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How Do You "plug" Doors?  
User currently onlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1008 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 5241 times:

How do you plug an exit in an aircraft?

I know that some airlines had their overwing doors on the 747 plugged (example KLM). How do you physically do that? Is the door removed and if so what is put in its place? Can it be opened?

Also how do you plug windows? Many airlines have window plugs in windows near the exits, for example in the areas occupied by galleys or lavatories. What are the advantages of having these plugs, say opposed to just having the window permanently shut?

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 12 hours ago) and read 5055 times:

Also how do you plug windows?

Well, you just install a metal or composite plug where the window goes. They are made to the same shape as the window and are held in the same way....with screws and retaining clips.

As for 'plugging' doors, that I have never seen. I know many aircraft are designed with different door configurations, so on the assemby line a door hole is just not cut........like on the Boeing 757F. But here as with the doors, the window holes are not cut out.

[Edited 2004-10-06 04:51:43]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 11 hours ago) and read 5041 times:

I think he is talking about plug type overwing emergency exits. The doors are bigger than the cutout in the skin. You can only install them from inside the cabin, they are held by a simple mechanism and when the cabin gets pressurised, the air pressure forces the door into it´s seat, sealing it.

Jan


User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 11 hours ago) and read 5040 times:

If you plug a window you don't have to maintain the window. Windows get scratched, get degraded by UV light, are subject to impact damage, etc. Just pull the window and install a metal plug.

I've never seen a plug installed in place of a door. I've seen many doors de-activated. The door can't be used until re-activated. This in theory will prevent wear and tear on the mechanism and lower costs. But, the seals do tend to lose effectiveness since they don't get "exercised".


User currently offlineMiamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 4999 times:

Window plugs are usually a piece of aluminum that is installed with a faying surface sealant and the use of bolts (Hi-Loks) attaches it to the window frame. As for doors being plugged, that I have not seen. If a door is deactivated, it must be placarded from both the inside and the outside. This does not mean the door does not function, but that it may not be used as a means to enter or exit the airplane. If a door or exit is deactivated, and the door is being used for carrying passengers, the amount of passengers is decreased, as the exit is used to calculate how many passengers can evacuate an airplane in the minimum amount of time in an emergency situation.

User currently offlineBhxforever From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2001, 564 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4883 times:

BA plugged some of the overwing exits on its 747s in order to squeeze in another row of seats.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



[Edited 2004-10-07 21:19:00]

User currently offlineVidens From Argentina, joined Mar 2004, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4847 times:

bhxforever:
The wing exit doesn't look like it was "plugged". Can you ellaborate on this?



Travel? Why would i travel if I can watch it on TV?
User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

The door appears to be plugged because it is not painted as an exit. It does not have contrasting colors.

User currently offlineMiamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4814 times:

Appearances can be decieivng. Just because the contrasting edge bands are missing, the door is plugged?

I disagree with you. You cannot add an extra row and block an exit just to get more passengers. The amount of exits and the passengers an airplane can carry are part of the certification process of the airplane. If you want to decrease the amount of seats, or deactivate exits, adjustments to the configuration must be made, and in some cases an STC would have to be obtained; with several placards and warnings applied to the interior and exterior of the airplane.


User currently offlineRedDragon From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 1135 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4761 times:

Don't know if BA (or KLM) obtained an STC for this modificatin, but the doors were indeed deactivated for reasons of squeezing in more seats. Subsequently the FAA (and I'd assume the other regulatory agencies as well) brought in the "60-foot" rule that specified the maximum distance between exits, specifically to stop this.

Airbus tried to get around this rule during development of the A346, as they argued that adding a smaller (Type-I?) emergency exit overwing could create a bottleneck during emergency evacuations (not to mention adding weight to the airframe, *cough*). I believe that the A346 prototype was lacking this extra door, at least to begin with during the certification process.

Rich


User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4727 times:
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BA, Cathay Pacific and KLM all de-activated overwing doors on some/all of their B747-200s.

In a normal 3-class layout a B747 had far more doors than are required for evacuation requirements - it was possible to deactivate the doors to install extra seating without breaching any regulations. Inside the the location of the doors was completely concealed behind window panelling and overhead lockers, and an extra 2 rows of economy seats could be installed.

The 60ft rule was brought in later to prevent other airlines doing it.

When European Air Charter bought 5 ex-BA B747-200s in 2002, they required CAA approval to increase seating capacity while the the overwing doors (3L and 3R) were being re-activated.

UK CAA AAN 28333 refers;

--------

All of the affected aircraft have had door 3 rendered inoperative by BA, through implementation of Boeing SB 747-25-2645. The maximum previously approved BA seating capacity in this configuration was 400.

Although an increase to 440 is possible, based on the remaining door types, this would require an evacuation demonstration to show compliance to 25.803 due to the disposition of the doors relative to the seating zones.

The operator, European, has agreed to re-instate door 3 on these aircraft rather than do this, however, they have requested approval for use of the 440 configuration while the door 3 parts (SB 747-25-3045) are sourced.

Temporary approval of this 440 passenger configuration is agreed subject to the door 3 re-activation programme defined in the limitations section of this AAN.

--------

Once all European's aircraft had door 3L/3R re-activated the airline further increased their standard capacity to 472.

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineJamotcx From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1037 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4668 times:

Once all European's aircraft had door 3L/3R re-activated the airline further increased their standard capacity to 472.


European didnt actually use a config of 472 though did they  Confused ? To do that the whole plane would have to be all ECY just like TF-ARG is with Air Atlanta. But European had the nose of its 747's (Well at least the few I have been on) filled with the BA club cradle seats.


Jamo


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17002 posts, RR: 67
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4668 times:

Just because the contrasting edge bands are missing, the door is plugged?

Yes! Contrasting color for all doors is a regulatory requirement on all airliners, and recommended on private aircraft.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
Yes! Contrasting color for all doors is a regulatory requirement on all airliners, and recommended on private aircraft

On operating doors only.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineRyDawg82 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 858 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3943 times:

Was this what happend on United's 727-200s? At first there was an exit just in front of the wing...Later the exit was removed.

Before:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Sjögren - Stockholm Arlanda Photography



After:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alastair T. Gardiner - WorldAirImages



Ryan



You can take the pup out of Alaska, but you can't take the Alaska out of the pup.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17002 posts, RR: 67
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3923 times:

Way to go MEL. 2 year old thread!  Wink

Quoting RyDawg82 (Reply 14):
Was this what happend on United's 727-200s? At first there was an exit just in front of the wing...Later the exit was removed.

Certainly looks like it. That's the same plane and everything.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3876 times:

Quoting Bhxforever (Reply 5):
BA plugged some of the overwing exits on its 747s in order to squeeze in another row of seats.



Quoting Videns (Reply 6):
The wing exit doesn't look like it was "plugged". Can you ellaborate on this?



Quoting Air2gxs (Reply 7):
The door appears to be plugged because it is not painted as an exit. It does not have contrasting colors



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 13):
On operating doors only.

Doors are not plugged they are DEACTIVATED. The inside and outside actuation system is blocked and the slide pack removed. You can not physically plug the door because there are requirements to periodical inspect the door surround structure and if the door was actually plugged, this would not be possible.

Since the door can not be opened, it does not require the contrasting color, which denotes an exit.


User currently offlineLHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 655 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

I remember this on BA very clearly as I flew LHR-YYZ non-rev in 1985 ('84?) and was seated where the exit used to be.

It was right after the program to de-activate the 3R and 3L doors had been implemented (on the apron at T3 there were some a/c with 10 main deck exits and some with 8 main deck exits)

At the time, some of the literature referred to the 'deletion' of the doors - that was probably company spin from the BA News!

The interior at the deleted exit was simply a plain sidewall panel (no window) and the 3 rows of seats that had been added really stuck out as odd because they were narrower than the standard seats (I think they were even finished in a non-standard BA cloth on this particular flight)

There was considerable debate at the time about the safety issues for pax seated there - leading eventually to CX re-instating the doors. On that flight I remember thinking how far I was from the exit if it was needed in an emergency and was extremely relieved when the 744 arrived and all 10 main deck exits were retained



Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3731 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 16):
Doors are not plugged they are DEACTIVATED

True.Some are not Deactivated but used for Maintenance use alone,hence no Border.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24906 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3649 times:

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 17):
The interior at the deleted exit was simply a plain sidewall panel (no window) and the 3 rows of seats that had been added really stuck out as odd because they were narrower than the standard seats (I think they were even finished in a non-standard BA cloth on this particular flight)

I also remember flying on several early BA and KL 747s after the door was sealed. Apart from the missing windows, from the inside you would never have known the door was there as normal wall panels were installed in that area.

Quoting RyDawg82 (Reply 14):
Was this what happend on United's 727-200s? At first there was an exit just in front of the wing...Later the exit was removed.

That extra emergency exit was only on UA's early 727-200s (and later sealed shut). I remember sitting next to it several times. Later UA 727-200 deliveries did not have that door.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3623 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 19):
That extra emergency exit was only on UA's early 727-200s

What was the purpose fo its construction.was it capacity
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2598 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3580 times:

I apologize for the off topic, but what is an UA 727 doing in AMS?

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24906 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3570 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 21):
I apologize for the off topic, but what is an UA 727 doing in AMS?

Several US carriers had narrow-body aircraft based in Europe until the mid-90s to operate tag-on sectors from their major hubs to secondary points in Europe. Pan Am and TWA did this for many years. When DL and UA replaced PA to Europe they continued this practice for a few years. In most cases, they had 5th freedom traffic rights on these sectors, meaning that they could carry local traffic as well as their own connections to/from the USA.

This practice ended when the major Alliances (Star, oneworld, SkyTeam) were established. It then became much more efficient and less costly to use their alliance partners to the secondary points that didn't warrant direct service than to base their own fleet of narrow-body types like 727s in Europe to operate those sectors.

If not mistaken, the UA 727 photo at AMS was probably operating the LHR-AMS sector, before UA commenced nonstop service from the US to AMS. They also operated a few 727 sectors from CDG, e.g. to ATH and GVA. DL had a larger number of these tag-on flights which were inherited from Pan Am, mostly originating in FRA.


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