Freighter-converted A321s are on the horizon.
The first A321-200 to be converted by 321 Precision Conversions, a joint venture between Precision Aircraft Solutions and Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), was spotted taxiing outside the Avocet MRO facility at Orlando Sanford International (SFB), where the conformity aircraft is being converted.
The aircraft (891, ex-Air Mediterranee), seen above, was spotted taxiing under its own power, an important milestone on the path to flight tests and eventual program certification. Flight testing, the next step to certification, is likely just around the corner. 321 Precision Conversions previously told Cargo Facts it expected flight testing to begin in Q3.
321 Precision Conversions completed installation of the airframe’s electric door in January of this year.
Following certification, the completed conversion will be redelivered to launch customer, Luxembourg-based Vallair.
Meanwhile, Cargo Facts understands the first A321 converted by EFW (835) was recently painted into the livery of its eventual operator. That aircraft, currently in Singapore (XSP), will shortly be ferried to Australia ahead of its redelivery to Qantas, which is leasing it from Vallair.
To date, around thirty-five 737 NG conversions have been redelivered, giving the new type a head start. With two A321 programs nearing completion, EFW expects its first conversion to enter service in Q4 of this year. And, as today’s tests indicate, the A321PCF is not far behind.