In a move that will have a huge impact on the passenger-to-freighter conversion market, US-based Precision Conversions announced the launch of a new program that will bring main-deck freight capability to even the smallest carriers. It will also put all of Precision’s competitors out of business (and probably send Boeing and Airbus shares tanking).
Precision VP Marketing and Sales Brian C. McCarthy told Cargo Facts the company was originally looking to enter the market with a “freighter that hauls less cargo than a 737 Classic.” However, “with the collapse of the market for long-range, hundred-tonne freighters,” the company saw an opportunity to effectively take over the entire converted freighter market — from the smallest feeder freighters to the largest freighters serving the intercontinental trunk routes.
As is clear from the photo of the first unit off the conversion line, the Precision Converted Pumpkin (PCP) will have a relatively low payload. However, given that the on-ramp cost of each Precision PCP freighter is about one ten-millionth of the cost of a freighter-converted 747-400F or A330-200/-300, carriers with large cargo volumes can simply order huge fleets.
And it is not just acquisition and conversion costs that are low. Maintenance costs for the Precision PCP Freighter are non-existent. That’s because there is no maintenance required. Ever. Because feedstock is so plentiful, and acquisition cost is so low, at the first sign of any requirement for maintenance the unit is simply retired and replaced. Nor are there any costs associated with retirement — all that is required is a good compost heap. Or a friend who likes pumpkin pie.
Regarding certification, Mr. McCarthy said: “We were hoping to have this certified by Halloween but the government shut-down forced us to postpone the test flight and has plunged us into three weeks of uncertainty.”
Happy Halloween from your friends at Cargo Facts and Precision Conversions!