minmaguire
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Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:33 pm

I've always wondered where the precedent of using the left hand side doors to board aircraft comes from? obviously now it makes sense for ease of use at airports etc , but why left and not right?!!
 
KAUSpilot
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:41 pm

It comes from ocean going ships. The left side of a ship is called the "port side" because it's the side that faced the port/dock/pier. Many things from ships carried over into aviation, which makes sense considering that pan am's flying boats played a significant role in air travel's developmental years, with the flying boats (seaplanes) often sharing facilities with ocean going ships.
 
KAUSpilot
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:47 pm

Also if you want to know more about how the terms port and starboard came about wikipedia has a decent entry on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_and_starboard

To summarize, the steering oar on rowing ships was on the right side (because most sailors were right handed), so ships docked with the left side facing the port to avoid crushing the steering oar.

There's no real advantage I can think of to boarding airplanes from the left, other than tradition from ships and also perhaps the fact that the captain sits on the left and can observe the jetway and other equipment a bit better from the left while he is taxiing.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:17 pm

As a practical matter, I believe on many types the 1R door is narrower than the 1L door....  
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Cubsrule
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:22 pm

It's an old thread (and I can't blame you for not finding it given the search function), but there's some good discussion here: Origin Of Boarding At L-1? (by Cubsrule May 15 2004 in Tech Ops)
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yeelep
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:41 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):

Also, shorter on many models.
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:09 pm

I once (only once) flew on a BEA Comet 4B LHR-ORY.
Special trip. I had just got staff travel, and BEA only had one Comet left
which only operated one flight a day.
The boarding was by stairs (the norm in 1969) by the R1 door.
On the Comet the L1 door was much smaller than R1, so
boarding was R2 or L2.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:35 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
As a practical matter, I believe on many types the 1R door is narrower than the 1L door....

Sure. But that's a consequence, not a reason for using 1L.
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rfields5421
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:01 am

Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 1):
The left side of a ship is called the "port side" because it's the side that faced the port/dock/pier.

Thank you - I learn something every day on this forum.

20 years in the US Navy and I never heard that explaination, though to be honest I never asked!!!!
 
KELPkid
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:33 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 7):
Sure. But that's a consequence, not a reason for using 1L.

Well sure, but I'm just trying to say why you'd have a difficult time being a paragon in this situation, should you try and buck tradition 
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simairlinenet
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:24 pm

Aside from historical precedent, it's also useful to have passengers boarding on one side and bags and servicing on the other to avoid ramp congestion and reduce safety risks.
 
oldtimer
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:28 pm

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 6):
I once (only once) flew on a BEA Comet 4B LHR-ORY.
Special trip. I had just got staff travel, and BEA only had one Comet left
which only operated one flight a day.
The boarding was by stairs (the norm in 1969) by the R1 door.
On the Comet the L1 door was much smaller than R1, so
boarding was R2 or L2.



You are correct, the L1 door is so small, its invisible. Comet a/c had a 2L but none had a 1L.
The 1R on a comet was also small compared to other aircraft and there was many a banged skull getting in and out of them. Great aircraft to fly in though with a very good take-off climb.
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1337Delta764
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:49 pm

Also, I think that on aircraft with upward-sliding doors (such as the 767), only the left side ones have power-assist, the ones on the right have to be lifted manually.
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oldtimer
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:59 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 12):
lso, I think that on aircraft with upward-sliding doors (such as the 767), only the left side ones have power-assist, the ones on the right have to be lifted manually.


On DC10 and L1011 all doors were powered.
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andz
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:24 am

I only ever boarded on the right during stops at Ilha do Sal en route to the USA.


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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:04 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 12):
Also, I think that on aircraft with upward-sliding doors (such as the 767), only the left side ones have power-assist, the ones on the right have to be lifted manually.



Again, as a consequence to the tradition of boarding on the left, not a reason. Very easy to have both doors mechanical.

Quoting andz (Reply 14):
I only ever boarded on the right during stops at Ilha do Sal en route to the USA.



I've boarded on the starboard side of an NA 767 before in Lajes. Also boarded a DL 763ER on the starboard side in JFK last year. For some reason the a/c was on hardstand (maybe gate availability issues) and we were put on the "rovers" and the buses pulled right up to 1R and was raised to the door level.
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26point2
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:18 pm

Most bizjets have only one cabin entry door and it's always on the left side. Easy to spot a badly edited promo pic when a plane is shown in flight with the door on the right side.
 
474218
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:03 pm

Quoting oldtimer (Reply 13):
On DC10 and L1011 all doors were powered.

On the L-1011-1 (and -50, -100, -150, -200 and -250) the two Type 1 doors (the two aft most doors) are manual. They have to be hand cranked up and down. However, they do have a counterbalance that will open them in a emergency but then have to be hand cranked down.
 
oldtimer
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:45 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
On the L-1011-1 (and -50, -100, -150, -200 and -250) the two Type 1 doors (the two aft most doors) are manual. They have to be hand cranked up and down. However, they do have a counterbalance that will open them in a emergency but then have to be hand cranked down.

I only worked on the CourtLine L1011 and they did not have any type 1 doors. We carried 400 pax as standard so needed big doors at all 8 stations
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ThirtyEcho
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:00 pm

The first DC-3s ordered by American all boarded from the single door on the right. You can tell that a DC-3 Is really old if the door is on the starboard side. Ernie Gann explained that this was because the Captain didn't want to even look at the passengers. I recall, as a child, flying on one of these birds in the 1950s, operated by Pioneer Airlines in Texas. it, also, had the 2-1 seating arrangement. I thought that was fun because I got a seat all to myself.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:16 am

Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 2):
To summarize, the steering oar on rowing ships was on the right side (because most sailors were right handed), so ships docked with the left side facing the port to avoid crushing the steering oar.

Thats Educational....

Ground equipment....GPU/Cargo loaders/refuellers take space on the RH side,hence LH side is more clutter free.
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Viscount724
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:51 am

There have been occasional exceptions at certain airports.

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 19):
The first DC-3s ordered by American all boarded from the single door on the right. You can tell that a DC-3 Is really old if the door is on the starboard side.

AA also required a right-side door on the Convair 240, the original model of the ConvairLiner series for which AA was launch customer with an order for 80, mainly as a DC-3 replacement.


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The door was moved to the more usual left side starting with the 340.


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As a sidenote, AA´s Curtiss Condors, which the DC-3 replaced, also had a right-side door.

 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:33 pm

Acc. to my grandfather (who was flying gliders in the 1930s), it went back to cavalry customs:
You always mount a horse from the left side.
Since most early aviators (at least the German ones during WW1) came from cavaly units, they tended to climb into their aircraft from the left side.

BTW, the Russian Li-2 (licence built DC-3) had it´s pax door on the right side, as had the IL-12 and IL-14.

Jan
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chrisco1204
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RE: Why Do Airlines Only Use The Left Side Door?

Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:38 am

Quoting minmaguire (Thread starter):
It comes from ocean going ships. The left side of a ship is called the "port side" because it's the side that faced the port/dock/pier. Many things from ships carried over into aviation, which makes sense considering that pan am's flying boats played a significant role in air travel's developmental years, with the flying boats (seaplanes) often sharing facilities with ocean going ships.

That is extremely interesting. Who'd of thought? Most of the ladders for single seat aircraft hang off the left side of the aircraft as well. What a correlation.

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