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Why No More Combi Aircraft?  
User currently offlineraffik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14316 times:

I remember seeing pictures of 747 and 737 combis but are they still being manufactured?

What reasons would civillian passenger flights require such a huge cargo capacity?
And why are these aircraft now no longer around? Apart from the remote Alaskan type
737s that are in service.
Didn't KLM have some 747 combis? I think MEA had combi 747s too.

55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejustinlee From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14287 times:

Air China still uses 747 Combi to fly PEK-SFO.

User currently offlineraffik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14252 times:

How much of the aircraft is dedicated for cargo use? Are these early 747-400s?
I know there is a huge Chinese population in Sanfranciso, so assuming the cargo is made up of local goods and foodstuff


User currently offlineTC957 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14237 times:

There was something like the FAA not certifying the 747 Combi anymore after the SAA crash of one in the Indian Ocean many years ago. Shame, as I reckon the 748i would get a good few more orders as a combi.

User currently offlineSpaceshipDC10 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14188 times:

Quoting raffik (Thread starter):
What reasons would civillian passenger flights require such a huge cargo capacity?

Because there are some routes where the number of pax doesn't require a full passenger 747 for instance. So airlines use the 747M especially on routes where there's a strong demand for cargo. Sometimes cargo demand covers the costs of flying passengers to a destination.

Quoting raffik (Thread starter):
Didn't KLM have some 747 combis? I think MEA had combi 747s too.

Many airlines have had or still have combis. Alitalia also had at a time MD-11 Combi. Sabena was known for being the only airline flying DC-10s in combi configuration.


User currently offlinePolot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14131 times:

Quoting TC957 (Reply 3):
There was something like the FAA not certifying the 747 Combi anymore after the SAA crash of one in the Indian Ocean many years ago. Shame, as I reckon the 748i would get a good few more orders as a combi.

Its not that the FAA won't certify combi's- its that they now have much more strict requirements such as a (heavy) fixed bulkhead. The appeal of combis were that you could adjust the bulkhead to change the passenger/cargo ratio to fit your specific needs; you wouldn't be able to do that with a new combi.


User currently offlinerutankrd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14106 times:
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1. Changes in FAA regulation and fire safety , requirements for substantial bulk head protection and load positions to be behind passenger compartment , make the costs excessive.

2. The dynamic growth in premium SLF (Self Load freight aka Passengers) in the last 10-15 years has also seen use of cabin space optimised reducing the need to supplement revenue with pallets on the main deck .

3. The 77W has excellent pallet capabilities down stairs compared to those 74M aircraft of the 80s

4. The explosion of FEDEX UPS and DHL and similar consolidators has effected the demand for combi operations.

Finally consider the combined effect of the A330/777 on opening developing markets. In times past the combi would be the tool for those start up (similar seating capacity and added box/pallet revenue) and i refer you to point 3 above.


User currently offlineAesma From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14087 times:

Combis were modulable (and old frames still are) with a movable bulkhead between passengers and cargo. Now that's illegal and the bulkhead must be fixed and fire/smoke proof like the belly.

User currently offline330lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14014 times:

Quoting raffik (Thread starter):
Didn't KLM have some 747 combis?

They still have, and fly them mainly to China (HKG, PVG, PEK,...)
LH did have them too, but converted to full pax, right?


User currently offlineskipness1E From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 13969 times:

The key driver is fire safety, after the SAA crash, it was rightly game over. It's not an ideal layout.
Consider the recent B747 crashes of UPS in Dubai and Asiana into the sea. A fire in the main deck cargo hold is barely surviveable, look at what happened to N68055, the FedEx DC10 at Newburgh. I am sure the economics would support it, but it's not in ideal nowadays. Too many close calls.


User currently offlinefactsonly From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 13852 times:

As KLM has always been a strong Cargo carrier, it was an early adopter of the flexible aircraft concept. In the 1960s the airline ordered DC8 Jet Traders with Freight doors and DC9s Quick Change. These DC9s had forward cargo doors and seats on pallets, they operated pax by day and freight by night.

In the 1970s KLM received six B747-200Bs, slightly more aircraft than it required at the time. It resolved the overcapacity my removing seats from the rear of the B747 and installing a fixed wall lengthwise between doors 4 and 5, leaving a small aisle and only twin seats on the right hand side of the aircraft. Thus creating a mini cargo compartment on the left rear side, that was accessed through door 5L. KLM thus created the first B747 Combi using a regular -200B aircraft!!

Mid-1970s Boeing and KLM developed to a proper Combi concept, combining the side Freighter door of the B747F with a flexible bulk-head. KLM ordered its first B747-200Combi's with 52.000lbs thrust GE engines in 1977. The PH-BUH and PH-BUI were delivered in 1979 and at that time were the most powerful B747s ever delivered by Boeing. These aircraft were later converted to B747-200SUDs and again later served as KLM Full Freighters or -200SF/SUD.

KLM ordered B747-200Combis, B747-300Combis and B747-400Combis, in total KLM operated 35 B747Combis.

The Combi works for KLM has the airline can operate one B747Combi on a route daily, satisfying pax & freight demand with one flight, instead of operating 1x daily A332 pax flight and 4x weekly B747F. It is more economical and more environmentally friendly. Due to the absence of a new Combi airframe concept, we now see more dedicated pax and dedicated cargo aircraft operating.

Here is PH-BUH in three different configurations: (1) -200Combi, (2) -200SUDCombi, (3) -200SF/SUD


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gerard Helmer


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © J.Laporte


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tango3 - Team Ninervictor



User currently offlineYYCspotter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 13701 times:

Quoting 330lover (Reply 8):
They still have, and fly them mainly to China (HKG, PVG, PEK,...)
LH did have them too, but converted to full pax, right?

They also fly to YYZ with them

Quoting Aesma (Reply 7):
Combis were modulable (and old frames still are) with a movable bulkhead between passengers and cargo. Now that's illegal and the bulkhead must be fixed and fire/smoke proof like the belly.

then how do airlines like Canadian North and First Air operate combi 732s?


User currently offlinerutankrd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 13692 times:
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Quoting YYCspotter (Reply 11):
then how do airlines like Canadian North and First Air operate combi 732s?

The changes are not retrospective.


User currently offlineGEsubsea From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 13622 times:

Quoting YYCspotter (Reply 11):
Quoting 330lover (Reply 8):
They still have, and fly them mainly to China (HKG, PVG, PEK,...)
LH did have them too, but converted to full pax, right?

They also fly to YYZ with them

Same with IAH-AMS daily 744 Combi. In fact, the need in some markets for these can be much greater than just standard size belly freight as KLM typically will move taller freight including race horse containers between Houston and AMS onward to "jumping / racing events" around the world including the EU and the Middle East.

I was on such a flight AMS-IAH about 4 yrs ago in which two containers of race horses were being returned to Texas from abroad. Upon arrival, all pax (including J/F - I was upgraded on that flight) were asked to remain aboard while the animal containers were being offloaded as the nose of the plane was not tetherable at IAH, which in turn would have caused the aircraft to tip backwards.


User currently offlinexaapb From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12963 times:

Quoting YYCspotter (Reply 11):
Quoting 330lover (Reply 8):They still have, and fly them mainly to China (HKG, PVG, PEK,...)
LH did have them too, but converted to full pax, right?
They also fly to YYZ with them

Add to the list MEX, it is very rare to see a KLM full pax 747 in MEX.

greetings


User currently offlineStudeDave From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12833 times:

When I was on active duty I logged many flights on NAVY C-9s. (Combi DC-9)
On at least one flight-- I don't recall there being a bulkhead at all!!!
Could I be mistaken? It was quite a long time ago, and early in my career.
The NAVY was still new to me, and being the teenager I was- I didn't take many pictures.



Anyway~ I know this is CivAv, but I have a related question about the US NAVY's new C-40s...

are they a true 'Combi' in that they have a movable bulkhead, or is it fixed like the civie '37s?




StudeDave

[Edited 2013-02-06 11:04:07]

User currently onlinelegacyins From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12542 times:

Quoting justinlee (Reply 1):
Air China still uses 747 Combi to fly PEK-SFO.

Not much longer. They will be getting a 744 when JFK goes over to the 77W.


User currently offlineflyingdoc787 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12478 times:

As of December 2012, EVA Air still had 747-400 Combis, which they use regionally.


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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages



User currently offlineraffik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12301 times:

I am not familiar with the case of the SAA aircraft that crashed but had a look at the the wiki page for it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Airways_Flight_295

A fire can break out in the cargo hold of any airliner? What made the combi design any more dangerous than
an all cargo 747 for example?
It says that Boeing delivered the last combi aircraf to KLM in 2002 so they're not that old. I was under the
impression that a lot of the combi aircraft were quite old.

So, would it be likely to see Airbus or Boeing provide any combo solutions to airlines in the future?


User currently offlinerangercarp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12071 times:

Quoting raffik (Reply 18):
So, would it be likely to see Airbus or Boeing provide any combo solutions to airlines in the future?

Not likely because...

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 6):
1. Changes in FAA regulation and fire safety , requirements for substantial bulk head protection and load positions to be behind passenger compartment , make the costs excessive.

2. The dynamic growth in premium SLF (Self Load freight aka Passengers) in the last 10-15 years has also seen use of cabin space optimised reducing the need to supplement revenue with pallets on the main deck .

3. The 77W has excellent pallet capabilities down stairs compared to those 74M aircraft of the 80s

4. The explosion of FEDEX UPS and DHL and similar consolidators has effected the demand for combi operations.


User currently offlinelightsaber From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11403 times:
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As already noted, it is the requirement for a fixed bulkhead and the 77W that made combis less desirable.

It is also the growth in the market combined with freight yield managment. Now one can fly pax daily and freight 3x/week (or some fraction) and meet the market demand. By offering freight that can be delayed and having the computers figure out the loading... the market has changed.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 6):
and i refer you to point 3 above.

To be fair, it is all the passenger aircraft hauling freight. While the 77W is excellent, other widebodies do carry more than their predecessors.

Lightsaber


User currently offlinePolot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11227 times:

Quoting raffik (Reply 18):

A fire can break out in the cargo hold of any airliner? What made the combi design any more dangerous than
an all cargo 747 for example?

Belly cargo compartments and freighters have active fire suppression systems- passenger compartments do not. Combi's with a moveable barrier do not have an active fire suppression system on the main deck, as in one flight an area may be full of passengers while on the next flight it will have cargo containers there. Newly certified combis need to have a fire suppression system for the cargo, which is one of the reasons for the fixed barrier.


User currently offlineRWA380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11133 times:

Quoting factsonly (Reply 10):
As KLM has always been a strong Cargo carrier, it was an early adopter of the flexible aircraft concept. In the 1960s the airline ordered DC8 Jet Traders with Freight doors

Did any of KLM D8M's end up with Air Marshall Islands? I remember seeing one opening up the cargo side door in HNL, right after an arrival from MAJ & KWA.


User currently offlineindcwby From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11113 times:

Quoting xaapb (Reply 14):
Quoting YYCspotter (Reply 11):
Quoting 330lover (Reply 8):They still have, and fly them mainly to China (HKG, PVG, PEK,...)
LH did have them too, but converted to full pax, right?
They also fly to YYZ with them

Add to the list MEX, it is very rare to see a KLM full pax 747 in MEX.

KLM's AMS-IAH-AMS flights have been always had pretty good PAX numbers along with cargo. Its why they continue to fly the 74M on this route.

I'm trying to find the photo of an armored Chevy Suburban strapped on a pallet being loaded on a KLM 74M back in early 2000.


User currently offlineKL5147 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10762 times:

Quoting factsonly (Reply 10):
In the 1970s KLM received six B747-200Bs,

In fact there were 7, with the ill-fated PH-BUF included.

Quoting factsonly (Reply 10):
emoving seats from the rear of the B747 and installing a fixed wall lengthwise between doors 4 and 5, leaving a small aisle and only twin seats on the right hand side of the aircraft.

Are there any seat plans available from this configuration?


25 CanadianNorth : There is still demand for Combis, but new fire and smoke rules make it harder to certify fixed-bulkhead combis, and next to impossible moveable bulkhe
26 KC135TopBoom : Flying Tigers had some DC-8-63F combis and made good use of them on military charters.
27 Viscount724 : And many others. Only 5 of KLM's 22 744s (not counting 3 freighters) were built as full passenger aircraft. I believe one (or possibly two) combis ha
28 Post contains links and images srbmod : Alaska retired their 732 Combis and replaced them with 734 Combis which have to follow the new regs. View Large View MediumPhoto © Christian Waser M
29 willd : CA did use their Combi into LHR. I remember flying one on LHR-PEK in December 2001.
30 Post contains images SpaceshipDC10 : Nope. It was a former SK bird.
31 TWA772LR : Does LH operate the 744 Combi? I've seen them in IAH and it looks like they have a rear main deck cargo door, ala KL's combis. But I've never seen the
32 1stfl94 : LH took delivery of Combis but they, along with Air France, converted their combis to full pax aircraft in the 1990s. There is a bit of an outline of
33 IAH59 : On Monday I saw some Ferrari's and other luxury cars being put in the KLM 747 combi at IAH.
34 Viscount724 : 7 of the 32 744s built for LH were combis. As mentioned, they have operated in all-passenger configuration for quite a while. LH also took delivery o
35 superjeff : W I believe the "AMI" plane was originally with SAS. It later ended up with ATI. I am not sure if it was built as a combi or converted.
36 Trijetsonly : LH 's 744 D-ABTA, ABTB, ABTC, ABTD, ABTE, ABTF and I think ABTH were the Combis. So If you see them around, you can check out the rear main deck cargo
37 PassedV1 : And they are slated to be gone within the next two years. Right now Alaska has 5 combis and one pure freighter and is moving to 0 combis and 3 freigh
38 Post contains images cschleic : Aha, that term explains a lot about passenger air travel these days!
39 Post contains images Viscount724 : There are currently 17 737-200C combis registered in Canada with 6 operators that serve remote points in the Arctic regions. Many have the gravel kit
40 HAWK21M : Any currently manufactured combi's ....I believe the B737-700C is still being manufactured.
41 7BOEING7 : Mark Air which operated in Alaska in the mid 80's had some 737-200 combi's they borrowed from Aloha. In their case it was more than a "combi", it was
42 nikeson13 : Yeah SFO is a big gateway for fresh foods from the valley to Asia. The 747 Combi Air China uses must be full with the amount of foods exported.
43 Post contains links and images MHTripple7 : Yeah! TAAG flies a 737-700QC originally delivered to SonAir in 2008 I think. View Large View MediumPhoto © Cornelius Saayman
44 Navigator : SAS had a few 747-283B (SCD). One reason those planes were not so efficient in passenger operation was that they often had delays related to cargo lo
45 Post contains links and images factsonly : Perhaps intresting to note that while most Combi aircraft nowadays have freight located behind the passengers, the B737 and DC8 combis had freight pos
46 VV701 : The data below is as of April 1985. It is gleaned from the seat maps published in that month's "ABC World Airways Guide". AC operated both 744 and 74
47 Post contains images PW100 : That sort of contradicts itself. If cargo could not be flown in a Combi because of "explosion concerns", surely the same cargo should not fly downsta
48 Stitch : The issue with the A380 is you need fire and smoke protection on two passenger decks, not just one, since I would imagine you would have seating on t
49 joost : KL has 15 combi aircraft. During the last 2 years, PH-BFH and PH-BFY were converted into full-pax aircraft. They are flown to many different destinat
50 PW100 : I'm not taking a shot against the 744M, at all. I love it. Sorry if I came over like that. I was considering the supposedly inflexible Combi set up (
51 Stitch : The standard A380-800 configuration supports seven 96x125" pallets in the forward hold and three in the aft hold. As an option, the aft hold can be e
52 Post contains links Viscount724 : The 737-700C can only be operated as a convertible, either all-passenger or all-cargo, not as a combi. The days of the movable cabin divider that per
53 SpaceshipDC10 : As I previously mentioned it, Sabena used to operate their DC-10-30CF as combi aircraft whence it was developed as Convertible Freighter, meaning eith
54 CALPSAFltSkeds : Thanks for the great post on KK's combi aircraft. The Mini cargo compartment was flown AMS-ORD, especially off season when pax load were light. The u
55 Post contains images PlymSpotter : The options for horse transport are getting more and more limited as Combis are gradually withdrawn. They have to go in the upper deck, I believe it'
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