Lufthansa Technik works on first A380 cargo conversion

Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) service provider Lufthansa Technik is working on the first Airbus A380 passenger to freighter conversion as the new technical and engineering services for temporary operational changes from passenger to cargo aircraft have been met with interests.

The A380 temporary cargo conversion is being carried out for an undisclosed customer. Airbus was supposed to release a full freighter version of the A380 which was supposed to be known as the A380F but operators were not interested in the version. More airlines and cargo-providers also reverted to the Boeing 747-8F and 777F aircraft.

Senior Director Aircraft Modification Base Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik Henning Jochmann explains, "Over the past days, we have received strong interest from different airlines regarding our passenger to freighter service capabilities,"

"As the workscope comprises much more than just taking out seats, you need engineering experts who know exactly what the challenges are and how to document the technical solutions so correctly that the aviation authorities agree. The current exemption and our solution for it can be transferred to our Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) at a later point of time without major adjustments. This means that anyone who opts for Lufthansa Technik's exceptional solution now can easily switch to the permanent STC solution later," Jochmann continued.

Lufthansa Technik explains that an aircraft that has been granted an approval for passenger transport cannot simply be loaded with cargo in the cabin, as the approval criteria for passenger cabins and cargo compartments are completely different.

Converting a passenger aircraft into a freighter is simply not an easy task as there are plenty of factors to consider like the structural load capacity of a passenger aircraft is lower than that of a freighter. Special fire protection measures must also be taken into account in a cargo aircraft, and other more details.

So far, Lufthansa Technik has received inquries from more than 40 airlines and more than 15 projects are being undertaken.

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