It is possible that the stairs might be up if the plane was loaded at one of the automated facilities with upper deck access stairs outside the aircraft like at Narita.
Are these essentially extra-tall versions of standard airstairs then?
And yes, I've just realised that the 747 doesn't have opening cockpit windows as i said, just the ceiling hatch. Is there any particular reason for one over the other? Having had a (very) quick look, TriStars also have the ceiling hatch, Airbii and narrowbody Boeings have the escape windows (which also serve as direct vision windows of course, although are they actually often used?), and McDonnell Douglas designs don't seem to have any cockpit emergency exits at all. Did the designers want the pilots to die? (I'm not sure about the 757/767/777, can't tell if the windows slide open or not!)
Hmmm. This has turned into a muchly-digressing answer... would I be better off starting a new thread about the exciting topic of cockpit exits?
"Always asking damn questions"...