First A321P2F takes to the skies

Qantas Freight will become the first operator of A321Fs when unit 835 is redelivered. (Photo: Qantas)

The very first freighter-converted A321-200F became airborne today, carrying out its first post-conversion flight over Singapore for approximately twenty minutes.

The test confirms that the aircraft (835, ex-Onur Air) has finally received its two IAE V2500 engines. In October 2019, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture between Airbus and ST Aerospace, said the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for its A321P2F program was delayed to 2020 because the first frame was still waiting for its engines.

Unit 835, the first A321 to be converted by EFW, was ferried to Singapore (XSP) in November 2018 and will be leased by Vallair to Qantas after the program is certified and redelivery takes place.

Meanwhile, the second A321 to be converted by EFW (1238, ex-Thomas Cook Airlines), was ferried to XSP on Christmas Day. That aircraft is managed by BBAM, which signed a letter of intent with EFW for one A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.

The other currently active A321 conversion program — the A321PCF offered by 321 Precision Conversions, a JV between Precision Aircraft Solutions and Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) — is also currently working on its first aircraft (891, ex-Air Mediterranee). 321 Precision Conversions told Cargo Facts that the cargo door has now been installed and is powered. The company had previously said it expected to begin flight tests on the conformity aircraft in early 2020.

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