As the first A321P2Fs (Passenger-to-Freighter) begin operations with launch customers, FAST magazine talks to the experts – Gilbert Birke and Thomas Centner from Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture of Airbus and ST Engineering. We examine what makes this aircraft operationally unique, as well as the technical and conversion considerations for operators who plan to bring this type into their fleets.
As a modern jetliner with advanced Airbus technology that includes fly-by-wire flight controls, the A330-300 wide-body offers a highly capable platform for conversion into a freighter. Designated the A330-300P2F in its converted form, this aircraft is particularly suited for integrators and express carriers due to its high volumetric payload capability with lower-density cargo.
Featuring one of the most voluminous cargo holds of any civil or military aircraft flying today, the Airbus BelugaST offers a unique way to transport oversized air cargo. Also known as A300-600ST Super Transporter, the company’s five existing Belugas play a key role in keeping its production and assembly network operating at full capacity, with the fleet’s overall pace of operations – managed by the Airbus Transport International (ATI) subsidiary – growing to support production ramp-ups.
CMA CGM Group, a world-leader in shipping and logistics, and Airbus have signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of four A350F freighter aircraft. The order, which is subject to finalisation in the coming weeks, will lift CMA CGM’s total Airbus fleet to nine aircraft, including five A330-200F.