California-based C3 Aerospace (pronounced “C Cubed”) formally launched passenger-to-freighter conversion programs for the Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft today. C3 did not release technical specifications for either freighter, nor any details about when it expects certification, but did provide some background information.
- Engineering for both the A320 and A321 conversion began some time ago, and is nearing completion.
- The A320 will be the first to be converted, with the A321 to follow shortly thereafter.
- C3 is currently in the process of selecting the MRO to do the prototype conversion. The company did not provide a date, but did say it expected to be cutting metal soon.
- No launch customer has been announced, but C3 said it was in discussions with several potential customers.
C3 is the third company to enter the A320 Family conversion arena. EFW (a joint venture of ST Aerospace and Airbus) launched its A32o and A321 programs last year, while 321 Precision Conversions (a joint venture of Precision Aircraft Solutions and Air Transport Services Group) launched an A321 P-to-F program last month.
Likewise, the 737NG field also features several participants:
- Aeronautical Engineers, Inc, which offers a 737-800 conversion
- Bedek Aviation Group, which today redelivered the first of the new generation narrowbody conversions (a 737-700BDSF for Alaska Airlines).
- Boeing, which offers a 737-800 conversion
- PEMCO, which offers a 737-700 P-to-F and P-to-FlexCombi.
As more information about C3 and its A320/A321 program becomes available, we will update this post. If you are interested in learning more about the narrowbody conversion market, join us at the Cargo Facts Symposium in Miami, 2 – 4 October, where executives from six of the major conversion houses will share their views on the subject in a session titled “Narrowbody Freighter Conversions- New Programs, New Questions.” To register, or for more information, go to CargoFactsSymposium.com.