Yesterday, South Africa-based Solenta Aviation took redelivery of an ATR72-200F, converted to large-door freighter configuration by Switzerland-based IPR Conversions Ltd., at its ASI-Maintenance facility in Toulouse, France.
IPR holds the STCs to perform both bulk-load and large-door modifications on the ATR72-200 and -500 series turboprobs. The first STC is for what IPR refers to as a “structural tube” conversion in which the floor is secured and the windows are plugged. A second option includes the installation of a large cargo door (LCD) 116” x 71” which allows for the loading of up to five containers or pallets with dimensions of 88″x 108″.
DHL has opted for the LCD configuration for the most recent aircraft (463), which is equipped with an Ancra cargo loading system. Solenta will induct the aircraft into its fleet of ATR freighters which fly on behalf of DHL in mostly inter-African regional service, connecting Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Mauritania. IPR says it has orders for at least three more ATR72 LCD conversions with Ancra cargo systems.
Those interested in learning more about the market for cargo conversions are invited to join us at this year’s Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai where a roundtable panel discussion will explore the topic at length. The event will be held 26-27 April, at the Grand Hyatt in Pudong. For more information, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com