Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?  
User currently offlineminmaguire From United Arab Emirates, joined Nov 2011, 16 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 10 months 21 hours ago) and read 7170 times:

I've always wondered where the precedent of using the left hand side doors to board aircraft comes from? obviously now it makes sense for ease of use at airports etc , but why left and not right?!!

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1959 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 21 hours ago) and read 7168 times:

It comes from ocean going ships. The left side of a ship is called the "port side" because it's the side that faced the port/dock/pier. Many things from ships carried over into aviation, which makes sense considering that pan am's flying boats played a significant role in air travel's developmental years, with the flying boats (seaplanes) often sharing facilities with ocean going ships.

User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1959 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 21 hours ago) and read 7159 times:

Also if you want to know more about how the terms port and starboard came about wikipedia has a decent entry on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_and_starboard

To summarize, the steering oar on rowing ships was on the right side (because most sailors were right handed), so ships docked with the left side facing the port to avoid crushing the steering oar.

There's no real advantage I can think of to boarding airplanes from the left, other than tradition from ships and also perhaps the fact that the captain sits on the left and can observe the jetway and other equipment a bit better from the left while he is taxiing.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6381 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (2 years 10 months 20 hours ago) and read 7122 times:

As a practical matter, I believe on many types the 1R door is narrower than the 1L door....  


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22992 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 20 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

It's an old thread (and I can't blame you for not finding it given the search function), but there's some good discussion here: Origin Of Boarding At L-1? (by Cubsrule May 15 2004 in Tech Ops)


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 20 hours ago) and read 7088 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):

Also, shorter on many models.


User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4007 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 7063 times:

I once (only once) flew on a BEA Comet 4B LHR-ORY.
Special trip. I had just got staff travel, and BEA only had one Comet left
which only operated one flight a day.
The boarding was by stairs (the norm in 1969) by the R1 door.
On the Comet the L1 door was much smaller than R1, so
boarding was R2 or L2.


User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17038 posts, RR: 66
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 12 hours ago) and read 6660 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
As a practical matter, I believe on many types the 1R door is narrower than the 1L door....

Sure. But that's a consequence, not a reason for using 1L.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 11 hours ago) and read 6640 times:

Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 1):
The left side of a ship is called the "port side" because it's the side that faced the port/dock/pier.

Thank you - I learn something every day on this forum.

20 years in the US Navy and I never heard that explaination, though to be honest I never asked!!!!


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6381 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6292 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 7):
Sure. But that's a consequence, not a reason for using 1L.

Well sure, but I'm just trying to say why you'd have a difficult time being a paragon in this situation, should you try and buck tradition 



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinesimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 915 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6072 times:

Aside from historical precedent, it's also useful to have passengers boarding on one side and bags and servicing on the other to avoid ramp congestion and reduce safety risks.

User currently offlineoldtimer From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 191 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6068 times:

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 6):
I once (only once) flew on a BEA Comet 4B LHR-ORY.
Special trip. I had just got staff travel, and BEA only had one Comet left
which only operated one flight a day.
The boarding was by stairs (the norm in 1969) by the R1 door.
On the Comet the L1 door was much smaller than R1, so
boarding was R2 or L2.



You are correct, the L1 door is so small, its invisible. Comet a/c had a 2L but none had a 1L.
The 1R on a comet was also small compared to other aircraft and there was many a banged skull getting in and out of them. Great aircraft to fly in though with a very good take-off climb.



Oldtimer, I should have known better!
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6531 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6057 times:

Also, I think that on aircraft with upward-sliding doors (such as the 767), only the left side ones have power-assist, the ones on the right have to be lifted manually.


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineoldtimer From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 191 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6049 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 12):
lso, I think that on aircraft with upward-sliding doors (such as the 767), only the left side ones have power-assist, the ones on the right have to be lifted manually.


On DC10 and L1011 all doors were powered.



Oldtimer, I should have known better!
User currently offlineandz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8453 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5825 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I only ever boarded on the right during stops at Ilha do Sal en route to the USA.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Julian Whitelaw




After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5795 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 12):
Also, I think that on aircraft with upward-sliding doors (such as the 767), only the left side ones have power-assist, the ones on the right have to be lifted manually.



Again, as a consequence to the tradition of boarding on the left, not a reason. Very easy to have both doors mechanical.

Quoting andz (Reply 14):
I only ever boarded on the right during stops at Ilha do Sal en route to the USA.



I've boarded on the starboard side of an NA 767 before in Lajes. Also boarded a DL 763ER on the starboard side in JFK last year. For some reason the a/c was on hardstand (maybe gate availability issues) and we were put on the "rovers" and the buses pulled right up to 1R and was raised to the door level.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5677 times:

Most bizjets have only one cabin entry door and it's always on the left side. Easy to spot a badly edited promo pic when a plane is shown in flight with the door on the right side.

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5654 times:

Quoting oldtimer (Reply 13):
On DC10 and L1011 all doors were powered.

On the L-1011-1 (and -50, -100, -150, -200 and -250) the two Type 1 doors (the two aft most doors) are manual. They have to be hand cranked up and down. However, they do have a counterbalance that will open them in a emergency but then have to be hand cranked down.


User currently offlineoldtimer From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 191 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5551 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
On the L-1011-1 (and -50, -100, -150, -200 and -250) the two Type 1 doors (the two aft most doors) are manual. They have to be hand cranked up and down. However, they do have a counterbalance that will open them in a emergency but then have to be hand cranked down.

I only worked on the CourtLine L1011 and they did not have any type 1 doors. We carried 400 pax as standard so needed big doors at all 8 stations



Oldtimer, I should have known better!
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1651 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

The first DC-3s ordered by American all boarded from the single door on the right. You can tell that a DC-3 Is really old if the door is on the starboard side. Ernie Gann explained that this was because the Captain didn't want to even look at the passengers. I recall, as a child, flying on one of these birds in the 1950s, operated by Pioneer Airlines in Texas. it, also, had the 2-1 seating arrangement. I thought that was fun because I got a seat all to myself.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4971 times:

Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 2):
To summarize, the steering oar on rowing ships was on the right side (because most sailors were right handed), so ships docked with the left side facing the port to avoid crushing the steering oar.

Thats Educational....

Ground equipment....GPU/Cargo loaders/refuellers take space on the RH side,hence LH side is more clutter free.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25300 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4795 times:

There have been occasional exceptions at certain airports.

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 19):
The first DC-3s ordered by American all boarded from the single door on the right. You can tell that a DC-3 Is really old if the door is on the starboard side.

AA also required a right-side door on the Convair 240, the original model of the ConvairLiner series for which AA was launch customer with an order for 80, mainly as a DC-3 replacement.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bill Armstrong




The door was moved to the more usual left side starting with the 340.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bill Armstrong




As a sidenote, AA´s Curtiss Condors, which the DC-3 replaced, also had a right-side door.



User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

Acc. to my grandfather (who was flying gliders in the 1930s), it went back to cavalry customs:
You always mount a horse from the left side.
Since most early aviators (at least the German ones during WW1) came from cavaly units, they tended to climb into their aircraft from the left side.

BTW, the Russian Li-2 (licence built DC-3) had it´s pax door on the right side, as had the IL-12 and IL-14.

Jan


User currently offlinechrisco1204 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 3792 times:

Quoting minmaguire (Thread starter):
It comes from ocean going ships. The left side of a ship is called the "port side" because it's the side that faced the port/dock/pier. Many things from ships carried over into aviation, which makes sense considering that pan am's flying boats played a significant role in air travel's developmental years, with the flying boats (seaplanes) often sharing facilities with ocean going ships.

That is extremely interesting. Who'd of thought? Most of the ladders for single seat aircraft hang off the left side of the aircraft as well. What a correlation.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Why Do Cargo Operators Use Old Planes? posted Sat Jan 29 2011 01:39:03 by DocLightning
Why Do Aircraft Still Use Hydraulics? posted Sun Nov 14 2010 10:56:18 by DocLightning
Why Do Military Aircraft Use UHF And Not VHF? posted Fri Jun 6 2008 11:07:13 by N353SK
Do All Jets Use The Same Fuel? posted Wed Dec 13 2006 03:32:33 by Jawed
Why Do Airlines Furlough posted Sat May 13 2006 22:59:26 by AirWillie6475
Do Airlines F*** Around With The AC To Save $$$$$? posted Fri Jul 11 2003 17:09:59 by Indianguy
Which Airlines Still Use The LTN-72 INS posted Sun Mar 17 2002 02:22:02 by AdamHarvard
Why Do Airports Use The Smaller Runway? posted Sat May 7 2011 11:01:04 by Jonathanxxxx
Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much? posted Sun Mar 7 2004 12:09:49 by Mozart
Why Do Tugs Pull Aircraft To The Gate In The US? posted Fri Aug 19 2011 23:05:51 by Camohe
Why Do Aircraft Still Use Hydraulics? posted Sun Nov 14 2010 10:56:18 by DocLightning
Why Do Military Aircraft Use UHF And Not VHF? posted Fri Jun 6 2008 11:07:13 by N353SK
Do All Jets Use The Same Fuel? posted Wed Dec 13 2006 03:32:33 by Jawed
Why Do Airlines Furlough posted Sat May 13 2006 22:59:26 by AirWillie6475
Do Airlines F*** Around With The AC To Save $$$$$? posted Fri Jul 11 2003 17:09:59 by Indianguy
Which Airlines Still Use The LTN-72 INS posted Sun Mar 17 2002 02:22:02 by AdamHarvard
Why Do Airports Use The Smaller Runway? posted Sat May 7 2011 11:01:04 by Jonathanxxxx
Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much? posted Sun Mar 7 2004 12:09:49 by Mozart

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format