CX747
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Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:50 am

Was hoping to start a cargo conversion discussion with this thread. Where do the current 737-300/400, A32X and MD series family stand as we begin the "20s". With the delay in re-approving the Max has come an increased interest in extending 737-400Fs. This is due to 737-800 feed stock shortages.

How many "new" 737-400Fs do we think will be converted due to the new market?

Will we see the A32X family finally get its first real shot?

What does the future hold for the last of the MD "Mad Dogs"?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
strfyr51
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:04 am

CX747 wrote:
Was hoping to start a cargo conversion discussion with this thread. Where do the current 737-300/400, A32X and MD series family stand as we begin the "20s". With the delay in re-approving the Max has come an increased interest in extending 737-400Fs. This is due to 737-800 feed stock shortages.

How many "new" 737-400Fs do we think will be converted due to the new market?

Will we see the A32X family finally get its first real shot?

What does the future hold for the last of the MD "Mad Dogs"?

I do not think you'll see many -300's and -400's being converted to freighters at this point. Though you may start seeing a lot of -800's and -900's going on line a freighters as the 757's are getting long in the tooth. Even the 767-300 and -400's ( the few that exist) may be more profitable as freighters.
 
sunking737
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:22 am

How long does it take from the time a plane goes into a hanger to be converted until its come out for paint??? Just trying to gauge how long it will take SCX to get the -800F for Amazon.. Rumor is first jet in April
"Don't believe it unless its parked on the ramp, or printed in the schedule...SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

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VSMUT
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:49 am

CX747 wrote:
Was hoping to start a cargo conversion discussion with this thread. Where do the current 737-300/400, A32X and MD series family stand as we begin the "20s". With the delay in re-approving the Max has come an increased interest in extending 737-400Fs. This is due to 737-800 feed stock shortages.

How many "new" 737-400Fs do we think will be converted due to the new market?


The 737-400 is way more popular than the 737-800 for freight conversions. Most operators would take a -400F over an -800F any day. They are just so much cheaper to acquire. 737 freighters generally don't fly enough to make the fuel savings worth the increased cost.
The downside is that good 737-400 feedstock for conversions is all but gone. The few -400 passenger planes still out there are worn out, out of time and/or in too poor condition. That is why you won't see very many future 737-400 conversions, and why customers are pivoting towards 737-800s and soon A320/321s. But don't expect existing 737-400Fs to be going anywhere for the next 10 years.


strfyr51 wrote:
I do not think you'll see many -300's and -400's being converted to freighters at this point. Though you may start seeing a lot of -800's and -900's going on line a freighters as the 757's are getting long in the tooth. Even the 767-300 and -400's ( the few that exist) may be more profitable as freighters.


I think we will see many 737-800 conversions, but -900s? I just don't see it. Where will they come from? Alaska, United and Delta will fly theirs until they are dead and the Lion Air planes are worthless. That leaves the bare minimum for conversion to freight.


CX747 wrote:
Will we see the A32X family finally get its first real shot?


Yes. I believe the first is already undergoing conversion. IMHO, the A321P2F programs will have the greatest impact.


CX747 wrote:
What does the future hold for the last of the MD "Mad Dogs"?


Scrap.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:39 am

As to the Sunny freighters, GECAS already has the stock and the schedule. They were planning to do this and send them to Southern. It's not the schedule that has changed, really, just the operating carrier. They should roll in like clockwork.

On the 737 side, the -800 is the freighter, and there are a number of solutions that will be out there once the feedstock picks up. This happens with every frame.

On the 767, we have some significant threads on this already. Bottom line is that there are still a lot of potential frames for conversion, some much better than others, but they're still out there.

On the Airbus side, ATSG and PEMCO see the A321 as the future, and they have a solution with good support and engineering once meaningful amounts of feedstock come online.
 
sciing
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:56 am

VSMUT wrote:
CX747 wrote:
Will we see the A32X family finally get its first real shot?


Yes. I believe the first is already undergoing conversion. IMHO, the A321P2F programs will have the greatest impact.

The A321P2F is converted and doing test flights.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:57 am

sciing wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
CX747 wrote:
Will we see the A32X family finally get its first real shot?


Yes. I believe the first is already undergoing conversion. IMHO, the A321P2F programs will have the greatest impact.

The A321P2F is converted and doing test flights.


I meant the A320.
 
WIederling
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:23 am

sciing wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
CX747 wrote:
Will we see the A32X family finally get its first real shot?


Yes. I believe the first is already undergoing conversion. IMHO, the A321P2F programs will have the greatest impact.

The A321P2F is converted and doing test flights.


Did I get this right that there are another 2 contenders for A320 family P2F conversions?
Murphy is an optimist
 
VSMUT
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:28 am

WIederling wrote:
sciing wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

Yes. I believe the first is already undergoing conversion. IMHO, the A321P2F programs will have the greatest impact.

The A321P2F is converted and doing test flights.


Did I get this right that there are another 2 contenders for A320 family P2F conversions?


Pretty sure I've come across 3 conversion programs. EFW is the furthest, a company in the US that did a lot of 757s is already converting their first A321 as well.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:47 am

VSMUT wrote:
WIederling wrote:
sciing wrote:
The A321P2F is converted and doing test flights.


Did I get this right that there are another 2 contenders for A320 family P2F conversions?


Pretty sure I've come across 3 conversion programs. EFW is the furthest, a company in the US that did a lot of 757s is already converting their first A321 as well.


Just to expand on it:

EFW (Airbus and ST Aerospace) are doing the A321 and A320 P2F, of which the A321P2F just flew.
https://www.elbeflugzeugwerke.com/en/fr ... 0a321-p2f/

Precision Aircraft is doing an A321. They started converting the first one a while ago:
https://www.precisionaircraft.com/a321/

C3 Aerospace is doing the C Cubed A320 and A321 conversion. They started converting the first A320 last year.
https://ccc.aero/

A company called PacAvi is supposedly doing an A320 freighter light, but I can't find any real info on it since 2015/2016.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:55 am

VSMUT wrote:
WIederling wrote:
sciing wrote:
The A321P2F is converted and doing test flights.


Did I get this right that there are another 2 contenders for A320 family P2F conversions?


Pretty sure I've come across 3 conversion programs. EFW is the furthest, a company in the US that did a lot of 757s is already converting their first A321 as well.


Here is the 2019 white paper. They pretty much ignore MD-80 and smaller conversions but there are 4 A32X conversion programs. IAI, EFW, Precision, and C Cubed. I’m surprised AEI didn’t jump in too. https://www.iba.aero/insight/ibas-freig ... nuary-2019
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WIederling
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:22 pm

VSMUT wrote:
...
..
.
A company called PacAvi is supposedly doing an A320 freighter light, but I can't find any real info on it since 2015/2016.

so is A320* conversions seen as a money machine ?

projects look a bit stuck beyond EFW. no support from Airbus?
Murphy is an optimist
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:28 pm

Here is the breakdown in freighter conversions from 2019

https://www.cargonewswire.com/freighter ... y-in-2019/

Image
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:32 pm

WIederling wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
...
..
.
A company called PacAvi is supposedly doing an A320 freighter light, but I can't find any real info on it since 2015/2016.

so is A320* conversions seen as a money machine ?

projects look a bit stuck beyond EFW. no support from Airbus?


So far Airbus freighter conversions have not been popular as shown on the prior graph. I don’t know what you refer to as a money machine since there are only a few in service.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:44 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
WIederling wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
...
..
.
A company called PacAvi is supposedly doing an A320 freighter light, but I can't find any real info on it since 2015/2016.

so is A320* conversions seen as a money machine ?

projects look a bit stuck beyond EFW. no support from Airbus?


So far Airbus freighter conversions have not been popular as shown on the prior graph. I don’t know what you refer to as a money machine since there are only a few in service.


There are no Airbus narrowbody conversions in service.
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wjcandee
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:57 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
WIederling wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
...
..
.
A company called PacAvi is supposedly doing an A320 freighter light, but I can't find any real info on it since 2015/2016.

so is A320* conversions seen as a money machine ?

projects look a bit stuck beyond EFW. no support from Airbus?


So far Airbus freighter conversions have not been popular as shown on the prior graph. I don’t know what you refer to as a money machine since there are only a few in service.


No, no, no. The issue is the availability of A321 feedstock at a price that makes a conversion economically-viable. This happens with every conversion program. The engineers and conversion house get an example out the door and certified, to stake out a place in the market, long before there is sufficient feedstock at the right price to do it in significant volume.

ATSG has been working on the A321 conversion for a couple of years now. They (through PEMCO) actually entered into a joint venture with Precision called 321 Precision Conversions to do the job. ATSG has largely funded this so far. How fast it gets pushed depends upon opportunity, and opportunity arises when enough A321s start coming out of pax service at an affordable price. Putting PEMCO together with Precision should result in a really-good freighter. PEMCO dominated the engineering and touch work in the 737 space, and Precision arguably engineered the best 757 conversion (with others doing the touch work). ATSG, owner of PEMCO, dominates the ownership, leasing and operation of converted 767 freighters, and they see the A321 as the next 757 freighter for package delivery companies, understanding that nothing in that size can compare with the capabilities of the 757 as a freighter because of its lift ability. (As an example, the 767-300s used for Amazon go out stuffed with packages but not all that heavy. Use the same aircraft to run South America freight routes, and you're pushing the thing much closer to its limits in performance because of the much-heavier freight. But that's lift ability you don't need for packages. Applying the same idea here, the A321 is gonna give you a bunch of volume and be efficient for packages, but not have that heavier-lift ability of a 757.)
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:11 pm

wjcandee wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
WIederling wrote:
so is A320* conversions seen as a money machine ?

projects look a bit stuck beyond EFW. no support from Airbus?


So far Airbus freighter conversions have not been popular as shown on the prior graph. I don’t know what you refer to as a money machine since there are only a few in service.


No, no, no. The issue is the availability of A321 feedstock at a price that makes a conversion economically-viable. This happens with every conversion program. The engineers and conversion house get an example out the door and certified, to stake out a place in the market, long before there is sufficient feedstock at the right price to do it in significant volume.

ATSG has been working on the A321 conversion for a couple of years now. They (through PEMCO) actually entered into a joint venture with Precision called 321 Precision Conversions to do the job. ATSG has largely funded this so far. How fast it gets pushed depends upon opportunity, and opportunity arises when enough A321s start coming out of pax service at an affordable price. Putting PEMCO together with Precision should result in a really-good freighter. PEMCO dominated the engineering and touch work in the 737 space, and Precision arguably engineered the best 757 conversion (with others doing the touch work). ATSG, owner of PEMCO, dominates the ownership, leasing and operation of converted 767 freighters, and they see the A321 as the next 757 freighter for package delivery companies, understanding that nothing in that size can compare with the capabilities of the 757 as a freighter because of its lift ability. (As an example, the 767-300s used for Amazon go out stuffed with packages but not all that heavy. Use the same aircraft to run South America freight routes, and you're pushing the thing much closer to its limits in performance because of the much-heavier freight. But that's lift ability you don't need for packages. Applying the same idea here, the A321 is gonna give you a bunch of volume and be efficient for packages, but not have that heavier-lift ability of a 757.)


Precision is looking to roll out its first A320 P2F around midyear, the first A321 P2F is slated for later in 2020. It's taken them a real long time as they cut metal well over a year ago.
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WIederling
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:19 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
WIederling wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
...
..
.
A company called PacAvi is supposedly doing an A320 freighter light, but I can't find any real info on it since 2015/2016.

so is A320* conversions seen as a money machine ?

projects look a bit stuck beyond EFW. no support from Airbus?


So far Airbus freighter conversions have not been popular as shown on the prior graph. I don’t know what you refer to as a money machine since there are only a few in service.


3..4 different products in the making. If interest outlook were lackluster it would not go beyond EFW.
With NEOs entering the market strongly surplus A320* frame become eligible for freighter conversion.
Up to now they made better money in PAX service.

Supply shortcomings in efficient NB ( no MAX ) could founder this development ( again ).
Markets sucking up freed A320CEO for further PAX use.
Murphy is an optimist
 
Newark727
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:31 pm

How many 737-800 freighters are in circulation now?
 
SXDFC
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:50 pm

I noticed on the pie chart that there’s a 737-500.. Who converted a -500 into a freighter?
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:00 pm

Newark727 wrote:
How many 737-800 freighters are in circulation now?


Changes day by day, however at last check there were several dozen. A surprising amount of 73G P2F as well. The white paper says there are orders and options for 120 738 conversions, and I expect that total number to keep on climbing.
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wjcandee
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:42 pm

Spacepope wrote:
Newark727 wrote:
How many 737-800 freighters are in circulation now?


Changes day by day, however at last check there were several dozen. A surprising amount of 73G P2F as well. The white paper says there are orders and options for 120 738 conversions, and I expect that total number to keep on climbing.


China carriers seem to like the 73G-size conversion. That's probably where most of them are. Problem is potential for ramp rash, as well as volume constraints. But each to their own. Also, resale prices of the -700 are probably favorable.
 
crjflyboy
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:03 pm

 
USAirKid
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:22 pm

wjcandee wrote:
PEMCO dominated the engineering and touch work in the 737 space, and Precision arguably engineered the best 757 conversion (with others doing the touch work).


wjcandee, did you mean to say 737, or should that have been 767?
 
wjcandee
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:44 pm

I did mean 737. PEMCO did a whole lot of 737 conversions before ATSG bought them. They did something like 125 conversions of -300s and -400s, and did the engineering and touch work themselves. They also, rather-uniquely, had a Boeing license for these -- so no reverse-engineering -- and BCC in fact leased a lot of them out.

I have to figure that they now have a lot of tribal knowledge on the A320-family, owing to their doing all the induction, heavy checks and drop-in and on-call maintenance for Frontier's fleet of about 60 A320-family aircraft for several years now.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:49 pm

SXDFC wrote:
I noticed on the pie chart that there’s a 737-500.. Who converted a -500 into a freighter?


If that's the Citilink (Indonesian carrier) aircraft, it's not a cargo-door conversion. It's like the old Airborne DC9s -- stripped interior with a cargo floor, but cargo comes in the L1 door.
 
argentinevol98
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:12 am

wjcandee wrote:
SXDFC wrote:
I noticed on the pie chart that there’s a 737-500.. Who converted a -500 into a freighter?


If that's the Citilink (Indonesian carrier) aircraft, it's not a cargo-door conversion. It's like the old Airborne DC9s -- stripped interior with a cargo floor, but cargo comes in the L1 door.


So it would be bulk-loaded then? Or with small cargo tubes like Airborne did with the DC-9s? Either way it seems like an inefficient system but I guess dirt cheap to do which probably makes up for the difference in Citylink's mind.
"He sospechado alguna vez que la única cosa sin misterio es la felicidad, porque se justifica por sí sola"-Julio Luis Borges
 
wjcandee
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:15 am

BTW, I don't think 321 Precision Conversions (and/or Precision itself) is going to do A320s. I think they are committed to just doing 321s.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:04 pm

wjcandee wrote:
SXDFC wrote:
I noticed on the pie chart that there’s a 737-500.. Who converted a -500 into a freighter?


If that's the Citilink (Indonesian carrier) aircraft, it's not a cargo-door conversion. It's like the old Airborne DC9s -- stripped interior with a cargo floor, but cargo comes in the L1 door.


When I flew for Airborne they used these wheeled containers like the post office uses to carry mail sacks. There was a loader inside that would position them and tie them down. Inefficient and nothing large. To make it more inefficient the loader would tie everything down and just sleep to the next stop.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:05 pm

wjcandee wrote:
BTW, I don't think 321 Precision Conversions (and/or Precision itself) is going to do A320s. I think they are committed to just doing 321s.


Ah you're right, I got it mixed up with C3.
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gregorygoodwin
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Re: Narrowbody Freighter Conversion Discussion

Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:37 pm

Our MD fleet is scheduled to be greatly downsized in the near future. The MD10-10's are supposedly to be gone by May of this year, they will be scrapped. The MD10-30 is getting reduced in number with some getting parked with preservation for the near future, others may be scrapped also. The MD11's are going through a reliability program to increase their down time due to maintenance faults that have been identified as chronic or recurring. Some are apparently being parked and parted out if you look at Victorville photos. From what I hear, the reliability program has made the type more dependable so some may keep on flying for a while.

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