As demand for narrow-body aircraft for air cargo transportation continues to rise, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer shared exclusive footage of the conversion process of the first E190 by plane cargo.
The aircraft is being modified at the company’s facilities in Sao Jose dos Camposin Brazil, as part of the program P2F (Passenger to Freighter) announced in March 2022. This program aims to give new life to more than 400 E190 and E195 aircraft in operation around the world. , many of whom have been on the job for more than a decade.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this project is the flexibility it offers clients. The E190 and E195 models can be modified to meet various loading requirements. The E190Ffor example, will have the capacity to carry up to eight cargo units on the main deck (ULD), as well as additional cargo space in the lower holds, allowing a maximum payload of around 15 tonnes.
The biggest E195F takes this capacity even further, with the ability to accommodate up to nine ULDs on the main deck and a maximum loading capacity of around 17 tonnes. Scheduled to enter service in 2024, the first E190 freighter conversion signifies a bright future for the cargo aviation sector.
Embraer provided additional information on the conversion process with images shared on its social media channels. These images reveal the careful transformation of the E190 passenger into the E190F freighter. Notable modifications include replacing part of the forward fuselage to accommodate a cargo door, converting the passenger cabin in cargo space with a reinforced floor and the installation of essential safety devices such as smoke detectors.
In terms of performance, the E190F offers a range of 3,723 km (2,010 miles) with maximum payload and 4,500 km (2,430 miles) with maximum volumetric load. Its larger counterpart, the E195F, offers a range of 3,000 km (1,620 miles) with maximum payload and 3,945 km (2,130 miles) with maximum large payloads.
Embraer aims to occupy a niche crucial on the cargo aviation marketby offering greater capacity and autonomy than cargo turboprops like theATR 72-600Fwhile maintaining operational costs lower than those of cargo conversions of Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
The first customer to adopt this innovative P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program is Astral Aviation, the Kenyan cargo airline. They signed a memorandum of understanding with Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) to lease converted E190F aircraft. NAChaving obtained up to 10 E-Jets conversion stations, will begin deliveries in 2024.
Separately, Embraer has entered into another agreement to convert ten additional E190/E195 aircraft, although the identity of this second customer remains confidential.