707437
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Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 3:15 pm

Boeing has managed to market new build (not conversions) Combis and dedicated freighter for the entire range of 7 series aircraft except for the 717 and 787.

As far as I can tell only the A300 and A380 are offered as freighters. No A320s or 330 or 340 are offered as new build freighters.

So is Airbus not interested in the market? (for new build freighters only, not conversions) or what?

Have any A320s, A330s or A340s ever been converted for cargo use?

All I've ever seen in service are A300-600 freighters w/ FEDEX and UPS.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 3:22 pm

The A310 has been converted to Freighter as well and is in service with FEDEX and a number of other airlines and air forces (Germany). Conversions are still under way at the EADS plant in Dresden. With the A330 Tanker, a freight version of that model might become available.

The Boeing 717's predecessor DC9 is available as freighter as well, completing the whole Boeing/McDonnel-Douglas range of modells.

The 787 might have a freighter version at a later stage.

Looks like Boeing has covered that market reasonably good and when there is no market for a second supplier they do not invest in it.
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scbriml
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 3:25 pm

I believe they will offer an A330F eventually. I think a lot of the design work has already been done as part of the A330 tanker project.
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DLKAPA
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 3:41 pm

The A340 is a slow-climber with pax onboard. As a freighter, you couldn't do much with it.
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XXXX10
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 4:55 pm

I wasn't aware of the 777F. My guess would be that the A320 series aircraft would make bad freighters, probably because of a similar airframe being available in the size of the 727F at a lower cost. Although the Airbus is more efficient the extra cost of the new airframe would be prohibitive.

When the design is older and there are many parked up examples then you may see some conversions done, normally at that time would you see a purpose built A320 F. I would imagine the same is true of the A330 range and the A340.

I would that Boeings current freighter production is mainly the 747F there are not many new 767F and 757F aircraft built most are conversions.
 
m404
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 4:56 pm

Since Boeing is said to have stated that the 787 cannot be made into a tanker can we assume a freighter is also unfeasible?
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PanHAM
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 5:25 pm

The freighter market is actually much smaller than for passenger aircraft, That plus the comversions make it less attractive to offer a freighter version for every type of aircraft that is available.
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flyAUA
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 5:41 pm

Quoting 707437 (Thread starter):

Because this is such a small market and Boeing already has most of it. Most Freighter companies prefer to acquire older aircraft which airlines don't want anymore. They just convert them into cargo aircraft, and voila, you've got your freighter. Most cargo companies will not invest in expensive new aircraft. There is no point... you have no passengers to please. As long as it takes the cargo from X to Z, mission accomplised  

There is only one case I remember covering during my studies which was an exception to this. DHL at EGNX was sort of pressured (to put it nicely) from the area into buying aircraft that were quieter than the ones they already operated. People were getting disturbed by DHLs old noisy aircraft using the airport in the middle of the night, so they were (to get to the point) forced to use B757s instead.

So I think Airbus has taken the right steps to stay out of this market which would actually not benefit it. The A380F is the exception because it will be the largest freighter available and there is no aircraft to compete with it .This might have been the reason (IMO a wise decision) for airbus to build a cargo aircraft!

Hope this answers your question  

Edit: Yes, thanks Oly720man for mentioning the Beluga as well, it completely slipped my mind. I don't care what people say about it. I'd go to the airport any day to watch it land Big grin

[Edited 2005-05-27 10:51:54]
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oly720man
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 5:47 pm

Don't forget the Beluga (I know it's a pregnant A300)

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trex8
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 10:40 pm

Quoting M404 (Reply 5):
Since Boeing is said to have stated that the 787 cannot be made into a tanker can we assume a freighter is also unfeasible?

it all depends on what they think is the market, the problem is you cannot just cut out a section of a composite fuselage and stuff a big cargo door there which is what most freighter concersions entails (besides strengthened floors). It has to be built from scratch that way. If the market is potentially big enough to justify the capital costs they could do it. But it probably isn't. With a tanker or other special military operations version (sigint/elint etc), there definitely is no market for making a whole new fuselage structure with multiple apertures for the various antenna needed.
 
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Fri May 27, 2005 10:43 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 1):
The 787 might have a freighter version at a later stage.

Ah, a fresh rumor! Just kidding, couldn't help myself.
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PanHAM
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 1:07 am

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 10):

Ah, a fresh rumor! Just kidding, couldn't help myself.

To put out a fresh rumor, the word would have been "will eventually" - I wrote "might" which is a wild guess based on the experience that Boeing had freighter versions of every base model so far. Adding to the wild guess I'd say that this is about 15 years down the road.
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Boeing Nut
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 2:32 am

Quoting M404 (Reply 5):
Since Boeing is said to have stated that the 787 cannot be made into a tanker

Yea, and if you really believe that, then I got some ocean front property in Nebreska I'd love to tell you about.
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ikramerica
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 2:42 am

Maybe you can't cut out a door, but you certainly could slice the sucker into two, remove a chunk, and replace it with a reengineered chunk built with a door...
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widebodyphotog
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 3:15 am

The fundamental problem with larger Airbus widebody freighters is twofold:

First, the A330 cross section is too small to load the same container contour as a 777F, MD11/DC10, or 747F. Where the former mentioned aircraft can load two M size containers/pallets side-by-side, the A330 cross section is too small to do so with a practical ULD contour.

Secondly is structural efficiency. Airbus aircraft are notoriously heavy relative to the structural payload limits of the airframe. Take for example 777-200LR vs A340-500. Both aircraft have a similar internal volume and floor area. However the empty weight of the Airbus is 377,000lbs while the Boeing is 320,000lbs. Their respective structural payload limits are 119,000lbs and 141,000lbs. The 777 is able to carry a much higher payload per unit structural weight, this is generally true of all Boeing aircraft, and why they make good freighters. The 777F structural weight will be reduced by 25-30,000lbs relative to the passenger version and payload would increase to 229,000lbs. In order for the A345 to gain comparable structural efficiency with the same maximum payload Airbus would have to reduce the structural weight by 82-87,000lbs! Basically that is impossible to do on that aircraft.

In the freighter world structural efficiency means everything. It is a direct indicator of what your ton/mile cost will be. Volume efficiency is next, basically how much of the cross section area X hold length is able to be filled with freight in a practical manner. The A330/A340 cross section/airframe loses out on both of these relative to the competition.

In the case of the A380 relative to 747, the Airbus still comes up short in terms of structural efficiency, but it has a tremendous loadable voulume and Boeing can not yet match its 150t maximum payload. This is a blessing and a curse for the A380F. The density of loading must be kept low relative to payload, and the ton/mile cost will still be higher than the 747F. But it will be able to carry it's maximum payload 700nm farther than 747F. This bascally limits the most efficient application of A380F to the package freight business where freight density is low, sectors are long, and per kilo yields are very high. The 747F and its new little brother 777F are much more flexible because their specific operating costs are low, and payload vs volume is just about optimal giving them a much broader range of potential applications.

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MD80Nut
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 3:20 am

What about conversions of older A320s to freighters? In the next few years the oldest A320s in service will start to hit the 20 year old mark, is anybody planning or thinking about converting some of them to cargo in the future? It seems to me the combination of the A320's wider fuselage plus the ability to use containers in the belly would make the A320 an attractive candidate for conversion to freighter. Or are there issues I'm not aware of that would not make it so?

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dutchjet
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 3:23 am

Dont forget that Airbus has been very successful with its A300 Freighters - the A300 has had a "second-life" as a newbuild freighter which has suprised many, including some at Airbus. UPS and FedEx have enormous fleets of new-build A300Fs which have kept the A300 production line open in the past years. FedEx has also converted many, many A310s (first the less popular -200 series and now the -300 series) into freighters. A good number of the A380s on order are dedicated freighters, so there is a future.

A huge portion of cargo airliners are conversions - and conversions in significant numbers usually occur as an aircraft type matures. The simple fact is that most of the Airbus airliners flying around are not that old! The A300 and A310 series have had many conversions, but the A330/340 are, for the most part, are simply too new - maybe in the future, maybe not.

Airbus has not focused on newbuild freighters thus far (except for the A300 and the coming A380F), but over time, we may see Airbus launch an A330 Freighter variant.
 
Areopagus
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 4:39 am

Quoting M404 (Reply 5):
Since Boeing is said to have stated that the 787 cannot be made into a tanker can we assume a freighter is also unfeasible?

The 787 fuselage descends from the Sonic Cruiser design, which a Boeing official claimed to be good in the freighter role, being designed wide enough to carry pallets sideways on the main deck.
 
trex8
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 8:15 am

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 14):
First, the A330 cross section is too small to load the same container contour as a 777F, MD11/DC10, or 747F. Where the former mentioned aircraft can load two M size containers/pallets side-by-side, the A330 cross section is too small to do so with a practical ULD contour.

do you mean 2 M1s with its longest dimension parallel to the walls or transverse??? a P7E / PGE / PGA is 238in wide and barely fits, 2 M1s would be 250in! height maybe a problem with a M1 in a A300, its 8feet!
 
PHXinterrupted
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 8:33 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 16):
Dont forget that Airbus has been very successful with its A300 Freighters - the A300 has had a "second-life" as a newbuild freighter which has suprised many, including some at Airbus. UPS and FedEx have enormous fleets of new-build A300Fs which have kept the A300 production line open in the past years. FedEx has also converted many, many A310s (first the less popular -200 series and now the -300 series) into freighters. A good number of the A380s on order are dedicated freighters, so there is a future.

A huge portion of cargo airliners are conversions - and conversions in significant numbers usually occur as an aircraft type matures. The simple fact is that most of the Airbus airliners flying around are not that old! The A300 and A310 series have had many conversions, but the A330/340 are, for the most part, are simply too new - maybe in the future, maybe not.

Airbus has not focused on newbuild freighters thus far (except for the A300 and the coming A380F), but over time, we may see Airbus launch an A330 Freighter variant.

Just for the record:

The 330/340 program was officially launched in June 1987. The 777 program was officially launched in October 1990.
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widebodyphotog
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 11:36 am

An "M" sixe pallet has base dimensions of 96 X 125 "M1" is an IATA rate class for a 10ft container.

IATA size code for a 20ft pallet is "G", 96 X 238.5 inches base dimensions. 777F will be able to load G size pallets in the same configuration as 747F, but slightly different contour.



Here is the cross section of 777F



A300/310 can load standard M base pallets or containers with the 96 inch base dimension across the cabin, and 96 inch high rectangular contour.



But it can not load two "J" contour (MD-11/DC-10, 96 inches high) or "D" contour (747, 118 inches high) M base containers side by side. It's simply not possible.




787 cross section is able to accomodate M base containers/pallets with the 125 inch side across the cabin, allowing more units per length of fuselage than the A300/310 cross section.

-widebodyphotog

[Edited 2005-05-28 04:38:18]
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777ER
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 1:04 pm

Don't forget the Beluga The beluga is only for Airbus use
 
whitehatter
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 8:39 pm

Quoting 777ER (Reply 21):
The beluga is only for Airbus use

The Beluga is available for external work should it arise, although so far that has been limited (pretty sure ESA use it for moving rocket parts around). Airbus would build them for customers if anyone wanted them, but it is a very specialised aircraft and needs substantial ground support assets.

Shame that Airbus never managed to get Boeing involved when the aircraft was designed. That could have saved Seattle a lot of dough nowadays. The original Beluga was proposed around a 767 base aircraft but Boeing refused to become involved, and an A300 was used instead. That aircraft could have been extremely useful to Boeing nowadays with the 737 fuselage bullet hole problem and the forthcoming 787.
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keesje
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 9:18 pm

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 14):
First, the A330 cross section is too small to load the same container contour as a 777F, MD11/DC10, or 747F.

The 330 has the same cross section as the A300/310, the aircraft of choice of cargo specialists like UPS, FEDEX & DHL.

Are you sure you are telling the full story here?

http://www.nationmaster.com/images/enc/F/Fedex.a300-600.750pix.jpg

No doubt there will be an A330F and SF conversions at some point when passengers aircraft sales (higher margins) drop and the large A300/310F fleet starts aging..

A330´s using industry standard LD3 containers rather than the special purpose LD2s, which are exclusive to the 767, made it a winner.

http://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/internet/cargo/images/en/ake.gif
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 9:55 pm

Quoting MD80Nut (Reply 15):
What about conversions of older A320s to freighters?

I think FX looked into that before bulk-buying 734s. With no Integrator (DHL too small, UPS with sh!tloads of A300s on hand) in sight for such a project I doubt it will happen in the next 10 years. The critical go-ahead mass for such a conversion-project should be around 100 airframes. LLike I said..maybe in 10 years.
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widebodyphotog
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 10:47 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 23):
Are you sure you are telling the full story here?

It can not load two of them side-by-side like MD-11 or 747F can. FedEx Side-by-side loading on A310/A300 is an AYY next to an AMJ.

-widebodyphotog
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widebodyphotog
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat May 28, 2005 11:53 pm

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 14):
the A330 cross section is too small to load the same container contour as a 777F, MD11/DC10, or 747F. Where the former mentioned aircraft can load two M size containers/pallets side-by-side, the A330 cross section is too small to do so with a practical ULD contour.

An illustration to scale of the transverse cargo envelope of these aircraft

http://theaviationspecialist.com/CARGO_ENVELOPE.jpg

-widebodyphotog
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777STL
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 3:20 am

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 25):
It can not load two of them side-by-side like MD-11 or 747F can. FedEx Side-by-side loading on A310/A300 is an AYY next to an AMJ.


I still don't get it, why is that a problem? The 330 has the same cross section of the 300 and the 300 is a very capable freighter. Obviously the 330 is not as wide as a MD11/777/747 is and won't be able to carry the same pallet sizes.

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widebodyphotog
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 6:12 am

The A300-600F is a capable 45t package freighter. It's loading density is very low and that's fine for FedEx and UPS because their per kilo yields are extremely high (20$+!). It has served well as a package freighter because of this. It's ton/mile cost are higher than the 55t payload 767F, but package freight operators don't care so much, again because yields are very high. However, in the general cargo market is has basically been limited to regional freight duty because of its short range and relatively low payload/density. In the broader general freight market where loads are more dense and yields much less, that low density loading, lower payload and less range has very little appeal. General cargo operators like Air France Lufty, Korean and the rest need greater loading density to make money on those much lower yields.

Let's look at a possible A330-300 Freighter...

I'll be generous and say that for an A330-300 freighter conversion you can reduce the OEW by 25,000lbs to 250,000lbs. (still heavier than a DC-10-30F at 240,000lbs and very unlikely with the strengthening necessary) We'll beef up the structure to allow the A340-300 ZFW of 397,000lbs giving a maximum structural payload of 157,000lbs or 71.2t. (DC-10-30F is 73t 777 is 104t capable) The longer Fuselage would allow up to 27 M size pallets to be loaded on Main Deck (a-la 777F and DC-10-30F is 22), but the volume and loadable height would be much less than 777F and slightly more volume than DC-10-30F for nearly the same payload. But actually it would be much less than that because it is not practical to load two M pallets side-by-side and most operators use A size (88 X 125) to make better use of the equipment on A300F. Range with maximum or near maximum paylods should come near DC-10-30F using less fuel, but range would fall way short of 777F. What you would end up with is a medium payload freighter with a large freighter floor area, physical size and number of usable positions that could only be loaded to the volume and dispatched the range of a medium freighter with maximum payload. A good package freigher probably, maybe, but if you're looking for better use of those 27 main deck positions in the general market, find an MD-11 or 777-200A/B to convert into a freighter. The economics look much better in terms of volume/weight yields vs payload and operating costs.

This stuff matters a great deal to general cargo freigher operators. Why operate a theoretical 71t, 27 position freighter with limited ULD capability when there are 90+t 26-27 position freighters availible with 20% or more loadable volume, by the I figure it, and reasonable operating costs? If you need 27 positions why cut your legs out from under you by limiting your loadable volume, range, and ULD capability? A potential A330-300 conversion freighter does not match up well against an MD-11 conversion or a potential 772A/B conversion and that I believe is why Airbus or the conversion mills really won't bother with it.

-widebodyphotog
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OldAeroGuy
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 4:29 pm

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 28):
A potential A330-300 conversion freighter does not match up well against an MD-11 conversion or a potential 772A/B conversion and that I believe is why Airbus or the conversion mills really won't bother with it.

And an A345 Freighter looks even worse considering its high OEW and poor fuel efficiency. The 777F has a pretty clear field in its size category.
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Udo
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 7:03 pm

Quoting 777ER (Reply 21):
The beluga is only for Airbus use

Wrong. Airbus Transport International is regularly contracted to fly satellites or large machinery.


Regards
Udo
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keesje
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 7:44 pm

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 28):
Let's look at a possible A330-300 Freighter...

You picking the A330-300 makes me a bit suspicous. The 330-200 seems more logical. (tankers, range)
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PipoA380
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 8:00 pm

Quoting 707437 (Thread starter):
Have any A320s, A330s or A340s ever been converted for cargo use?

I don't think so, but 310's have:

Here's a Royl Jordanian Cargo 310

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Photo © Roy Loyson



Here's a FedEx 310

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brian Bartlett



Here's A Turkish Cargo 310

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Photo © Roy Loyson

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widebodyphotog
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 10:28 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 31):
You picking the A330-300 makes me a bit suspicous. The 330-200 seems more logical. (tankers, range)

Suspicious of what?

OK, let's look at a possible A330-200 conversion

Estimated OEW: 240,000
Max Zero Fuel weight: 381,400 (From A340-200)
Max structural Payload: 141,400lb (64.1t)
Main deck Positions: 25 M pallets or 11 full contour AMA containers
Max Main deck palletized volume (M size pallets): 394MC (DC-10 = 389MC)


The problem with the A330 in terms of total payload is that the undercarriage is not strong enough to handle the heavy landing weights so the payloads will be relatively low. This means loading density will have to be low and this limits the aircraft to low density/high yield service for best revenue performance. It's very unlikely that on an A330 freighter conversion anyone would undertake the massive expense of grafting on an entire A340 undercarriage (which you would have to buy from Airbus) to any 330 just to create a 64-71t freighter. Even if Airbus were to offer new build A330 freighters with a stronger undercarriage structure, why would someone pay new airplane prices for a possible 70-85t freighter with limited ULD compatibility/volume per unit on the main deck when you could buy and convert an MD-11 or 777 into a 90-95t freighter with 30% more volume and better loadability for a quarter of the price?

By contrast the conversion potential of 777 is much greater. The 777 line uses the same undercarriage and for example the structural strengthening of the higher ZFW -300 aircraft can be easily applied to the -200 aircraft to increase their allowable ZFW and landing weights. The new build 777F will have the ZFW and landing weight of the -300ER so it seems very likely the same minor structural improvements could be done for an A/B market conversion of 772's into 90-95t freighters with the same loadable volume as 777F. The first A market 777's are turning 10 years old this year and there are many potential candidates for a 777SF program. Typical used prices are running about $10mil above their Airbus A330 counterparts and the cost of converting a 777-200 would run about the same. If past is prologue then Boeing will carry out an SF program in the same manner that they have on all of their other heavy aircraft.

Nothing against the A330 per se, it's just that from a technical and operational standpoint an A330F does not look like a winner. An expensive new build A330F program would not make any sense as it could be outperformed by vastly cheaper 777 conversions and it's payload density is such that it would be confined to very high yield markets in order to generate good revenue for it's operators. The last I heard from Airbus a civilian A330F program would not even start until around 2013-2015. By that time there will probably be many converted 777's and new build 777F taking up the vast majority of market share in that weight class of freighter.

-widebodyphotog
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N79969
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sun May 29, 2005 11:31 pm

The A300 has an advantage over the 767F that I do not think has been mentioned. If I recall correctly, the A300F belly hold can accommodate side-by-side standard size LD-3 containers. The B767 cannot because the belly hold is narrower.
 
widebodyphotog
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RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Mon May 30, 2005 1:53 am

Quoting N79969 (Reply 34):
The A300 has an advantage over the 767F that I do not think has been mentioned. If I recall correctly, the A300F belly hold can accommodate side-by-side standard size LD-3 containers. The B767 cannot because the belly hold is narrower.

This is only partially true...

The containerized hold on 763F can load ULD 96 inches wide while the A300F can load ULD 125 inches wide. But while the A300F can load side-by-side LD3, it can not load M or A size pallets in the aft hold because of its small, 70 inches wide, aft cargo door. The 767-300F has two large (134 inches wide) cargo doors forward and aft, and can load M size pallets in both holds. The 763F can acommodate seven M size pallets while the A300F is limited to four loaded in the forward hold only, and aft loading is limited to ld3's or LD-11/LD-6. In point of fact the door issue may prove troublesome for a potential 777-200A conversion as many of them were delivered with a small aft cargo door. 106 inch wide forward and aft cargo doors are standard on 777-200ER.

So it depends on how you see the advantage. General cargo operators prefer pallets or pallet based containers, while package carriers prefer the higher hold volume utilization of LD-3's or full-width, contoured containers.

Loading examples:

http://theaviationspecialist.com/A300_LOWER.JPG

http://theaviationspecialist.com/767-300f_LOWER.JPG

The 767-300F also has a greater maximum payload, 55t vs 51t and can carry that payload farther, 3,300nm vs 2,700nm.

-widebodyphotog
If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
 
Unicorn
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:57 am

RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Mon May 30, 2005 2:55 pm

One reason that we have not seen cargo conversions of A320 and A330 / A340 series aircraft is that the residual values have not yet fallen to the point that makes their acquisition and conversion to freighters a viable proposition.

For example, the 757 family have fallen in residual value to the point that it makes sense to convert older aircraft to a new life as freighters, for which lessors can command a better lease rate than for passenger aircraft, hence the surge in interest in the 757-200 conversion by Precision Conversions of Oregon, with Boullion, AWAS and ILFC all getting aircraft converted there.

The A320 / A330 / A340 family aircraft still command substantial lease rates as passenger aircraft, which reduces the owners desire to take them out of service for conversion, and their residual values are still high, which makes acquiring them for conversion uneconomic at the moment

In addition, there is the time and cost of getting an STC approved by the regulatory authorities (just ask Precision about that, they are months late!).

It will be a while before someone is willing to jump into the conversion market for a Airbus aircraft freighter conversion (most likely EFW / EADS), particularly in a boom market such as we are experiencing now.

It has not yet happened, but it will in time.

Unicorn
 
cslusarc
Posts: 553
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 2:29 pm

RE: Why Does Airbus Not Offer More Types Of Freighters

Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:16 pm

Quoting ClipperNo1 (Reply 24):
I think FX looked into that before bulk-buying 734s.

Has FedEx already bought 734s to replace their aging 727s (both -1XX and -2XX variants)? I would have remembered it being mentioned.

How much longer do you think until FedEx begins replacing their older DC-10s, some of which will turn 35 next year? What type of plane will replace these, other than already "ordered" MD-11s and A380-800Fs?
--cslusarc from YWG

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