US FAA approves ATSG’s freighter conversion programme for B737-700
Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved its Passenger-to-FlexCombi™ conversion programme for the Boeing 737-700 Next Generation aircraft.
ATSG said the FAA issued a Supplemental Type Certification for its unique conversion design for the Boeing 737-700, offering customers two different main-deck freight and passenger configurations as well as full-freighter mode. The aircraft will be marketed as B737-700FC (FlexCombi™). PEMCO Conversions, a division of ATSG subsidiary Pemco World Air Services, Inc., developed and managed the program from its headquarters in Tampa, FL.
“To reach this moment in the development of our 737-700 passenger-to-freighter conversion program solidifies our presence as a global leader in the marketplace,” said Mike Andrews, director of conversion programs for PEMCO. “We are pleased with the performance of our Tampa cargo conversion team and continue to develop innovative products meeting increased customer demand for 737 conversions.”
The launch customer for the PEMCO B737-700FC is Bahrain-based Chisholm Enterprises, an internationally recognized provider of tailored aviation and business solutions in the Middle East. Its subsidiary Texel Air, a non-scheduled cargo airline, will operate the B737-700FC from Bahrain International Airport.
PEMCO general manager Jeff Becker added, “Chisholm is a great partner that provides unique services in its market, so the flexibility of our 737 conversion products continues to meet Chisholm’s needs as its fleet grows.”
Now that the 737-700 conversion program has received FAA approval, PEMCO plans to seek certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The PEMCO B737-700FC (FlexCombi™) offers three configurations: a 24-seat cabin plus a 2,640-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 30,000 pounds of payload in six pallet positions; a 12-seat cabin plus a 3,005-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 35,000 pounds of payload in seven pallet positions; or full-freighter mode consisting of a 3,370-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 40,000 pounds of payload in eight pallet positions. The available positions will accommodate 88” x 125” or 88” x 108” pallets, with the seventh and eighth positions accommodating smaller pallets.
PEMCO also is developing a B737-700F full-freighter conversion program. Those freighters would feature nine pallet positions, up to 45,000 pounds of payload, and 3,844 cubic feet of total volume. The available positions will accommodate 88” x 125” or 88” x 108” pallets, with the ninth position accommodating a smaller pallet.
PEMCO specialises in narrow-body passenger-to-freighter aircraft conversions, having developed over 70 STCs and modified over 350 aircraft. PEMCO’s 60-plus customers select the company’s passenger-to-freighter conversions for their superior cargo door and loading systems, superior operating functions, on-time turnaround, and PEMCO’s track record of 2 million hours of safe, reliable operation.