321 Precision Conversions has obtained certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its A321-200PCF freighter conversion program, four years after its formal launch.
With FAA approval secured, 321 Precision Conversions now needs to have its supplemental type certificate (STC) for the conversion validated by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) before launch operator SmartLynx Malta can begin flying the prototype aircraft (891, ex-Air Mediterranee) in service.
Unit 891 is currently at the Avocet MRO facility in Sanford (SFB), where it was converted and where it last carried out a certification flight at the end of February. 321 Precision Conversions had commenced flight testing with the aircraft in October 2020.
Telair International supplies the maindeck cargo loading system for the A321-200PCF, with an optional modular loading system on the lower deck.
321 Precision Conversions recently told Cargo Facts that it was in the final administrative phase of the certification process. The company had previously expected to receive FAA approval in the first quarter of 2021.
Apart from SFB, 321 Precision Conversions, a joint venture between Precision Aircraft Solutions and Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), will also begin touch labor on A321s at the PEMCO facility in Tampa (TPA) in July, according to ATSG President and CEO Rich Corrado.
SmartLynx, which will operate unit 891 on an ACMI basis for DHL Express in Europe, is leasing the aircraft from Vallair as part of a deal announced last year. The carrier will also lease an A321-200P2F (1017, ex-R Airlines) currently in conversion with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) at the ST Aerospace (Guangzhou) Aviation Services facility.
EFW received its EASA STC for its A321-200P2F in February 2020. The FAA followed that with its own validation in June.
Vallair is the launch customer for both the A321-200PCF and the A321-200P2F.
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