Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers Inc (AEI) has received supplemental type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration for its Boeing 737-800 freighter conversion.
The company completed its prototype conversion in December on a 737-800 (MSN 29121), but experienced a delay in gaining approval for the STC due to the partial government shutdown.
GECAS became the launch customer for AEI's conversion programme in 2015, and provided the prototype aircraft.
AEI forecasts that 750 737-800s will be converted to freighters over the next 40 years globally, and it plans to capture around 400 of those conversions.
“When compared to the B737-400SF, the B737-800SF has better fuel burn characteristics combined with a substantial increase in payload capability which will provide operators with improved operating economics,” says Robert Convey, AEI’s senior vice-president sales and marketing.
The conversion includes the installation of a 2.18m x 3.48m large cargo door. The main deck offers a payload of up to 23.9t with 11 full-height container positions, plus an additional pallet position.
AEI is now the third company to hold 737NG conversion STCs, joining the Boeing Converted Freighter programme, and another offering from Israeli Aerospace Industry’s Bedek Aviation Group.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that 10 737-800s and four -700s have been converted to freighters.