Posts: 437
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 1999 5:51 am

Questions About Freight Airline Operations

Tue Sep 21, 1999 5:10 am

I have several questions concerning scheduled freight operations by FedEx, UPS, Emery, etc:

1. What is the turnaround time for a 747F or MD-11, meaning, how long does it take to unload and load a large widebody freight aircraft?

2. What is the ground crew like for large widebody freight aircraft, more or less people than an airliner turnaround.

3. How many hours of the day do freight aircraft operate? Only at night? Two shifts?

4. I know the MD-10 and MD-11 conversions are to begin installing a hard wall between the cockpit area and the cargo area, but what other amenities are offered to the pilots, i.e. gallies, sleeping quarters for long flights with two shifts of pilots.

5. What routes does FedEx operate its MD-11s? Are they used only for long haul or also for high density domestic routes?

Posts: 600
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 1999 1:03 am

RE: Questions About Freight Airline Operations

Tue Sep 21, 1999 5:28 am

Turn time for a widebody full download/upload can be done in under 2 hours easy, that is if everything is there and you have enough people to do it. I think the best we ever just loaded a 747 was a about 45 minutes.. we had to sit and wait for it to be fueled.

I would imagine more people than a pax plane, just due to the fact your also unloading the topside. If you have a full crew, um, lets say about 20 people if you have to strip it and reload it in a hurry.. like under an hour on an MD-11.. but thats a tough one.

Most of FedEx and UPS flights are at night. nature of the business. But, we fly some of the planes all day long... depends on what they deem the need for your area as far as volume.

OK, well, i can only speak for our planes, but only a few of the Dc-10-30's and all the MD-11's have galleys. All have lavs and coolers for drinks. A few of the MD-11's have crew rest berths.. i think it was 6 last time i counted.

The MD-11's are schedule don the long international rund usually, but also run domesticly, I've seen them run ATL-MEM. Basicly, FedEx will use whatever plane it has available to cover holes in the schedule (of course depending if the ramp can handle that type).

Hope this helps..
Visualize Whirled Peas
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Questions About Freight Airline Operations

Tue Sep 21, 1999 10:10 am

On a slightly-related topic: how do those Airborne DC8-63's get along without a freight door?

RE: Questions About Freight Airline Operations

Tue Sep 21, 1999 10:19 am

In Tampa there is always at least one, sometimes two, FedEx MD-11s in the cargo ramp area.

Fly US Airways
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RE: Airborne Express

Tue Sep 21, 1999 10:52 am

Airborne Express is primarliy a small package handler. Since everything on their planes is small and easy to carry, they just load them on that way. Now, a cargo door would make it easier to get on and off, they don't use huge pallets so wouldn't need it.

Regards from St Louis!

RE: Questions About Freight Airline Operations

Wed Sep 22, 1999 4:46 am

Airborne Express developed their own specialized contained that is only 18 inches wide. This enables it to be loaded through a standard passenger door.
UPS Pilot
Posts: 866
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm

RE: Questions About Freight Airline Operations

Wed Sep 22, 1999 5:13 am

I asked about this a while back. The 76's they have and are being converted have no cargo door also. I would think this would severly limit Airbornes ability to sell space on their aircraft. Even small package haulers transport bulk cargo.
Another thing too what happens when they try to sell the aircraft, Wouldn't it hurt the value of the plane since it has no forward main cargo door? Most of these planes go to other freight companies and they would have to add the door.
Wouldn't this reduce the turnaround time since it involves load and unloading more containers and sorting more containers?
It seems strange that they can do this and still be so competitive with rates doesn't it?

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