The Airbus A310-200F freighter aircraft is a conversion of the A310 wide-bodied airliner by the EADS company, Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW), based in Dresden. EFW has the capacity to carry out 14 aircraft conversions a year. The first A310-200F freighter was delivered to launch customer Federal Express in 1994.
Production of A310 and A300 aircraft ceased in July 2007. Airbus has launched a new freighter variant of the A330 to enter service in 2009.
The converted A310 freighter gives a quickly available and cost-effective cargo transport for mid-size freight. The low empty weight and wide body with large fuselage cross-section gives fast and efficient cargo handling and good freight volume.
The A310 freighter system has a high level of commonality with the Airbus / EADS Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT), also based on the A310, which was delivered to the German Air Force in October 2004.
EADS and EFW have also delivered the A310-300F conversion of the extended range A310-300 passenger aircraft. The first customer for the A310-300F is Federal Express. The first flight of the aircraft was in January 2001.
The Airbus shareholder company, EADS, has delivered more than 100 converted A300 and A310 aircraft to customers including L'Aeropostale, Egypt Air, European Air Transport, Farnier, Federal Express, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates Sky Cargo. Federal Express operates a fleet of 49 A310-200F and six A310-300F freighters.
AIRBUS A310-200F CARGO CAPACITY
The A310-200F freighter has the capacity to carry 39t of freight over a distance up to 5,950km. The aircraft has a maximum payload of 40,600kg. The main cargo deck can hold up to 16 standard 2.24m x 3.17m pallets. The underfloor hold can carry either 14 LD3 containers or three 2.24m x 3.17m pallets and six LD3 standard containers.
For the safety and reliability level of a serial production aircraft, the conversion kits used comprise only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) equipment and components from the corresponding Airbus freighter production facilities.
The conversion procedure takes approximately four months. Initial preparation of the aircraft begins with paint stripping and partial stripping of the passenger cabin. The aircraft is then jacked into a neutral stress position for about four weeks for modification of the airframe.
All the structural and system components that are no longer needed, such as the seats, galleys and floor structures, are removed from the airframe. The new freighter kits can then be installed.
The forward fuselage section is cut open in two stages to install the new reinforced frame shell sections for the cargo door. First the new upper frame shell section is fitted into place and riveted to the fuselage.
The lower frame shell section is then removed and replaced with a new lower frame shell which is lowered into the prepared cut-out position and integrated strongly to the airframe.
The frames both forward and aft of the cut out are completely exchanged by reinforced frames. The new cargo door (2.57m high x 3.58m wide) and the related structural components are installed. The door is hydraulically operated and controlled electrically.
After installation of the main deck cargo door, the conversion work in the forward section of the aircraft is completed. The passenger cabin floor is replaced by a higher strength floor for high running loads. Ball mats and roller tracks, used for loading containers, are fitted.
The aircraft systems are adjusted and completed prior to a schedule of systems tests. A customer inspection and an acceptance flight are carried out. The documentation of the conversion is completed prior to handing over the aircraft to the customer.
The two-crew flight deck has room for a further two crew members or observers. The A310 has the same avionics suite as the A300-600. The flight deck has six interchangeable CRT displays, four for the Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) and two for the Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitoring system (ECAM).
The automatic flight control system includes a flight director and autopilot Flight Control Computer (FCC), a Thrust Control Computer (TCC) and two Flight Augmentation Computers (FAC) which include flight envelope protection.
The communications include an HF set, two VHF sets and a selective calling set. The navigation suite includes two Distance Measuring Equipment interrogators (DME), two VHF Omnidirectional Receivers (VOR), two Air Traffic Control transponders (ATC), an automatic direction finder and two instrument landing system receivers.
The aircraft is powered by two underwing podded engines, either Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D1, P&W PW4152, P&W PW4156A or one of the General Electric CF6-80 series.
The aircraft is fitted with Messier-Bugatti hydraulically retractable tricycle-type landing gear. The ground turning radius is 18.75m about the nosewheel and 33m about the wingtips.