ability to operate from RWY's less than 3000 feet is a must.

Can the ATR or Fokker do that with a decent load?

T prop.


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 5 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3537 times:

One Indian operator is operating Pax fully loaded ATR-72's from short runways. I dont know how short but they shouldbe around 3000-4000 feet only.

Another operator is also using pax ATR42's to the North East with quite short runways.

So I guess it should be possible.

Undoubtedly, the ATR series makes a lot of sense, but it seems quite expensive both to lease or purchase (completely out of the question). So the Fokker F27 series seems to be most appropriate. Some 80's vintage Fokkers should be available for purchase quiet cheaply, and in the long run purchased aircraft would make more sense.

Any idea on the maintainability of the Fokker F27 series? Are spares etc easily available? Also since the Fokker hangs so low off the ground would it cause problems like FOD ingestion when operating to semi-prepared runways?

-Roy


User currently offlineCovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1457 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (11 years 5 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3548 times:

Any idea on the maintainability of the Fokker F27 series? Are spares etc easily available?

There are so many dead F-27's sitting on aprons in third world airports, they don't know know what to do with them all...



thank goodness for TCAS !
User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (11 years 5 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3541 times:

Will an ATR carry 8 tons and go 2000km? That seems at the very long end of a fully loaded ATR's range...And I think it'd be outside even the F50's range.

You might actually, in today's market, want to look at converting some of AA's F100 jets to a cargo configuration.

Steve


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (11 years 5 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3538 times:

Why don't you look at a freighter Convair 580.

They are going to be rarer then the Fokkers but the wings are stronger. That and Kelwona Flightcraft out of British Columbia does some excellent rebuilds.

Era Aviation still uses them for passenger service, because their numbers are better then the Dash-8 that they fly.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTT737FO From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 472 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3443 times:

>>>"Strictly speaking if you fly above 10,000 feet your plane will need to be pressurised. Cargo flights can go a little higher i think- FL120 or so without oxygen(don't quote me on that). I wouldn't consider 15,000 feet to be "above the weather"- although sometimes it is. FL200+ is above the weather.

By whose rules??? Indian rules differ as do the rules in the USA.

FAR 135.89 states that from 10,000-12,000 you must have oxygen system on board if the flight is over 30 minutes in duration. Over 12,000 it must be in use continuously. There is nothing about pressurization, and Indianguy will have to review his rules--don't confuse O2 with pressurization.

Unless Indianguy is flying live animals at high altitudes, it's not going to matter.

WRT Fokker-27, that pneumatic system they have strikes me as a mx hog.
Concur with Convair 580, but crew training would be expensive.

I'm with JET, the "irish concorde" has my vote on this one.


User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3423 times:

Pressurization discussion... well...
There are people living in the Andes - some live at 10,000+ ft...
La Paz, Bolivia, is at 13,500 MSL -
You talk to them of 10,000 ft rule of oxygen...
They will laugh at you...
Do you think they carry portable 02 to make babies...?  Big grin
xxx
The 10,000 feet rule is for "worst case scenario" for average people...
Actually, FAR 25 mandates that cabins be pressurized at/below 8,000 feet..
xxx
I have flown from Mendoza, Argentina to Santiago, Chile, in a L-21...
We had oxygen, my son did not use it, yet he was flying the plane...
We were at 14-15,000 feet in the mountain passes, at times...
xxx
Happy contrails -
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3362 times:

Here's some info on the EMB-120 Brasilia Freighter from North-South Airways, who launched the conversion program (need Adobe Acrobat to view):
http://www.nsair.com/SmallPackage.pdf

And here are some photos of one of their EMB-120Fs:
http://www.nsair.com/TheTour/Tour.html


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