Miami, Florida-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has launched a passenger-to-freighter conversion program for the Bombardier CRJ100 and CRJ200 regional jets, the company announced Thursday. Just named a Bombardier licensed third-party supplemental type certificate (STC) provider, AEI plans to make the conversion available to its worldwide network of authorized conversion centers once the FAA issues the STC for the conversion. AEI expects the initial certification to take two years and plans to certify the program with the FAA, Transport Canada, EASA, China’s CAA and Russian authorities.
Marketed as the CRJ100 and CRJ200 Special Freighter (SF), the airplanes would carry a 6.7 metric ton payload and feature a 94-inch-wide-by-77-inch-high main deck cargo door and an Ancra cargo loading system capable of hauling pallets, containers or bulk loaded material. Measuring 1,864 cu ft, the CRJ100/200 SF’s cabin would carry 10,000 pounds of freight 1,735 nm and a 15,000-pound payload 800 nm.
AEI plans to convert the main deck to a Class “E” cargo compartment and install a dual vent door system, a rigid 9G barrier and aluminum lightweight plugs in place of the cabin windows.
“As with many successful freighter conversion programs in the past, the CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft have now entered the zone of conversion,” said AEI vice president of sales and marketing Robert Convey. “This means that the oldest CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft can be acquired at a cost that is conducive to conversion.”