Two US companies, Precision Aircraft Solutions and Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), have formed a joint venture company, 321 Precision Conversions, to develop a passenger-to-freighter conversion of the Airbus A321-200. The new firm anticipates securing approval of a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the project by 2019, after which customer deliveries can start.
Precision Aircraft Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Erickson Group of Beaverton, Oregon originally started feasibility studies on A321-200 conversions six years ago and launched full-scale engineering for STC development during the third quarter of last year.
The joint-venture company says the A321-200 freighter will fulfil both replacement and growth needs in the narrowbody freighter market as well as delivering cubic space commensurate to a Boeing 757 freighter with lower operating costs comparable to 737 freighters. It adds the A321-200 conversion will be an attractive platform for air express network operators.
Precision Aircraft Solutions and CAM, a subsidiary of Wilmington, Ohio-based Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) already have a long-term relationship dating back to 2007, when the former redelivered the first of four 757-200 freighters to the latter.
Steven J Thomas, Erickson Group President, remarked: “Precision’s integrated business model is capable of both the engineering and certification required for the A321-200 freighter conversion. This strategic alliance with ATSG for the A321-200 programme underscores our complimentary business models and our long history of working together. We look forward to bringing this product to to the market collectively.”
Joe Hete, ATSG President and CEO, added: “ATSG’s emphasis on leasing, operating and maintaining midsize freighters has been a key to its success. Our decade-long relationship with Precision for 757 conversions gives me confidence that we will bring to the market another high-quality, cost effective freighter for customers that demand high performance.”