Lufthansa Technik has obtained Engineering Order Specific Tailsign approvals from the German Federal Aviation Authority for four Lufthansa passenger aircraft. They will from now on transport medical goods to meet the growing demand for airfreight during the coronavirus crisis. Within 36 hours, the Airbus A330-300 aircraft were modified for cargo transport. The prerequisite for such a conversion from a passenger to a cargo aircraft is a comprehensive technical documentation.
Normally, long-haul aircraft of this type fly up to 236 business and leisure travellers around the world. Now, four of them transport urgently needed medical supplies. However, 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. For example, cargo has a different floor load, i.e. the structural load capacity of a passenger aircraft is lower than that of a cargo aircraft. While for passenger transport rescue routes must be kept clear and the oxygen supply must be ensured for each individual, special fire protection measures must be taken on board a freighter. All these criteria, and some more, must be taken into account and incorporated into the technical documentation by suitably qualified engineers and approved.
Supplemental Type Certificate for Pax-to-Cargo Conversion in progress
Currently, it is not only the demand for air transport of medical supplies that is growing, but also that for commercial goods. Lufthansa Technik is therefore currently working flat out to obtain Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for all common aircraft types so that airlines all over the world can quickly convert their passenger aircraft into auxiliary freighters.
"We are working to have the complete technical documentation and certification available within a short time so that our airline customers can use the STC. The conversion itself should then be possible within a few days," explains Henning Jochmann, Senior Director Aircraft Modification Base Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik. "The airlines can thus react quickly to changing needs while keeping costs low." Furthermore, Lufthansa Technik develops solutions to protect cabin installations or to secure cargo quickly and easily.