sho69607
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How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:41 am

How common is it that a freighter (let's say a Kalitta 747 or some other ad-hoc charter) is filled to capacity for a flight? I can imagine it is a little bit more predictable with airlines like Fedex or UPS who, to my knowledge, only fly scheduled flights and don't usually do charters.
 
WIederling
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:02 am

I'd be surprised if they do not hug available payload mass or volume ( what ever comes up first as a limit ).
( that is why you get stepped freight offers from forwarders: fast @ higher price, slower @ reasonable price, "we'll get it there eventually" @ rock bottom.)
you load all available "fast" stuff and then fill up with the less urgent things ...
planes will fly full while revenue is "elastic".
Murphy is an optimist
 
sho69607
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:38 am

Yeah that makes sense. I do know that they often times will end up flying empty back to the hub, but I can't imagine it being that hard to find a bid with the amount of freight that moves around the world. It does seem like a pretty cut throat industry with lots of competition, which is why so many of freight companies have gone belly up. Now the pax airline side of things is a whole different story.
 
BravoOne
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:59 pm

I suspect that both FexEx and UPS bulk out at least 90% of the time before reaching the max allowable payload in weight. They may never the less, be at or close MTOW, simply due to fuel loads required. UPS probably does more adhoc charter work in the 747's than FedEx.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:05 pm

for the record FEDEX does a lot of charters. There's a devoted charter dept.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:58 pm

For the brown tails....it depends. Pretty much anything out of SDF is going to Utilize every position, but for sure not at MTOW save for flights to ANC, CGN, and DXB.

It’s when we start getting a lot of mail and freight that things get heavy. Boxes that go by air are for the most part fairly light.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:40 pm

The 747s fly as close to MTOW as possible, thanks in part to the nose door. companies operating both the 747Fs and 777Fs say the 777 often bulks out before it runs out of weight capacity, whereas the 747 doesn't.
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:42 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
for the record FEDEX does a lot of charters. There's a devoted charter dept.

Yup. They're a favorite for insurance and legal firms when huge reams of paper contracts or regulatory forms have to get from one VIP to another. Munich Reinsurance basically has a FedEx MD-11 on reserve for them at Munich airport.
 
sho69607
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:29 am

I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:40 pm

sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.
 
mmo
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:11 pm

sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


I can guarantee you MLW is just what it says. There is no "wiggle room" on the landing weights at all.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
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747classic
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:41 pm

sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


On short stretches the Maximum Zero Fuel Weight (MZFW) is mostly limiting the payload (kg/lbs), if you are not volume limited first (parcel freighters !)
Max payload = MZFW minus Operational Empty Weight (OEW)
Only with a not nearby alternate and/or bad weather the Maximum Landing Weight (MLW) can be limiting, due extra fuel uplift for a possible diversion.
No wiggling is possible in aviation.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
Canuck600
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:49 am

Slightly off topic but what percentage of freight traffic is over sized loads vs packages/containers these days? I'm talking about stuff like moving helicopters, vehicles, and large pieces for construction projects.
 
sho69607
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:50 am

mmo wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


I can guarantee you MLW is just what it says. There is no "wiggle room" on the landing weights at all.


I know that weight can't be exceed for a normal (non emergency) landing. I was using that in the context that the 747 has a much higher max landing weight than other aircraft. In other words, you can fit a lot of payload before you exceed MLW.
 
sho69607
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:00 am

patrickjp93 wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.


I have seen occasional flights between SEA/BFI-ANC or ORD-JFK on Flightaware operated by Atlas Air and sometimes other airlines as well. Both around 3-4 hours. Anything going through Anchorage is gonna be full of cargo obviously. Not sure why a 744 would be used on this leg, but I am guessing it has to do with large amounts of freight headed to ANC, and/or a stopover for a return flight to Asia somewhere.
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:42 pm

sho69607 wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.


I have seen occasional flights between SEA/BFI-ANC or ORD-JFK on Flightaware operated by Atlas Air and sometimes other airlines as well. Both around 3-4 hours. Anything going through Anchorage is gonna be full of cargo obviously. Not sure why a 744 would be used on this leg, but I am guessing it has to do with large amounts of freight headed to ANC, and/or a stopover for a return flight to Asia somewhere.


Well it's not like their snow plows and heavy duty winter construction or scientific equipment are built in Alaska. Sure, sometimes it makes sense to truck that stuff all the way through Canada, but sometimes you need it sooner than that.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:17 pm

sho69607 wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.


I have seen occasional flights between SEA/BFI-ANC or ORD-JFK on Flightaware operated by Atlas Air and sometimes other airlines as well. Both around 3-4 hours. Anything going through Anchorage is gonna be full of cargo obviously. Not sure why a 744 would be used on this leg, but I am guessing it has to do with large amounts of freight headed to ANC, and/or a stopover for a return flight to Asia somewhere.

What’s so obvious about them being full? Maybe on the way back from Asia, but it for sure isn’t a sure thing on the way there.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:35 pm

jetblueguy22 wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:

What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.


I have seen occasional flights between SEA/BFI-ANC or ORD-JFK on Flightaware operated by Atlas Air and sometimes other airlines as well. Both around 3-4 hours. Anything going through Anchorage is gonna be full of cargo obviously. Not sure why a 744 would be used on this leg, but I am guessing it has to do with large amounts of freight headed to ANC, and/or a stopover for a return flight to Asia somewhere.

What’s so obvious about them being full? Maybe on the way back from Asia, but it for sure isn’t a sure thing on the way there.


Yes it is on the way there. Anchorage is the dropoff point for the entire roadworks maintenance supplies for the state. A LOT of heavy machinery and scientific equipment gets taken up there by 747 if it's needed urgently. The space may not be packed, but you can bet the beast is close to MTOW if it's headed for Anchorage. Then there's the crab and fish deliveries from Alaska daily. Those aren't coming in by boat...
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:49 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
jetblueguy22 wrote:
sho69607 wrote:

I have seen occasional flights between SEA/BFI-ANC or ORD-JFK on Flightaware operated by Atlas Air and sometimes other airlines as well. Both around 3-4 hours. Anything going through Anchorage is gonna be full of cargo obviously. Not sure why a 744 would be used on this leg, but I am guessing it has to do with large amounts of freight headed to ANC, and/or a stopover for a return flight to Asia somewhere.

What’s so obvious about them being full? Maybe on the way back from Asia, but it for sure isn’t a sure thing on the way there.


Yes it is on the way there. Anchorage is the dropoff point for the entire roadworks maintenance supplies for the state. A LOT of heavy machinery and scientific equipment gets taken up there by 747 if it's needed urgently. The space may not be packed, but you can bet the beast is close to MTOW if it's headed for Anchorage. Then there's the crab and fish deliveries from Alaska daily. Those aren't coming in by boat...

I make the operating plans for one of the largest cargo airlines in the world. We may go out with some weight, but Anchorage is more of an exchange point than anything else.

Most of that stuff isn’t going by air. Maybe if every piece of road equipment in Anchorage broke down it would go by air. Otherwise only the replacement blades for a plow or parts are going by air. It’s Anchorage, not Nome.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
ZK-NBT
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:52 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.


UPS doesn’t fly to AKL.
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:19 pm

ZK-NBT wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
I do see some 747 routes that are short (like 3-4 hours). I am sure they probably reach a point of exceeding MLW if they are all cargo and little fuel. But with the weight limits the 747 freighter has, I am sure there is more wiggle room than some of the other smaller freighters.


What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.


UPS doesn’t fly to AKL.


Yes they do. Try again. https://www.ups.com/nz/en/help-center/contact.page
 
Max Q
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:15 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
for the record FEDEX does a lot of charters. There's a devoted charter dept.

Yup. They're a favorite for insurance and legal firms when huge reams of paper contracts or regulatory forms have to get from one VIP to another. Munich Reinsurance basically has a FedEx MD-11 on reserve for them at Munich airport.



Hang on a moment


An insurance company generates so much paperwork that needs to be sent it requires an MD11 to transport it ?


In this day and age you’d think most documentation can be transferred electronically, needing a large widebody
with a maximum payload over 200k is stunning
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:00 am

Max Q wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
for the record FEDEX does a lot of charters. There's a devoted charter dept.

Yup. They're a favorite for insurance and legal firms when huge reams of paper contracts or regulatory forms have to get from one VIP to another. Munich Reinsurance basically has a FedEx MD-11 on reserve for them at Munich airport.



Hang on a moment


An insurance company generates so much paperwork that needs to be sent it requires an MD11 to transport it ?


In this day and age you’d think most documentation can be transferred electronically, needing a large widebody
with a maximum payload over 200k is stunning


If you think aviation is a conservative business, go step into a corporate law firm or bank. Witnesses, notaries, signing ceremonies, all still preferred to digital signatures only because you'd never be able to get that many people to lie, especially with cameras around. The primary insurers constantly take on new debt and liabilities, but their agreements with reinsurers to hold liquid reserves against those liabilities constantly have hard limits built in, and primary insurers are constantly renegotiating contracts with Munich, Lloyds, AIG, and a couple others. Though largely the same, every 20,000 page contract is its own entity with its own requirements, and they're printed on hard paper by reinsurers and shipped off in certified tamper-proof packaging to the signing customers. Think about how heavy a standard 100-sheet ream of printer paper is, multiply it by 200, and then imagine multiple such stacks headed into the same city on a single plane on a given day.
 
Max Q
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:18 am

patrickjp93 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
Yup. They're a favorite for insurance and legal firms when huge reams of paper contracts or regulatory forms have to get from one VIP to another. Munich Reinsurance basically has a FedEx MD-11 on reserve for them at Munich airport.



Hang on a moment


An insurance company generates so much paperwork that needs to be sent it requires an MD11 to transport it ?


In this day and age you’d think most documentation can be transferred electronically, needing a large widebody
with a maximum payload over 200k is stunning


If you think aviation is a conservative business, go step into a corporate law firm or bank. Witnesses, notaries, signing ceremonies, all still preferred to digital signatures only because you'd never be able to get that many people to lie, especially with cameras around. The primary insurers constantly take on new debt and liabilities, but their agreements with reinsurers to hold liquid reserves against those liabilities constantly have hard limits built in, and primary insurers are constantly renegotiating contracts with Munich, Lloyds, AIG, and a couple others. Though largely the same, every 20,000 page contract is its own entity with its own requirements, and they're printed on hard paper by reinsurers and shipped off in certified tamper-proof packaging to the signing customers. Think about how heavy a standard 100-sheet ream of printer paper is, multiply it by 200, and then imagine multiple such stacks headed into the same city on a single plane on a given day.



Fascinating P93


I would not have expected such practices to
still be prevalent but on reflection it makes sense


Paper copies can’t crash or be corrupted / hacked


Thanks for the insight
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
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seat55a
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:22 am

20,000 pages (letter, bond) is ~200 pounds.

So the number of 20,000 page contracts on a plane ~ number of passengers on that plane (but no seats, no luggage, so more contracts can be carried)

A rare case of weight before bulk, but does Munich Re do 500 contracts of that size a day?
 
ZK-NBT
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:36 am

patrickjp93 wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:

What's your source of routes? If I had to guess, they're probably hub cities throughout the U.S., Europe, China, India, and Australia. I've seen UPS 747 8Fs fly between Auckland and Sydney. LAX/SFO-ORD/IAH/DFW are run by 747s twice daily.


UPS doesn’t fly to AKL.


Yes they do. Try again. https://www.ups.com/nz/en/help-center/contact.page


I repeat UPS doesn’t fly to AKL, they have and offices and a presence within NZ but they don’t offer an air service.

I think they served AKL in the 1970/80s with 747’s.
 
patrickjp93
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:42 pm

seat55a wrote:
20,000 pages (letter, bond) is ~200 pounds.

So the number of 20,000 page contracts on a plane ~ number of passengers on that plane (but no seats, no luggage, so more contracts can be carried)

A rare case of weight before bulk, but does Munich Re do 500 contracts of that size a day?


Probably not per day, but the various offices encourage employees to ship personal items through the company mailrooms too, so it's not like they'll be short when they need the bird to fly. Bear in mind the HQs of primary insurers tend to live in either the capital cities of neighboring countries, or are still clustered together in very big cities like NY/LA or Frankfurt/Munich or Sydney, so it is fairly efficient to deliver them that way.

In terms of risk management and contract integrity management, better to have one courier you've had on the books for ages, and if you can have a pair of jump seats for company agents to ensure tamper-free delivery, all the better.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:11 pm

There are three types of freight in general.

  1. Consume Express Freight. This is your amazon package or other packed item going directly to a consumer. These packages tend to have low density since the are individually packaged. Freighters flying these packages tend to max out on volume, not weight. Prime Air, UPS, FedEx, and DHL carry a lot of this type of freight
  2. Heavy Freight. This is freight moved by freight forwarders and contracts by companies to move their product. This includes fruit and vegetables, flowers, wine, pharmaceuticals, electronics, etc. Airplanes flying this type of cargo tend to max out on weight, or volume since it is packed densely.
  3. Charter Freight and Special Cargo. Anything from military equipment to special items like vehicles or industrial (mining) equipment. Since this is oddsize cargo, the airplane may not be limited by volume or weight.
 
Sancho99504
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:29 pm

When I worked at ORD from 06-08, Cargolux took the cake. The flight that went IND-ORD-PIK-LUX, came in with 2 stacks of empty pallets on the main deck, maybe 3 or 4 on the lower deck and maybe a pallet or two of freight on the main deck. The empty pallets stayed in ORD and went to the warehouse, while we loaded every single position on the aircraft. There were a handful of times that we had to bring out a 25 ton crane to help load a piece from a truck, use 3 Commander 30s and push it thru the nose. Cargolux travels at or near MTOW. When MP was still around, we'd do a turn that went AMS-ORD-MEX-PTY-CCS. It came in full of flowers and pharmaceuticals. Nowhere close to MTOW. CK would come in from DFW with one or two pallets on the main deck, and we'd load it out within 50,000lbs of MTOW.
kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
 
Moosefire
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:40 am

ZK-NBT wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:

UPS doesn’t fly to AKL.


Yes they do. Try again. https://www.ups.com/nz/en/help-center/contact.page


I repeat UPS doesn’t fly to AKL, they have and offices and a presence within NZ but they don’t offer an air service.

I think they served AKL in the 1970/80s with 747’s.


Well said.

Example FedEx does not fly to Brisbane, but there are facilities at the airport to service the freight riding in the bellies of other carriers
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot
 
Viper911
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Re: How often do freighters fly with max payload?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:21 pm

I used to work 5 years for 5C, and on specific days and seasons we would dispatch the 744F with max or near max payload out of LGG, on others days the airplane was full off cargo (volumetric) yet no where close to its max payload capabilities. Max payload doesn't mean necessary max profit though, as volumetric cargo is being compensated accordingly, take into account ad-hoc charters and other special care cargo. 5 tons of oversized cargo, is more profitable than 5 standard regular palletised cargo.

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