Bombardier Aerospace announced that it has entered into an agreement with Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) of Miami, Florida to become a Bombardier-licensed Third Party Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) Provider for passenger-to-freighter conversions for CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft. The freighters will include a large cargo door and will be marketed by AEI as CRJ100 and CRJ200 Special Freighter (SF) aircraft.
“Bombardier’s CRJ Series jetliners are the world’s best-selling family of regional aircraft, and now AEI is offering an outstanding opportunity for additional utilization of the aircraft in the secondary aviation market,” said Rod Sheridan, Vice President, Sales and Asset Management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “As a conversion provider for CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft, AEI is offering yet another application for re-configuring aircraft that are being phased out by airlines transitioning to larger regional aircraft.”
“Bombardier is reporting strong levels of interest for previously owned CRJ aircraft from both traditional and emerging sectors of the aviation industry. Over the last seven years, the CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft operator base has grown to 61 – an increase of some 118 per cent − clearly demonstrating the aircraft’s strength and versatility in the secondary market,” added Mr. Sheridan.
“The CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft’s robust, reliable platform, along with their speed and economics, will set new standards for regional large cargo door freighters worldwide,” said Robert Convey, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, AEI. “Following the team’s market study, we found there is significant interest and opportunity for passenger-to-freighter conversions for the CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft. This makes for an affordable freighter application as traditional regional feed operators provide increased service to large cargo carriers.”
AEI’s conversion program will provide operators with a CRJ freighter aircraft capable of hauling a maximum payload of 6.7 tonnes. The freighter would come equipped with an Ancra cargo loading system capable of hauling pallets, containers or bulk loaded material. The Main Deck Cargo Door will be 94” (2.39 m) wide by 77” (1.96 m) high and feature AEI’s proven hydraulic actuation and latching systems that have been installed on more than 375 freighters.
Additional, preliminary features for the CRJ100/CRJ200 SF aircraft include:
Up to 6.7 tonne payload
Total cabin volume of 1,864 cu. ft. (52.8 cu. m)
10,000 lb. (4 536 kg) payload can be flown 1,735 nm
15,000 lb. (6 804 kg) payload can be flown 800 nm
Dual vent door system
Rigid 9G barrier
Main deck converted to Class “E” Cargo Compartment
Cabin windows replaced with lightweight aluminum window plugs