Magnetic Engineering Celebrates A321-200PTF Conversion & Delivery 

Magnetic Talents

This month, an A321-200PTF conversion was completed and delivered to Smartlynx Airlines Malta Ltd. Magnetic Engineering took part in this multi-team collaboration, showcasing the intricate processes that go into a similar scope project.

An overview of the recent conversion

For the engineering team, it was quite a long shot that started approximately 6-8 months before Covid hit. There were two A321s delivered to Magnetic Leasing from Vietnam Airlines at the beginning of 2020. Both aircraft were accepted in parallel, so it was a joint effort of Magnetic Leasing, Magnetic Engineering and two more engineers.

After some enforced pause caused by Covid, one of A321's, MSN 2480, eventually went to GlobalX in Miami. The second one, MSN 2303/ ES-MAG, was acquired by the leasing company Cross Ocean Partners and signed up for Passenger-to-Freighter (PTF) conversion, with the further operator being Smartlynx Airlines Malta. 

Fewer A321-200PTF conversion STCs are currently available on the market, and for ES-MAG, the owners chose the Precision Aircraft Solutions STC. It is a relatively new solution on the market, fully FAA-certified; however, still finalizing the EASA approval. To handle this, a special exemption procedure is drawn by EASA and facilitated by the local Civil Aviation Authorities required for operating such aircraft. 

The workflow behind a standard PTF

The first thing that any PTF involves is an aircraft. When an aircraft is almost "reaching its age" and has completed its operational service as a passenger jetliner, it can be scrapped or reinvented for use in a different segment. 

Converting passenger aircraft into a freighter is a way to extend the economic life of an aircraft. Historically, more than 90% of narrowbody freighters are being converted aircraft. Apart from the commercial side, the conversion check itself is usually done in parallel with heavy maintenance like C-check. 

If the aircraft is accepted for conversion, major modifications will be implemented for the new mission. Typical conversion tasks include but are not limited to: removing from the passenger aircraft anything that is no longer needed, like interior equipment and furnishing (seats, galley, toilets, stowage bins, side and ceiling liners, carpet flooring, oxygen, overhead consoles, entertainment system act.), installation of the Main Deck Cargo Door (MDCD), etc. Usually, this process takes around 6-8 months. 

Towards the end of the conversion check, the supplemental Airworthiness and Operational instructions are issued to the Operator/CAMO, who will tailor the further Maintenance and Operational documentation fit for the newly converted aircraft. 

This was the first project of its kind for Magnetic Engineering, where our team took part from aircraft records review to aircraft delivery to the customer. It was also the first conversion of this type for the HAECO MRO in Xiamen, China, where the conversion took place.

Despite the overall market drive for PTF projects for single-aisle aircraft such as A321 or B737, those are still niche projects. As for Magnetic Engineering, our team supports customers worldwide with different technical service projects and provides assistance in deliveries, redeliveries, pre-purchase inspections, ARC, registrations and other services. For similar and other technical services and engineering inquiries, please contact us at