SierraAir
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Posts: 174
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United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:59 am

Anyone have an insight as to what's going on here?

Image

From what little I can gather, it was a way to load the luggage in the terminal, then deliver to the aircraft. I've never seen cargo containers loaded from underneath the aircraft. It seems like a slower process than a standard belt loader, not to mention the logistical problem if something gets jammed.

Was United the only airline to use this feature? Based on the emergency exits, it appears this is a -60, so was the feature available on all DC-8s?
 
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LAXintl
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:13 am

Yes early form of ULD. They were developed in late 1950s.

United took its aircraft with capability to use tub shaped fiber glass "pods" which were hoisted onto aircraft by self-contained lift with track inside the aircraft on which they would roll.

Some airlines (like Western) used similar small containers on 727s also.
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strfyr51
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:52 am

These were called "Gondolas" they were pods loaded into the fwd and aft pits. raised nd lowered by cables and suspended by metal rails inside the pit. They were good for minimal manpower during turns as the entire cargo pit could be loaded by 2 guys fwd and 2 guys aft. But!! let one of those cables get frayed? the repair took the better part of the day or the night.
 
113312
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:15 pm

American Airlines also used containerized luggage but of a different design and not requiring special cargo doors. Even where containers were used, at least one cargo section was reserved for "bulk cargo" to allow for last minute loading of individual baggage or cargo items.
 
marmaduke
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:22 pm

The pictured system was unique to the DC8. TWA's 727-200 and most 707's used an ULD system similar to AA & WA. It saved on manpower and made for very quick baggage handling. The weight of the containers and the rollerized floor was considerable; rising fuel prices caused the systems to go away in the early 80's.
 
Slcpilot
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:23 pm

It's fun to learn stuff new every day! I may well have read this back in the day, but forgot! Let's get in a time machine!

viewtopic.php?t=754317

And in action here....just past 2:00!

https://youtu.be/V886TJn-cQU

Cheers!

SLCPilot
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
 
TW870
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:36 pm

marmaduke wrote:
The pictured system was unique to the DC8. TWA's 727-200 and most 707's used an ULD system similar to AA & WA. It saved on manpower and made for very quick baggage handling. The weight of the containers and the rollerized floor was considerable; rising fuel prices caused the systems to go away in the early 80's.


Excellent thread - as I love to learn new things about older aircraft!

Are all DC-8s equipped with this system? Looking at some random images of -11s, -61s, and -62s from various carriers, it looks like none have the traditional forward and aft cargo doors on the right side of the aircraft. Are the cargo doors downward facing on the belly of the aircraft on all -8 models, or could operators order standard doors for belt-loader style loading?
 
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ADent
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:33 am

Not even all of United's DC-8s were equipped. IIRC the ex-JAL bird did not have the system. - viewtopic.php?t=754317#p10871547
 
maxpower1954
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:45 am

The United belly loading doors were unique to UAL. Standard DC-8 configuration for all models was cargo doors on the the right side.
 
Varsity1
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:02 am

727's had it as well.

It saves on manpower at the airplane, but it's a wash in total manpower. Unloading and reloading the 'canoes' took just as many people in the terminal.
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AY104
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:01 am

We had a similar container loading system at Western, on the 720B. Special reinforced floor with bearings and all. But as the aircraft got older, the containers often got stuck as the bearings rusted and just got worn from use, and it was a hell of a time trying to get the containers loose. Big delays getting bags to the terminal. Those were the good old days, when nobody cared about the price of fuel. The 720B was heavy to begin with, and adding the reinforced cargo floor only made it heavier.

I think the UA system was better, with the containers suspended from rails at the top of the cargo pit.
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CrimsonNL
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:42 am

Slcpilot wrote:
And in action here....just past 2:00!

https://youtu.be/V886TJn-cQU

SLCPilot


Thanks for the link, that is a super interesting video! Did these aircraft have any bulk loaded holds at all? And cargo doors on the side?

Rgds,

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
strfyr51
Posts: 4467
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:49 am

ADent wrote:
Not even all of United's DC-8s were equipped. IIRC the ex-JAL bird did not have the system. - viewtopic.php?t=754317#p10871547

The only DC8-61 or -71 that didn't have the pods was Nose Number 2471 what was an Ex-Japan Airlines DC-8 that landed short in the Bay on approach to SFO. United Fixed the airplane and JAL didn't want the airplane back. All the rest of the DC8-61/71's had the "Gondlas".
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: United DC-8 Luggage Loading

Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:52 pm

Does anyone know if any of the ex-UAL planes had normal cargo doors added later during Freighter conversion?
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