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Aviation News The A330P2F is getting ready to enter service

The A330P2F is getting ready to enter service

Romain Guillot
02 NOV 2017 | 433 words
The programme to convert pax Airbus A330s into full-freighters, which is being carried out by Airbus, ST Aerospace and EFW is now picking up speed with the commissioning of the first aircraft, an A330-300P2F, before the end of the year. As planned, this aircraft is intended for the European integrator DHL Express which has ordered four of them.

After a modification project which began in July 2016 at EFW's facilities in Dresden, the first A330-300P2F (MSN 116, ex-Malaysia, PW4000), took off for the first time on 4th October, flying for a few minutes in the middle of storm Xavier, followed by another flight lasting over 6 hours. The series of test flights then continued apace over the last few days in order to win its precious STC from the EASA in the next few weeks.

More than just the addition of a side loading door (141 inches wide and 110 inches tall) at the front, the converted A330 has a brand new reinforced floor (new structure and new floor panels), a 9G-compatible rigid smoke protection curtain, a new zone at the front that can accommodate 4 CAS (courrier module) and also a complete galley and a new lavatory. The A330P2F also has a new Ancra motorised loading system, class E compartments and a smoke detection system, not to mention the modifications to the hydraulics, ventilation, lighting and other systems. Doors 2, 3 and 4 have been deactivated and the windows replaced with lighter plugs.

The A330P2F programme was launched in 2012. A joint enterprise between Airbus and ST Aerospace, EFW is in charge of industrialising and marketing the aircraft, while the Singapore-based company manages the project in its engineering phase and the certification modification requests to the EASA and the FAA. Airbus acts as OEM and provides the associated support.

The A330P2F is available in two versions: the A330-300P2F (max payload up to 61t), which is particularly well-positioned for integrators and express mail and package transport airlines which favour volume, and the A330-200P2F (max payload up to 60t), for cargo airlines who favour higher density loads and longer distances.

Note that the A330P2F programme can accommodate AMV-type containers (96 inches in height) which have been specially designed for the cross-section of A300/A310/A330 on the main deck, thereby providing an extra 10% of volume in relation to traditional ULDs (88 inches in height).


EFW
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia


 
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