MRO Americas, Orlando, FL: PEMCO World Air Services is to deliver the world’s first Passenger-to-FlexCombi Boeing 737-700 in 2018 as part of the launch of new conversion programmes which include a full Passenger-to-Freighter 737-700 as well.
The two options are designated the B737-700FC (FlexCombi) and B737-700F (Freighter).
The launch customer for the B737-700FC is Bahrain-based Chisholm Enterprises. Its subsidiary Texel Air, a non-scheduled cargo airline, will operate the type from Bahrain International Airport. The company has ordered one B737-700FC and has an option on one further aircraft.
According to PEMCO general manager Pastor Lopez, the first aircraft is scheduled to arrive for conversion on 1 May. “We have received the project number from the FAA and all subcontractors are aligned and under contract,” he confirmed. “We expect to have the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approved by the second quarter, 2018, with delivery to Chisholm aimed for early in the third quarter of the same year.”
Following that initial issuance, PEMCO plans to certify both B737-700 conversions with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
The PEMCO B737-700FC offers three configurations: a 24-passenger cabin plus a 2,640 cubic-feet cargo hold for up to 30,000 pounds of payload in six pallet positions; a 12-passenger cabin plus a 3,005 cubic-feet cargo hold for up to 35,000 pounds of payload in seven pallet positions; or full-freighter mode consisting of a 3,370 cubic-feet cargo hold for up to 40,000 pounds of payload in eight pallet positions. The available positions will accommodate 88 inch x 125 inch or 88 inch x 108 inch pallets, with the seventh and eighth positions accommodating smaller pallets.
The B737-700F PEMCO-converted aircraft features nine pallet positions, up to 45,000 pounds of payload, and 3,844 cubic feet of total volume. The available positions will accommodate the same sized pallets as the FlexCombi, with the ninth position accommodating a smaller pallet. Lopez noted that PEMCO has been having conversations with a potential customer which are “looking very positive”.
Lopez confirmed that PEMCO expects to offer similar products for the 737-800 when the price is right. “That will be a different task, but we can use our 737-400 STC as a basis for the -800 just as we used our 737-300 STC as the basis for the new 737-700 conversions,” he added.
(Photo: PEMCO’s Boeing 737-700 conversion programme features the full freighter 737-700F (left) and the company’s trademarked 737-700FC (FlexCombi), which can be used in three different configurations.
Bernie Baldwin, editorial contributor