jonathan-l
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Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:09 am

How does the loading of Airborne Express 767-200PC work?
The specific containers are loaded through the pax door?

Picture

In reference to the above picture, where does that lower deck access door come from? It does not exist on pax aircraft right?

Are ABX aircraft also used for pax operations?
Does anyone have a picture of the inside of the main deck?

Thank you for your help.
 
atlamt
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:22 am

I'm guessing they do bulk load the upper deck. I know that some of the former pax a/c they use have had a cargo door installed for the upper deck but not this one.

As for the lower access door. It is on all of the 767's I've seen. It is a bulk cargo door. For passenger operation's it is used for last minute bags and cargo that wasn't loaded onto pallets or into containers.

In the photo below you can see the bulk cargo door.


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Photo © John Harris

Fwd to MCO and Placard
 
jonathan-l
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:06 am

Thanks for the info.
I assumed the bulk door was on the right hand side of the aircraft, with the other lower deck doors
 
lotsamiles
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:49 am

They have special containers called "C" containers that are slim enough to go thru the pax door. The containers have wheels on them and go up the ramp seen in the picture. The containers have a "groove" on them the fits into a restraint rail in the aircraft to secure them for flight loads. The upper deck and lower deck have the same system.

They are looking at retrofitting to a standard system with a main cargo door but it will be expensive.

The problem with the "C" container system is two-fold:
1. It is incompatible with everyone else's aircraft and ground handling infrastructure (including DHL where they have to have two systems)
2. Make the aircraft worthless to anyone else (difficulty in financing, selling)

Best regards,
Lotsamiles
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:25 am

The RAF Tristars used to have a similar system. Containers on the main deck that loaded through the pax door.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:24 am

ABX has had a history of loading aircraft via passenger boarding doors. The DC-8 and DC-9s were similar.

In this shot you can see the gantry/conveyor system which ABX employs.


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Photo © Gregg Stansbery

From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
jonathan-l
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:50 am

Thanks for the answers
 
memphis
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:41 am

I prefer having the bulk door on the left side of the A/C, like in the pics of the 767, the DC-10/MD-11 have the door on the left side aswell. It makes simultaneous loading/un-loading of the aft cargo compartment and the bulk area much easier with less conjestion, IMOP.

just my 2 cents.
nocturnal
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:07 pm

Quoting Lotsamiles (Reply 3):
The problem with the "C" container system is two-fold:
1. It is incompatible with everyone else's aircraft and ground handling infrastructure (including DHL where they have to have two systems)
2. Make the aircraft worthless to anyone else (difficulty in financing, selling)

There was a Flight International article several years ago that discussed the unusual loading arrangements for ABX's aircraft.

Apparently the decision to use the pax doors on DC-9s and 767s for main deck loading was so that the aircraft would retain resale value as either a pax aircraft or a cargo aircraft in the event that ABX changed its fleet composition.

The 767 a/c retain their pax windows for the same reason.

I guess the value of the aircraft in the fleet can be listed on their financial statement as an asset based on the value of either a pax aircraft or a cargo aircraft, whichever is more beneficial to the beancounters depending on the current market for either type of a/c.

Apparently the "C" container system components can be uninstalled if necessary.
 
57AZ
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:04 pm

If I remember correctly, that same article made mention of the fact that by using the C container system Airborne can get newly acquired aircraft into service more quickly. Basically they beef up the floor and install the restraint bars but don't have to bother with installing a cargo door on a PAX converted AC. That saves a lot of time and some money right there.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
lotsamiles
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:28 am

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 8):
Apparently the "C" container system components can be uninstalled if necessary.

I understand that the aircraft have been modified so much just to put in the "C" system that they cannot be put back into passenger service without a very expensive, cost prohibitive re-modification. I have heard from some folks in the aviation finance community who say that the ABX Air "C" container aircraft are only worth their part out value outside the ABX Air operation.

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 9):
If I remember correctly, that same article made mention of the fact that by using the C container system Airborne can get newly acquired aircraft into service more quickly. Basically they beef up the floor and install the restraint bars but don't have to bother with installing a cargo door on a PAX converted AC. That saves a lot of time and some money right there.

I think this article was putting a positive spin on things. ABX Air has switched to traditional freighters now and my understanding is that they will not add to the "C" container fleet. They are studying the costs of switching over the entire system to use standard pallets and containers that will interline with the other DHL fleet and infrastructure.

Here's another good reason to switch over, when ABX Air freighters are not being used for DHL they can fly for other carriers (several of the newer, standard 767's do this). The "C" container fleet cannot do this.

I think it is just an example of a good idea at the time that no longer meets the needs of the current situation.

Regards,
Lotsamiles
 
A342
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:01 am

As I can see, with these containers, it isn't possible to make use of the aircraft's full interior height, right ?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:09 am

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 4):
The RAF Tristars used to have a similar system. Containers on the main deck that loaded through the pax door.

Yeah but isn't the main deck mainly for seats? I mean these are mainly tankers with the bladders in the lower deck right?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
lotsamiles
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:09 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 11):
As I can see, with these containers, it isn't possible to make use of the aircraft's full interior height, right ?

Another good point on why the "C" containers are not the best way to go.

Regards,
Lotsamiles
 
57AZ
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:10 pm

Quoting Lotsamiles (Reply 10):
They are studying the costs of switching over the entire system to use standard pallets and containers that will interline with the other DHL fleet and infrastructure.

I would expect that if they do eventually decide to make the change, it will gradually be phased in-probably as each airframe is scheduled for heavy maintenance to minimize unnecessary downtime.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: Airborne Express 767-200: Loading Question

Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:45 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 4):
The RAF Tristars used to have a similar system. Containers on the main deck that loaded through the pax door.

Yeah but isn't the main deck mainly for seats? I mean these are mainly tankers with the bladders in the lower deck right?

The one and only I have been on had pax seats back to the Nbr2 doors, and containers back from there.

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