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benbeny
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Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:21 am

Apologies if this has been asked before :smile:
The title pretty much sums it up. Why back in the days of propliners you board the aircraft from the rear door?
Obviously for taildragger it's easier because it's the lowest part of the aircraft, but when they switch to DC-4, why did the arrangement persist?
When did we change to front boarding?
Any helps are greatly appreciated :)
 
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richcam427
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:16 am

Many props today still board from the rear due to the cargo hold being located in the front part of the aircraft. As for old propliners like the DC-4, the most likely reason for rear boarding was most likely tradition, since it was what people were used to. Front boarding really wasn't popular until the jet age.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:29 am

Jetways were an expensive addition to large airports and terribly expensive for smaller airports who had been boarding/deplaning with the aircraft's built in airstairs or mobile airstairs for years. It just took a while for jetways and the airlines concern for passenger comfort to catch up. Jetways were designed to access the forward door(s) so that facilitated the move to the front. At least that's my thought...


Image
 
BravoOne
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:29 am

Weasel, that 1st guy off the UAL 727 kinds reminds me of DB Cooper:)
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:55 am

BravoOne wrote:
Weasel, that 1st guy off the UAL 727 kinds reminds me of DB Cooper:)


... caught on picture while doing a dry run. Next one was a UA flight with the parachute strapped on. It looked kind of weird but he told his fellow passengers that he was afraid of flying.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:51 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
Weasel, that 1st guy off the UAL 727 kinds reminds me of DB Cooper:)


... caught on picture while doing a dry run. Next one was a UA flight with the parachute strapped on. It looked kind of weird but he told his fellow passengers that he was afraid of flying.


He must have run out of 'frequent flier' miles with dry runs on United, because his actual jump was from a Northwest 727 :spin:
 
BravoOne
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:14 pm

Had dinner once with the DBC NWA F/O or S/O which you may know. The guy was hilarious. One of those kind that when he told a joke your were doubled over laughing before he got to the punch line.

Sorry for the thread drift...
 
DBCooper
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:09 pm

BravoOne wrote:
Weasel, that 1st guy off the UAL 727 kinds reminds me of DB Cooper:)


I don't think so...


-DBC
 
BravoOne
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:46 pm

DBCooper wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
Weasel, that 1st guy off the UAL 727 kinds reminds me of DB Cooper:)


I don't think so...


-DBC



Funny:)
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:30 pm

The ATR 42/72 still boards from the rear door, these aircraft can't use airbridges. Other modern propliners such as the Bombardier Dash 8-series and the Fokker F-50 do board through the front door. Still those aircraft hardly ever make use of airbridges.

It's one of those standards that came with time. There was a time when some aircraft had their doors on the left side and some had them on the right side. On a certain moment an agreement was made that all doors had to be on the left side, and that's still the case. Although in theory with modern aircraft you could board from both sides, but that's not being done.
 
LH707330
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:27 pm

I suspect a lot of it had to do with how the early propliners were laid out. The DC-4, for example, had its engines mounted up close to the flight deck, so there was little room for loading if the door was there next to the engine. That's why they moved it aft. As to why they boarded on the left, that's been discussed a few times as well:
viewtopic.php?t=773929
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:33 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
The ATR 42/72 still boards from the rear door, these aircraft can't use airbridges.


Sure they can.

I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
VSMUT
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:52 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
The ATR 42/72 still boards from the rear door, these aircraft can't use airbridges.


Some of the older ones actually do have boarding and service doors in the front.

:)
 
benbeny
Topic Author
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:12 am

LH707330 wrote:
I suspect a lot of it had to do with how the early propliners were laid out. The DC-4, for example, had its engines mounted up close to the flight deck, so there was little room for loading if the door was there next to the engine. That's why they moved it aft. As to why they boarded on the left, that's been discussed a few times as well:
viewtopic.php?t=773929

Well, yes, but I think even Comet used to be loaded from rear. Perhaps rooted in some WW2 or pre-war tradition?
The fact I am asking this was because ATR usually loaded from rear because the front is used for cargo.
 
WIederling
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:24 am

benbeny wrote:
Well, yes, but I think even Comet used to be loaded from rear. Perhaps rooted in some WW2 or pre-war tradition?


props+engines reached further forward than later jet engines.
boarding behind a prop ( potentially running ) is much less dangerous
than boarding at the rear of a jet engine.
( where boarding in front isn't healthy either :-)

We have the taildragger paradigm where entry at the rear is much lower but canted.
So you had things like "Trapoklappe" ( WW2 : German transport aircraft ) or
toploading for freight ( Junkers F13 to Ju52/1(3?)

Early transport planes had separate access for the cockpit and the passenger hold.
Murphy is an optimist
 
mxaxai
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:37 am

One might consider the hazard of running into the prop as well, which is mitigated by boarding as far away from them as possible, i. e. the rear. Although you probably would not leave them running during boarding anyway, but for the few occurences it may have been useful.

As for the comet, it likely is that way because much of it was derived from contemporary propliners (eventually leading to the infamous fatigue problem).
 
benbeny
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:41 pm

Oh, and maybe because props doesn't have shrouds around them to clearly mark the limit of the prop? :D
One scenario I can imagine about running the engine whole time is only when you're on military charters or quick turn-around with left-hand side engines shut. Otherwise, the ground crew will see too many skirts being blown up :wink:
 
vc10
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:12 pm

In the old prop liner days there were no loading fingers and people were expected to walk from terminal to aircraft. There were also no push back arrangements at most airfields, so aircraft would taxi to the terminal and then turn to the right taking up a position of say 30 to 45 degs to the terminal when stopped. A turn to the right was probably favoured as the Captain was on the left. Therefore a door at the rear and on the left allowed the shortest walk for the passengers from terminal to aircraft. This parking arrangement kept passengers away from props, allowed the starboard engines to be started as passengers were loading, and also allowed the aircraft to taxi away from the terminal under it's own power.
Now the first generation of jets had doors for passengers at both front and rear and would load passengers at both door,s as in those far off days passengers either walked from the terminal or were bused and so could use either door dependant on what ticket they had. Two doors were deemed necessary due to the much larger passenger capacity of the jets compared to the prop airliners.
Indeed even today at airports with no fingers still load at both doors.
 
benbeny
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:32 am

So the consensus here seems because it was leftover tradition from taildragger days, it's safer because it puts people away from spinning props, and because sometimes it's the only practical design.
Thank you very much for your valuable discussion, sometimes I feel like I ask dumb questions :)
 
VSMUT
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Re: Propliners boarding from rear. Why?

Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:03 pm

benbeny wrote:
The fact I am asking this was because ATR usually loaded from rear because the front is used for cargo.


One of the reasons for one of the cargo holds being up front in the ATR is for center of gravity reasons, to prevent it from tipping onto the tail strut on the ground :) But it also has a similarly sized cargo hold in the back, that is awkwardly accessed through the galley.

:D

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