The FlexiCombi aircraft can be used for almost any purpose the customer requires, and it can be reconfigured quickly.
George Chisholm of Bahrain-based Texel Air said: “It’s the world’s first flexible combi-freighter. It is a combination aircraft that's able to switch between seven different configurations in around 12 hours. You have a freight section, a passenger section, and in the passenger section, we have about six different configurations from medevac and business to economy.”
Applications for the aircraft include ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance – wet lease), government charter, humanitarian, general freight and more.
Chisholm said the aircraft took “many years of research”.
He commented: “We started this project back in 2015. We reached out to a number of companies, including Boeing themselves. Eventually, we went back to Pemco World Air Services based in Tampa. They've converted four previous freighters for us, and they also have the combi experience, so they were looking for a new-gen customer. We pitched our idea, which was the flexible-combi, and they agreed to work with us to develop the aeroplane you see today.”
Chisholm says there’s already significant interest in the aircraft.
He said: “We already have two in the pipeline. The second one will be going into conversion in Q1 [of 2019], with delivery somewhere around Q3."
"We've got probably about four interested parties currently who are looking for additional aircraft," he added.