raffik
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Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:08 pm

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.
- Alec
 
justinlee
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:14 pm

Air China still uses 747 Combi to fly PEK-SFO.
 
raffik
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:19 pm

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
- Alec
 
TC957
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:20 pm

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.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:25 pm

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.
 
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Polot
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:32 pm

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.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:40 pm

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.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:41 pm

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.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
330lover
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:51 pm

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?
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skipness1E
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:58 pm

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.
 
factsonly
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:22 pm

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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YYCSpotter
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:00 pm

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?
I
 
rutankrd
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:03 pm

Quoting YYCspotter (Reply 11):
then how do airlines like Canadian North and First Air operate combi 732s?

The changes are not retrospective.
 
gesubsea
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:12 pm

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.
 
xaapb
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:18 pm

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
Jorge Meneses
 
studedave
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:24 pm

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]
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legacyins
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:41 pm

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.
 
flyingdoc787
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:44 pm

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


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raffik
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:56 pm

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?
- Alec
 
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rangercarp
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:08 pm

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.
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lightsaber
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:56 pm

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
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Polot
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:06 pm

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.
 
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RWA380
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:11 pm

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.
Next Flights: PDX-HNL-OGG-LIH-PDX On AS, WP & HA
 
indcwby
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:13 pm

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.
 
kl5147
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:36 pm

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?
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CanadianNorth
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:37 pm

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 bulkhead combis. Classic case of cost went up so customers went looking for alternatives (the usual ones stated in previous replies) and thus sales went down. It is still possible however, such as First Air with their ATR combis.

Previously certified combis such as HS-748s and 737-200Cs are still widely used by northern carriers as they are grandfathered in the new regulations, and the cost of certifying new ones generally outweighs the operating costs of older models, especially when one factors in the gravel capabilites and generally increased ruggedness of older designs.

The reason for combis in the north is easy. The remoteness and small populations of many of our communities make regular freight trips un-profitable, and the passenger loads are usually far too low to justify flying there daily or almost daily with an aircraft of Hawker / ATR / Dash size. You might fill a King Air or similar, but operating aircraft of that size on a sked often results in either unaffordable airfares or an unprofitable route. Now, combine the cargo and the pax loads together, and suddenly you do have enough payload to make it worth running a Hawker on an ATR a few times per week.

Win-win, the airlines now have profitable routes and the communities now have regular air service. Charter customers also like it, because if you have, for example, a remote camp and you want to change crews and bring in some groceries, with a combi you can do it all with one trip instead of having to charter two aircraft. A further win for the airlines, now if you have a charter for flying passengers three days per week, and want to do a freight run two days per week, you only need one airplane that averages five trips per week instead of having to buy two airplanes and only use them two or three times per week.
What could possibly go wrong?
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:06 pm

Flying Tigers had some DC-8-63F combis and made good use of them on military charters.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:15 pm

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.

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 have been converted to full passenger aircraft but by far the majority of KL 744 flights are combis. Only 15 of the 45 747s of all models built for KLM since 1971 were full passenger aircraft.

Combi seating 275 ( 42J, 36Y+, 197Y). Full passenger 415 (42J, 36Y+, 337Y).
 
srbmod
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:20 pm

Quoting CanadianNorth (Reply 25):
Previously certified combis such as HS-748s and 737-200Cs are still widely used by northern carriers as they are grandfathered in the new regulations, and the cost of certifying new ones generally outweighs the operating costs of older models, especially when one factors in the gravel capabilites and generally increased ruggedness of older designs.

Alaska retired their 732 Combis and replaced them with 734 Combis which have to follow the new regs.


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Much like in the Canadian provinces where airlines like Air North and First Air make use of combis, without the AS 734 Combis, there would be many small rural communities in Alaska that would not get regular passenger or cargo service which is the quickest way in and out of many of these communities, especially in the winter.
 
willd
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:22 pm

CA did use their Combi into LHR. I remember flying one on LHR-PEK in December 2001.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:30 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 22):
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.

Nope. It was a former SK bird.


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TWA772LR
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:37 pm

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 them load cargo through that door.
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1stfl94
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:41 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 31):

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 them load cargo through that door.

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 the door but I don't think there's any sign inside.
 
iah59
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:51 pm

Quoting GEsubsea (Reply 13):

On Monday I saw some Ferrari's and other luxury cars being put in the KLM 747 combi at IAH.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:01 pm

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 32):
Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 31):

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 them load cargo through that door.

LH took delivery of Combis but they, along with Air France, converted their combis to full pax aircraft in the 1990s.

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 of 14 747-200 combis.
 
superjeff
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:27 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 22):

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.
 
trijetsonly
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:42 pm

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 door, which is, by the way, closed by riveting. You can't see any signs of it on the inside.


By the way. Astraeus used two 757-200 as Combis for three of Iron Maiden world tours in total. But they don't have an extra cargo door. The freight has been loaded through the rear passenger door.
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Passedv1
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:48 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 28):
Alaska retired their 732 Combis and replaced them with 734 Combis which have to follow the new regs.

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 freighters by the end of 2014. It makes more sense to run 1 straight-config and 1 pure freighter to a station, then it does to run 2 combis.

It's what others have said...you can no longer have a movable partition. For the 737-400 combis at Alaska, the large problem is weight and balance. To help alleviate this, there is 2,000 pounds of lead in the tail. Even with this, if we have light pax loads we are likely leaving cargo on the ramp.

The new FAA requirement requires cargo fire suppression even if the cargo is carried on the main deck.

Additionally, there are many fairly new restrictions on what can be carried on a pax aircraft vs. a "cargo only" aircraft that simply makes combi aircraft not worth the trouble.

And if that wasn't enough, the FAA requires the same number of FA's for a 72 pax combi as it does for a straight config 737-400.

If you can get an STC to re-engine a 737-200-combi without having to redo the combi part of the certification, I bet you could make a lot of money as these airplanes are going to be around for a LONG LONG time.

[Edited 2013-02-06 15:51:08]

[Edited 2013-02-06 15:55:05]
 
cschleic
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:19 am

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 6):
SLF (Self Load freight aka Passengers)

Aha, that term explains a lot about passenger air travel these days!  
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:15 am

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 12):
Quoting YYCspotter (Reply 11):
then how do airlines like Canadian North and First Air operate combi 732s?

The changes are not retrospective.

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 for operation on unpaved runways. There's no other current aircraft that can do the same job. All are between 29 and 38 years old.

First Air has both the oldest (age 38, built 1975), left, and the youngest (age 29, built 1984), right, one of the last 4 732 combis built. That one spent most of it's life in a warmer climate (Yemen) and was acquired by First Air in 2006.


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HAWK21M
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:29 am

Any currently manufactured combi's ....I believe the B737-700C is still being manufactured.
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7BOEING7
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:40 am

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 a "convertible". The first flight of the day they'd haul cargo and passengers out to Dillingham, Bethel or some other place west of ANC, haul cargo (fish) and passengers back to ANC then slide in pallets of seats on a 45 minute turn around (never departed on time) and fly all passenger up to Juneau. United had the same capability on their 727-100's on a passenger day/freight night basis but it never really caught on.
 
nikeson13
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:18 am

Quoting justinlee (Reply 1):

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

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.
Nikolas
 
MHTripple7
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:02 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 40):
Any currently manufactured combi's ....I believe the B737-700C is still being manufactured.

Yeah! TAAG flies a 737-700QC originally delivered to SonAir in 2008 I think.


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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:59 am

Quoting raffik (Thread starter):
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.

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 loading. It was very difficult to keep turn around times at less than 1 hour with a lot of cargo to be either loaded or off loaded or both. This gave those planes a bad reputation among passengers.
747-400/747-200/L1011/DC-10/DC-9/DC-8/MD-80/MD90/A340/A330/A300/A310/A321/A320/A319/767/757/737/727/HS-121/CV990/CV440/S
 
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:07 am

Perhaps intresting to note that while most Combi aircraft nowadays have freight located behind the passengers, the B737 and DC8 combis had freight positioned AHEAD of the pax cabin. This resulted in a separation between Cockpit crew upfront and cabin crew at the back with only intercom communications or a diffult crawl through a freight compartment.

KLM operated the DC8-55Combi - freight upfront - and an all Economy rear cabin. The last routes operated with this aircraft were AMS-KWI-AMS and AMS-KHI-RGN-HKG-RGN-KHI-AMS in the late 1970s.


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vv701
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:28 pm

Quoting raffik (Reply 2):
How much of the aircraft is dedicated for cargo use?

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 742 Combis. On their main deck the AC 744 Combis had 8 rows of "Executive Class" seats forward of door #2 and 21 and a half row of "Hospitality Class" between Door #2 and #4 with the freight area immediately aft of door #4. The upper deck of these aircraft had 11 rows of "Hospitality Class seats. The AC 742 Combis had 9 rows of "Executive Class" and 24 rows of "Hospitality Class" on the main deck with the freight area again being immediately aft of Door #4. The upper deck of AC's 742s had 6 rows of "Hospitality Class" seats. (Note: The seemingly smaller 744 Combi main deck had its WCs arranged right across the width of the aircraft on the main deck while the 742s WCs were located in the middle of the cabins with passenger seats on either side thereby increasing the number of rows.)

AZ's 742 combis had 10 rows of "Prima Business Class" seats forward of Door #1 and 31 rows of "Economy Class seats between cabin Doors #1 and #4 on the main deck with the freight area again starting immediately aft of Door #4. There were three rows of "First Class" seats on the upper deck.

GA's 742 combis had 4 rows of F Class seats forward of Door #1, 6 rows of J Class seats between Door #1 and Door #2 and 21 rows of Y Class seats between Door #2 and #4 with the freight area again aft of Door #4. The upper deck had 5 rows of Y Class seats.

KL had both 743 and 744 Combis. The 743 had 5 rows of J Class seats forward of Door #1 (and another 8.5 rows on the upper deck) with 34 rows of Y Class seats between Doors #1 and #4. Again the bulkhead separating the passenger and freight areas was immediately aft of Door #4. Their 744 Combis again had 5 rows of J Class seats forward of Door #1( but with 7 and a half a row on the upper deck) with 33 rows of Y Class seats between Doors #1 and #4. The freight area bulkhead was again located immediately aft of Door #4.

LH operated 744 Combis. They had 14 rows of J Class seats forward of Door #2 and 18 rows of Economy Class seats between Doors #2 and #4. However the freight area bulkhead was located slightly further aft as the eating map shows a galley area located immediately aft of Door #4. There were five rows of F Class seats on the upper deck.

QF operated 742 Combis. They had 4 rows of F Class seats forward of Door #1 and 6 rows of J Class seats between Doors #1 and #2 (with another four rows on the upper deck). There were 21 rows of Economy Class seats between Doors #2 and #4 with the freight area bulkhead immediately aft of Door #4.

SQ had 744 Combis. They also had 4 rows of F Class seats forward of Door #1. There were 28 rows of Y Class seats between Doors #1 and #4. The cargo area bulkhead was again immediately aft of Door #4. The upper deck had 9 and two half rows of J Class seats.

SR had 743 Combis. They too had 4 rows of F Class seats forward of Door #1. Four rows of JClass seats were located between Doors #1 and #(with 9 and a half row located on the upper deck). There were 26 and one half rows of Y Class seats between Doors #2 and #4 with the bulkhead immediately aft of Door #4.

These are the only Combis illustrated in the Guide but I do not think that would mean there were not others in operation at that time.

I wonder if the bulkhead on the LH 744s really was located further aft than on the other aircraft or whether there was a bit of artistic licence in the seat maps from which the above data is derived.

BA werealso earlier brief operators of 742 Combis. Between February 1987 and February 1988 three aircraft, G-BDXN, 'XO and 'XP, were delivered configured for up to 216 passengers (SL18 / J88 / M110) and, with a strengthened floor, up to 40 tonnes of freight. An earlier delivery (G-BDXM) was delivered with the strengthened main cabin floor but in an all-passenger configuration. All three aircraft were converted to an all-passenger configuration in 1991.

I suspect that the need for the strengthened floor is at least a possible reason for the absence of Combi aircraft from today's fleets. With the current cost of fuel it may be a weight penalty too far.

Another reason could be the larger holds of more modern aircraft. For example I understand that the hold of a 772 is larger than that of a 744. So the need for additional freight space on the main deck may be lower.
 
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:43 pm

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 6):
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.

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 downstairs 77W . . .

OTOH, downstairs 77W cargo, should have no problem flying a maindeck on a Combi, from this perspective.
Off course there are plenty of other considerations.

I still wonder, if Airbus had enough time and resources available, if a Combi A388 (or even A389 . . . !) would be feasible. Sacrificing say 75 - 125 pax on main deck, for say 3 - 7 pallet positions should be attractive for the likes of KL, LH, CX, KE etc.

Sure, a fixed partition limits the flexibility compared to today’s 744 Combi. Yet, although I read so much here on A.net on the 77W marvellous cargo capabilities, there is NO flexibility at all on the 77W in this respect.

Even if the main deck partition was not (easily) moveable, that should restore some of the (claimed) unbalance in the A380 pax/cargo ratio, especially for the 388. Should be less of a factor for a future 389, and none for the SUH version.


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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:56 pm

Quoting PW100 (Reply 47):
I still wonder, if Airbus had enough time and resources available, if a Combi A388 (or even A389 . . . !) would be feasible.

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 the upper deck over the cargo positions on the main deck. I'm sure it could be done, but the complexity and weight would likely be significant.



Quoting PW100 (Reply 47):
Sure, a fixed partition limits the flexibility compared to today’s 744 Combi. Yet, although I read so much here on A.net on the 77W marvellous cargo capabilities, there is NO flexibility at all on the 77W in this respect.

The 777-300ER can accommodate up to 14 96x125" pallets in the hold compared to 10 on the 747-400M and 7 on the main deck (assuming cargo was aft of Door 4). Now it is true you can build those seven main deck pallets higher than you can in the hold, but overall, the 777-300ER can carry close to the same cargo volume as a 747-400M and a fair bit more passengers.
 
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RE: Why No More Combi Aircraft?

Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:30 pm

Quoting 330lover (Reply 8):
They (KLM) still have, and fly them mainly to China (HKG, PVG, PEK,...)

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 destination. During this winter:
ICN, NRT, HKG, CTU, PVG, PEK, ORD, LAX, IAH, JFK, MEX, KUL (only 1 weekly)

Indeed, all of them are destinations that have relatively high cargo demand, or specific demand for full-height cargo.