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Ground Level Boarding  
User currently offlineAeroTycoon From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 101 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1866 times:

I have seen pictures of Aeroflot Il-86s, I believe, with 2 stairs that fold out from the bottom of the fuselage. Obviously, the benefit of these stairs is to allow boarding from ground level. Does anyone know of other airliners equipped like this?

I know one modified 747-200B, military name:VC-25 (often erroneously referred to as "Air Force One"), has two sets of airstairs.

Obviously in today's age of aeronautics, such stairs will not be installed in airliners, as the added weight, hundreds of pounds (at least), wouldn't be worth hauling around.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9826 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1786 times:

I believe the IL-86 was special in that passengers boarded at ground level, stowed luggage and then proceeded up to the main deck for the flight. It was an ingenious way to be able to operate the IL-86 in an autonomous way in remote Soviet airfields.

As for just having airstairs, many narrobodies do. It is an option offered by Airbus and Boeing. Some airlines have stairs installed underneath the L1 and L2 doors on the 737 for example. They are self contained an can be deployed so that passengers do not need a jetbridge or moving stairway to board and exit the plane. Some European LCCs employee these to help make fast turns.

Also some rear engined airplanes for example have a rear staircase that deployes from the back of the passenger cabin down to the ground. I once boarded a Tame 727 that way, and it was amazing to go up from behind the airplane and between the engines.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6968 posts, RR: 76
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1733 times:

Well, the MD90 still has those rear airstairs... Some still have the L1 stairs. Some 737NGs and new A32Xs have those L1 stairs...

It is worth it in some cases, but in places where there ground stairs it's faster to use them than deploy the L1 stairs... (unless you're on a F100 with stair-doors)...

Now if your airline is charged for using stairs and airbridges, depending on the rate, onboard stairs could actually be worth it!

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

CRJs have stairs as do some 737NGs and A320 Family aircraft.

User currently offlineCaptainJon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1669 times:

Don't know about now, but when I flew to TLV, we boarded from the ground. They had stairs from the terminal going onto the ground, then bused us to the plane, climbed the stairs onto the aircraft. Deboarding was done in a similar fashion -clearly in reverse  wink  The equipment used was a B744 and a B772.

User currently offlineNijltje From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1644 times:



User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9826 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1545 times:

Quoting CaptainJon (Reply 4):
Don't know about now, but when I flew to TLV, we boarded from the ground. They had stairs from the terminal going onto the ground, then bused us to the plane, climbed the stairs onto the aircraft. Deboarding was done in a similar fashion -clearly in reverse The equipment used was a B744 and a B772.

The IL-86 is a lot different. At many airports in the world, there are remote stands that can be used for planes. Even at large airports like FRA or NRT, A340s, 777s and 747s are boarded at remote stands using staircases that are trucked up to the plane for passengers to use. Passengers are then bussed to the terminal. All bags are still loaded with baggage loaders and the plane is catered using catering trucks in the same way as if the plane was at a jetway.

However the IL-86 can operate into airports where there are no facilities whatsoever. The plane has built in stair cases and does not need any baggage facilities. Passengers can take all of their luggage to the plane and walk on at the lower level. They store their own bags in the lower deck and then walk upstairs to the main deck where the seats are. Absolutely no infrastructure is needed other than fueling equipment. The IL-86 can operate into a dirt field in the middle of Siberia and be able to efficiently disembark and then embark a new set of passengers. No Boeing or Airbus widebody can do that. 737s and A320s can be configured with air stairs to make them somewhat autonomous, but the IL-86 is much larger.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1441 times:

I never saw a picture of an A32X type-of airplane having these self-contained stairs! Some examples, maybe?

thx
Jan


User currently offlinePilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

Sun Country Airlines has one B738 (reg. N806SY) that has airstairs installed. Its extra weight but they send it out to smaller cities that dont have jetways or where the jetways cant be used.


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Photo © Michael F. McLaughlin



pilottim747



Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
User currently offlineAeroTycoon From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1410 times:

You won't see airstairs on any new American Airlines jets... if they are pulling pillows from the plane, they certainly aren't going to have the unnecessary hundreds of pounds of the stairs.

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9826 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1373 times:

Here is a picture of an integrated stair system with a 737. It looks similar to the A320 ones.


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Photo © Sean Mendis




If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2603 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1271 times:
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The A320 family was always offered with airstairs from the very beginning, but no airline customer has yet specified them (to my knowledge) Most recently easyJet were offered the airstairs option when Airbus were competing with Boeing for the initial A319 order, but easyJet decided against it - on the grounds that it adds a fair amount of weight, doesn't increase the speed of a turnaround, and since airstairs are steeper than standard ramp stairs there was a possible health and safety argument against their use for passenger boarding/disembarking.

British Airways very early A320s were built with the Airstair option, presumably a BCal requirement, but as far as I know they were delivered to BA without airstairs. However you can still see the airstair door undeneath the L1 door on their CFM-powered A320s.

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Photo © Robert Pittuck
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Photo © John Farrington - FlightLineImages


Air France A320-100s built at the same time do not have this option...

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Photo © Gustavo Bertrán - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Jorge Abreu - Madeira Spotters



The only active airstairs I've ever seen on A320-family aircraft are on the A319CJ...

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Photo © Nuno M S Nunes
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Photo © Palo



So in theory any future A318/319/320/321 can be built with integral airstairs if the customer requires it, but it's unlikely any commercail airline customers will specify it now due to the cost/weight and possible safety implications.

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineAirbusA346 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 7437 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1259 times:

Quoting Crosswind (Reply 11):
CROSSWIND

I was think when I started reading your post Crosswind.

"Oh, here we go, someone who thinks that the Emergency Slide on the A321 are Airstairs"

But I was wrong.

Tom.



Tom Walker '086' First Officer of a A318/A319 for Air Lambert - Hours Flown: 17 hour 05 minutes (last updated 24/12/05).
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