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Why 747 Combis?  
User currently offlineHardkor From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

Has anyone here flown them, and if so what do you think? Why would they reconfigure a 747 be reconfigured to fit less people to have more cargo space? wouldn't it lead to uneven weight distribution? I don't know much about these weird birds, if anyone can shed some light on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers,
Kory

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

I've actually got far more trips in Combi's than in non-Combi's. They are exactly the same (well, EVA's don't have PTVs, but I've never been a big PTV person myself) as a regular 747 except that there's a bulkhead at the aft galley at the trailing edge of the wing.

And let me tell you, EVA certainly gets cargo in there; they always had cargo to unload, even when pax loads were light (such as last September and October)

Steve


User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2896 times:

KLM flies them Houston-IAH to Amsterdam and I've heard they do quite well. Never flown the Combi though, just the Regulars

Ciao and Hook 'em Horns,
Lt-AWACS


User currently offlineMegatop From Denmark, joined May 1999, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2847 times:

I 2000 I was on a KLM 747-400 Combi flight from Jarkarta via Singapore to Amsterdam.

The plane was PH-BFI "City of Jakarta".


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The plane and service with KLM was good.

Megatop


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 4, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2832 times:

I have flown in the former Swissair 747-300 combis plenty of time. For a passenger is not much difference. Only the main section is shorter. For airlines combis can make good business because they earn more money with freight than with passengers. On some routes they perhaps can't fill a "normal" 747 but have a lot of freight, so a combi is the best solution.

User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2766 times:

IMO it would not have been possible for KLM to build and maintain an extensive intercontinental network from AMS without using combi's to fill up the 747's in a profitable way ....


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User currently offlineAtlamt From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 240 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Usually when a combi flight arrives there is a special jack that has to be attached to the tail to keep the a/c from tipping onto its tail.


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Fwd to MCO and Placard
User currently offlineHardkor From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2684 times:

thanks for the info, I had no idea that they had to use a jack. Couldn't that cause a risk for the flight, if there's extra weight in the back end?

User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2668 times:

I have flown on several 747 Combis, and on-board there is no difference, except that the 5th section of the pax cabin is closed off by a wall........some airlines re-arrange their toilet/galley facilties on their combis to make the revised layout more practical. The result is a shorter pax cabin and usually less economy seats.

The Combi developed, and was widely used by many airlines, including BA, LH, KL, SN, SR, SQ and others, during the late 1970s and 1980s quite simply because the 747 has many seats, too many for a lot of airlines to fill up on a good number of routes - thus, if the aircraft could carry extra cargo in the space that would have been filled with empty or low-yeilding pax, an airline could fly the 747 and make money - something that can be difficult.

The Combis are " out of style" now because smaller long haul airliners became available, starting with the 767 and A310, and now the 330/340 and 777 - the smaller aircraft allowed some of the combi users to seperate their cargo services and pax services. KL still uses the Combi, as does Evergreen and a few others. In the past years, the number of passengers flying and the increased use of hubs allow an airline to fill a 747 more easily, and if a route cannot support a 747, a smaller aircraft is used. That was not always the case.


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2665 times:

This jack is interesting. I have watched many times the Swissair 747 combis in Zürich but never saw this kind of jack.

User currently offlineETA Unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2074 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

I actually prefer the combis- no way of getting seated in the 5th section if travelling economy.

747-200 combis: AZ BA KU QF
747-400 combis: KL LH

The Alitalia flight was interesting because section 4 and 5 was blocked for cargo (believe KLM did this too for a while) so it was like flying on a private jet (there were also only 10 pax on board).


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2595 times:

>>>I had no idea that they had to use a jack. Couldn't that cause a risk for the flight, if
there's extra weight in the back end?

No, because inflight the passengers in the front make the balance work out. On the ground though, passengers leave the plane faster than cargo, hence the supporting tailstand.

Out of my 747 flights half were in Combis (all 400s, incidentally). It really makes no difference for the passenger. But it is annoying the tail section is missing: I usually sit in the very last window seats because there´s only one neighbour - that treat doesn´t exist in Combis.

BTW, one big former Combi operator, Lufthansa (the launch customer iirc), has converted all theirs to all pax versions. My understanding is that severe safety restrictions were imposed on carrying pax and cargo on one deck, following an incident (on Air Canada?) which would have made operating Combis too expensive for LH. Does anyone have information on that? All I remember is vague and blurred.

Perhaps this justifies a separate thread, "Why did LH get rid of their Combis?"

Daniel Smile


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User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2431 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2574 times:

Airsicknessbag

I'm not aware of any changes in regulations for carrying cargo on the same deck as pax. I'm not an expert though, but I guess it wouldn't make much difference wether you carry the cargo on the same deck behind the pax, or on the lower deck...which is just 8 feet below the pax! Most of the cargo below deck is usually closer to the pax than on the Combi cargo deck [except for the very last seat rows].

Anyway, it has not deterred KLM from flying Combis. KLM has 21 744, 16 of which are Combi's and all 16 are currently flown in Combi configuration. Furthermore, 8 out of the 9 743s that KLM is still flying are also Combis, making a grand total of 24 747 Combis in KLM current fleet, against only 6 or 7 full pax 747s.
The 747 Combi really made the difference in the development of KLMs worlwide network!

It would be really interesting to see if Boeing is going to develop a 777 [-300?] Combi for KLM... If they would develop a Combi, surely KLM would be one of the first to order them.

PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineThadocta From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2548 times:

PW100 - "I'm not an expert though, but I guess it wouldn't make much difference wether you carry the cargo on the same deck behind the pax, or on the lower deck...which is just 8 feet below the pax!" - probably something to do with the cargo shifting whilst in-flight, possibly as a result of severe turbulence causing restraints to break or something, and then having it come crashing down on the self-loading cargo. Unlikely, I know, but various governments around the world are reknown for making expensive decisions to counter the flimsiest dangers.

Dave


User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2431 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks ago) and read 2551 times:

Thadocta
Yes, I see your point. However I would believe that this [shifting cargo] must be a "simple" challenge for todays engineers. Even if some freaky authorities find it unacceptable, there must be an easy engineering solution.
I would expect that the problem with cargo has more to do with "dangerous goods", chemiclas, fire hazards etc. on board of modern airliners that carry an increasingly large number of self loading cargo [744, 380]. For these type of danger it doesn't really matter where the cargo is, either lower deck or aft deck. I can imagine that some people are not happy to combine these types of cargo with large pax numbers. Most of these people however don't realise that most large airliners carry significant amount of cargo below deck.

PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineDC9 From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2524 times:

I have flown on KLM's B747-300 Combi between Paramaribo (PMB/SMJP) and Amsterdam the only difference I could notice was from the outside where they loaded cargo through the aft at PAX level.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2523 times:

The safety implication with same-level cargo are as follows: if there is a crash, cargo can very easily come through the bulkhead, squishing lots of people.

User currently offlineAsianaAirlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 198 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2510 times:

The majority of Asiana's 747's are Combis. Most of the combi's arent as modernized as the full 747. For example, If you fly on Asiana's 747-400, you'll have a definite chance on having PTV's in business. But if you are flying on a combi, there wouldnt be much of a chance to recieve PTV's on business class.

User currently offlineLanPeru From Peru, joined Jun 2001, 645 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2499 times:

Why wouldn't u be able to offer PTVs if you have a Combi plane?

User currently offlineThadocta From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Ummm, let's see.... because the Asiana 747 combis do not have PTV's fitted?

Dave


User currently offlineGARUDAROD From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1516 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2499 times:


The cause of the stricter safety regulations was the
South African B747-200 Combi that crashed on a
flight from Taipei over the Indian Ocean. There was an
inflight fire that they were unable to contain. As a
result of this, all Combi operations were to have a
Class "D" firesupport system installed in the maindeck
cargo comparment. All dangerous goods have be
clearly labled and loaded on or near the outside of the
cargo container for easy access in case of fire.
The combi compartment is seperated by 10G crash
restraint nets, so there is no fear of cargo squishing
pax as mentioned in an above thread. The combi
is an ideal aircraft because you get the seating of
an MD11 combined with cargo ability of a DC8F.
Routes where the pax demand is not full all the time
are ideal combi Routes. I personally worked
the Garuda Combi between LAX and CGK and will
tell you, we made more money with the cargo
on the main deck. Except for the shorter passenger
cabin, there is no difference in the aircraft



Cargo doesn't whine, moan, or complain
User currently offlineSoku39 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1797 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2484 times:


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I think the tail jack is a simple yet pretty ingenious solution really. dont you?  Wink/being sarcastic



The Ohio Player
User currently offlineFanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1964 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2480 times:

Of all the combi aircraft, the 747 combi's are by far the most comfortable for the passengers. The bulkhead at the rear of the cabin, as several persons in this thread mentioned, is quite unobtrusive to the passengers. On a 707-320C (I flew on a Sabena bird), on the other hand, the shorter cabin is very much more noticible, as the bulkhead is at the front, in plain view. As a passenger, that arrangement was quite unpleasant.


The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User currently offlineLanPeru From Peru, joined Jun 2001, 645 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2464 times:

Thadocta: Umm..ok?

Is there a specific reason why PTVs cannot be installed?


User currently offlineThadocta From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2457 times:

There is indeed a specific reason - they don't want to.  Smile

Dave


User currently offlineAsianaAirlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 198 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

Yup, thats right. And plus, the 747-400's are newer with the new business class ptv's.

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