ST Aerospace, through its US subsidiary VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, received Supplemental Type Certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration for a 15-pallet passenger-to-freighter 757-200 conversion.
ST Aero has converted far more 757-200s to freighter configuration than any other conversion house. But almost all of those were part of a single contract for 119 conversions for FedEx – and FedEx wanted a 14-pallet freighter. ST’s main competitor, Precision Aircraft Solutions, took a different approach, opting to develop a 15-pallet 757-200 freighter from the beginning. While Precision has sold fewer conversions, it has a broader customer base, and has seen strong demand for its 15-pallet freighter.
As the end of the huge contract with FedEx approached, ST Aerospace began work on certification of its own fifteen-pallet program. As is the case with virtually all passenger-to-freighter conversion programs, certification took longer than expected, but this week, the FAA signed off, and ST Aero is now able to go to the market with its STC in hand.
Of course, it has more in hand than just the STC. The development of the ST Aero 15-pallet 757-200F was launched with a five-unit order from China-based express carrier SF Airlines, and ST has already completed two of the five conversions and will redeliver the freighters to SF soon.
And after that? Let the 15-pallet competition begin!