BREECH
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How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:03 am

Today I went on the Internet and I found this:
https://youtu.be/NzCp2Sk2X00

How exactly does that system work? The video is very schematic. It shows two lifts that carry cargo to the "second floor" (first floor if you are Kevin McLeod). But I just cannot imagine how it works. Cargo containers and pallettes are quite heavy, so it has to be powerful. It has to be powered by some sort of a hydraulic system. Taking hydraulics from the airplane system is unfeasible (methinks) because it would mean full re-certification (or would it). So it has to be powered by something else. I think, electricity or maybe a ground hydraulic system. How hard can it be to just add one more truck to the plethora of vehicles surrounding an aircraft on the ground.

Another thing is the lifting mechanism. It cannot be ropes and pulleys or it'll be VERY unreliable. A hydraulic cylinder and piston are best but you need space to stow them. The cargo compartment is roughly two meters (7' if you are still Kevin McLeod) tall, so the cylinder and piston should be at least that long. What are the dimensions of the "basement" (or what it's called?) of the aircraft? Or does it fold down?

All this made me think about how Airbus engineers planned to load the upper deck of the A380F? I saw lots of insights here on a.net, so maybe someone has that sacred knowledge, too. If you are one of those "in the know", please share the knowledge. I would REALLY love to avoid the fanboy holy war on how feasible and possible the A380F is. I'm interested only in the technical aspect of this affair.

Thank you.
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Spacepope
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:50 am

Afaik they don't, at least not now. These lifts are pure fantasy for nonexistent freighter programs. So vaporware, for lack of a better term.
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PanHAM
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:17 am

The re Invention of the wheel. Why build an interbal lift that only adds weight when the external. also called HIGHLOADER works fine. Zollerbeds help moving the ULDs inside and some highly specialised cargo aircraft like the An123 even have cranes build in.
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yeelep
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:25 am

All you had to do was look at one of the other two videos that LCF conversions has posted to youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi_9r0BlQqI
 
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Channex757
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:55 am

BREECH wrote:
All this made me think about how Airbus engineers planned to load the upper deck of the A380F? I saw lots of insights here on a.net, so maybe someone has that sacred knowledge, too. If you are one of those "in the know", please share the knowledge. I would REALLY love to avoid the fanboy holy war on how feasible and possible the A380F is. I'm interested only in the technical aspect of this affair.

Thank you.


The upperdeck would be loaded by a scissor lift setup, just like a catering truck is now. The A380F was primarily set to be used by UPS and FedEx, who are volume limited more than payload weight limited on their flights. Boxes and mail envelopes are pretty light.

The A380F would fly hub to hub (MEM-CDG for example) and there would be equipment to load and unload at either end. The aircraft itself would have a cargo door on the main deck forward of the wing and a second, top deck door aft of it.

It really does lend the aircraft mostly of use to express parcels and mail work. Heavier loads could be taken on the main deck.
 
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:40 am

The scissor lift is OK for Catering but not viable for freight ULD's And whoever handled courier bags knows how heavy paper can be.
This Topic has been discussed many times before. An A380F might have been viable as a shuttle between hubs with a fixed System for loading the upper deck.Similar to what was build in the JFK LH cargo erminal for nose loading the first 747F in 1972
BTW - the A380 is meanwhile listed under "old Technology" on the AB Website. Only if the aircraft will be advanced a new discussion on an F Version can make sense.
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Newbiepilot
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:15 pm

To answer your question, the system would have to be electrical because the airplane has no hydraulic power available while on the ground with the engines off. They could use a localized electric motor driven hydraulic pump, but it would not be able to tie into the airplane system.

My opinion is that this is a terrible idea that is slow and cumbersome. The galley cart lift on a 747 is a total pain, so I can’t imagine using a lift like this concept. Cargo containers are terribly warped and beat up. Main deck cargo handling systems are incredibly robust, but still the steerable power drive units are a maintenance nightmare. Those don’t even move cargo up and down. Moving sideways is tough
 
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:42 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
To answer your question, the system would have to be electrical because the airplane has no hydraulic power available while on the ground with the engines off. They could use a localized electric motor driven hydraulic pump, but it would not be able to tie into the airplane system.


Unless of course the specific system has a self-contained hydraulic powered by an electric motor.
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jetmatt777
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:39 pm

SAAFNAV wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
To answer your question, the system would have to be electrical because the airplane has no hydraulic power available while on the ground with the engines off. They could use a localized electric motor driven hydraulic pump, but it would not be able to tie into the airplane system.


Unless of course the specific system has a self-contained hydraulic powered by an electric motor.


Correct. Some cargo doors are hydraulically operated and they are powered electrically from ground power when the aircraft is off.
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Stitch
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:59 pm

BREECH wrote:
How exactly does that system work? The video is very schematic. It shows two lifts that carry cargo to the "second floor" (first floor if you are Kevin McLeod). But I just cannot imagine how it works.


LCF Conversions contracted with ACE Corporation and Ancra International in 2012 to develop the internal lift system as it was significantly quicker to certify (via STC) and cheaper to implement than adding a cargo door to the fuselage. The original plan was to offer this for 777-200s however the high price of feed stock moved them to the A340-300, whose values at the time were fairly lower and more economical for conversion.

In addition to using the lifts, the main passenger deck would not be strengthened, limiting the floor loading which in turn limited payload on the main deck to around 40,000kg (about the same as can be carried in the hold). Pallets and ULDs would also be limited to the dimensions of the lower deck however LCF noted over half of air freight was carried in the lower holds of active commercial flights so direct interlining of the pallets and ULDs would be possible.


BREECH wrote:
All this made me think about how Airbus engineers planned to load the upper deck of the A380F?


According to Airbus visualizations, the upper deck would have used a very tall scissor-loader. Airbus noted that two firms were working to design these loaders, but did not name them.
 
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:49 am

SAAFNAV wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
To answer your question, the system would have to be electrical because the airplane has no hydraulic power available while on the ground with the engines off. They could use a localized electric motor driven hydraulic pump, but it would not be able to tie into the airplane system.


Unless of course the specific system has a self-contained hydraulic powered by an electric motor.


It is quite common for at least one of the hydraulic circuits to have an electric motor driven pump. Aircraft with hydraulic cargo doors will have the door on one of those systems that can be powered from ground power.
 
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TOGA10
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:08 pm

MatthewDB wrote:
SAAFNAV wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
To answer your question, the system would have to be electrical because the airplane has no hydraulic power available while on the ground with the engines off. They could use a localized electric motor driven hydraulic pump, but it would not be able to tie into the airplane system.


Unless of course the specific system has a self-contained hydraulic powered by an electric motor.


It is quite common for at least one of the hydraulic circuits to have an electric motor driven pump. Aircraft with hydraulic cargo doors will have the door on one of those systems that can be powered from ground power.

On the A320, the yellow hydraulic system is used for cargo door operation and is pressurised with an electric pump when the engines are off (they obviously would be when the cargo doors are operated).
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BREECH
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:23 am

Wow, thank you all for the explanation. So, to summarize, this system doesn't really work in real life? Those "ropes" look incredibly unreliable. And the whole system seem to require quite some qualification from the ground personnel.
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BREECH
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:26 am

Channex757 wrote:
The upperdeck would be loaded by a scissor lift setup, just like a catering truck is now.

I may be wrong but I don't think that would work. Catering truck lifts it once and it's quite a bit lighter than some cargoes that go into freighter planes. Imagine loading a 3-ton Rolls Royce on a scissor lift in some good wind during typhoon season somewhere in Singapore. NIGHTMARE. Or the loader would need some VERY wide base to stay upright. Not to mention it'd be very slow. I think.
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Channex757
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:20 am

BREECH wrote:
Channex757 wrote:
The upperdeck would be loaded by a scissor lift setup, just like a catering truck is now.

I may be wrong but I don't think that would work. Catering truck lifts it once and it's quite a bit lighter than some cargoes that go into freighter planes. Imagine loading a 3-ton Rolls Royce on a scissor lift in some good wind during typhoon season somewhere in Singapore. NIGHTMARE. Or the loader would need some VERY wide base to stay upright. Not to mention it'd be very slow. I think.

well that's easy enough. You don't!

Sensible freight loading takes care of that. The top deck would be for the lighter pallets or containers. FedEx and UPS wanted it more for volume than anything.
 
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Stitch
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:21 pm

Channex757 wrote:
The upperdeck would be loaded by a scissor lift setup, just like a catering truck is now.

BREECH wrote:
I may be wrong but I don't think that would work. Catering truck lifts it once and it's quite a bit lighter than some cargoes that go into freighter planes. Imagine loading a 3-ton Rolls Royce on a scissor lift in some good wind during typhoon season somewhere in Singapore. NIGHTMARE. Or the loader would need some VERY wide base to stay upright. Not to mention it'd be very slow. I think.


Based on CG renderings provided by Airbus, the lift itself would have had a large base and be composed of two parts - a large single-X temporary storage platform and a smaller multi-X lift unit. So the combined structure is probably quite stable for normal operations. And let's be serious, you're likely not going to be loading/unloading during a typhoon.
 
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Stitch
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:43 am

BREECH wrote:
If you have a typhoon every day for three months, you would. In Singapore they take off in typhoon. I think I saw a few videos on the internet.


Well the only customers were Emirates Cargo, FedEx and UPS and none of them operate major (or even minor) cargo hubs out of Singapore so let it blow, let it blow, let it blow.
 
BREECH
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:46 am

Stitch wrote:
Based on CG renderings provided by Airbus, the lift itself would have had a large base and be composed of two parts - a large single-X temporary storage platform and a smaller multi-X lift unit. So the combined structure is probably quite stable for normal operations. And let's be serious, you're likely not going to be loading/unloading during a typhoon.

If you have a typhoon every day for three months, you would. In Singapore they take off in typhoon. I think I saw a few videos on the internet.
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:26 am

BREECH wrote:
Stitch wrote:
Based on CG renderings provided by Airbus, the lift itself would have had a large base and be composed of two parts - a large single-X temporary storage platform and a smaller multi-X lift unit. So the combined structure is probably quite stable for normal operations. And let's be serious, you're likely not going to be loading/unloading during a typhoon.

If you have a typhoon every day for three months, you would. In Singapore they take off in typhoon. I think I saw a few videos on the internet.


Singapore does not have a typhoon every day. More like a few tropical revolving storms every summer. They have frequent thunderstorms. In the tropics airlines frequently operate "in a typhoon", but "in a typhoon" is a rather broad concept and not very useful for aviation. Our forecasts are specific for the airport and we can dodge storm cells. We make go/no-go decisions based on local conditions at the time, not whether the weather service says there's a tropical storm "in the area".

If there's a thunderstorm overhead (typhoon related or not) you can't load because it is a hazard to the rampers. But that can vary from minute to minute. Even when there's a typhoon it's not like one solid storm.
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BREECH
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:16 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
If there's a thunderstorm overhead (typhoon related or not) you can't load because it is a hazard to the rampers. But that can vary from minute to minute. Even when there's a typhoon it's not like one solid storm.

Okay, forget Singapore and typhoons. Emirates loading in the desert before or after a sand storm. A Scandinavian or Canadian or Alaskan airline loading/unloading somewhere in the flat tundra. My main point is, having a 2-3-4-ton load pendulating in 20-30-kt wind gusts 8 meters above ground on a scissor lift is not something I, for example, would want to deal with. Especially when you have 45 minutes to turn a freighter around, which, if you believe the Ultimate Airport documentary, is not something unusual, for example, in Dubai.
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Stitch
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:04 pm

BREECH wrote:
My main point is, having a 2-3-4-ton load pendulating in 20-30-kt wind gusts 8 meters above ground on a scissor lift is not something I, for example, would want to deal with.


That is because you lack the engineering experience. For that matter, so do I. But the folks at the two companies who were designing the loaders have that engineering experience and they would have designed a system that could safely be operated in most conditions. The German company DOLL manufactures a full-size catering truck for the upper deck of the A380 and they can lift a 5000kg load to a height of 8m and their bases look nowhere near as stable-looking as the cargo loaders.
 
BREECH
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:37 am

Stitch wrote:
That is because you lack the engineering experience.


Touché!
Stitch wrote:
But the folks at the two companies who were designing the loaders have that engineering experience and they would have designed a system that could safely be operated in most conditions. The German company DOLL manufactures a full-size catering truck for the upper deck of the A380 and they can lift a 5000kg load to a height of 8m and their bases look nowhere near as stable-looking as the cargo loaders.

Went to look at it. WOW! It's the low-CG Mercedes Econic chassis. But it has supports that are the same width as the wheels. How in the world do they provide lateral stability?
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INFINITI329
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Re: How an internal lift for freighters works?

Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:18 am

The benefit of such a system would be??

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