AEI launches 737-800 conversion programs

AEI 737-800F schematicHONG KONG — There was much interest in the four sessions held here today at Cargo Facts Asia, but the big news was undoubtedly the formal launch at the event of a 737-800 Passenger-to-Freighter and Passenger-to-Combi conversion program by US-based Aeronautical Engineers (AEI). We will analyze the program in detail in the upcoming issue of Cargo Facts, but here is a brief overview:

AEI said that although it was in late-stage talks with at least two customers (which Cargo Facts believes are likely lessors), it did not have a firm launch order, and that “the program development costs are being fully funded by AEI.” Regarding schedule, AEI said that it expected the time from launch to certification of the freighter variant to be two-and-a-half to three years, which means entry into service will likely take place sometime in early 2017, assuming development goes according to schedule. Modification of the conformity aircraft will take place at the Commercial Jet facility in Miami. AEI provided the following specifications for the 737-800 freighter:

  • Twelve Main-Deck Pallet Positions, Eleven 88”X125” full height AAA ULD’s plus one 53”X88”X64” Pallet or AEP/AEH or 60.4”X61.5” AKE/LD3 or 61.5”X88”X56”H AYY
  • Up to 52,000 lb (23,587 kg) Main-Deck Payload
  • 86”x140” main-deck cargo door
  • Low profile 1.25” Ancra International Cargo Loading System
  • 9g rigid cargo / smoke barrier with sliding door
  • 28VDC independent hydraulic system
  • Up to 5 Supernumerary Seats

And these specs for the combi:

  • Five Main Deck Pallet Positions 88”X125” full height AAA ULD’s
  • 90 passengers in coach-class configuration
  • Up to 30,000 lb (13,608 kg) Main-Deck Payload
  • 86”x140” main-deck cargo door
  • Low profile 1.25” Ancra International Cargo Loading System
  • 9g rigid cargo / smoke barrier with sliding door
  • 28VDC independent hydraulic system
  • Up to 5 Supernumerary Seats
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