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Combi Safety Cards & Evacuations

Posted: Sat May 16, 2020 2:47 am
by UA735WL
Hi folks,

Recently I read a thread about the 727-100 and how the 1R door was positioned to allow for a full size exit in a pax-heavy combi config.

My question is this- in the movable-wall combi aircraft of yesteryear, did the safety instruction cards have to be changed for each configuration? And were evacuation tests run for each possible configuration?

I know combi aircraft eventually fell out of favor due to increased fire suppression requirements- I'm wondering if there were any corresponding evacuation requirements that also helped bring about their demise.


Re: Combi Safety Cards & Evacuations

Posted: Sat May 16, 2020 3:16 am
by Dominion301
Here’s a Reeve 727-100 combi safety card: ... Swme9eaU19

Re: Combi Safety Cards & Evacuations

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:58 pm
by longhauler
An odd hobby, I admit. But, over the years I have collected over 4000 safety cards dating back to the 1940s. I find it an interesting evolution to this industry we love. It’s fun to note changes in what is actually depicted on these cards.

With regard to the 727-100 Combi, an anomaly appears. It was actually rather rare.

Some early 727 customers opted for the “QC” equipment, but they either flew them as total passengers (day) then total freight (night). United Airlines (for example) had the coolest trucks for storing the entire palletized cabin when the aircraft was flying freight.

So looking back to the 1960s, airlines like UAL, EAL or NWA .... they didn’t reflect a Combi safety card, indicating that a Combi configuration was not flown.

The very rare 727-100 Combi safety cards I see, like Pacific Western Airlines, Reeve Aleutian Airlines, First Air Canada, etc. were very explicit in cabin layouts and escape plans. 2 pallets with the galley service door as an exit or 4 pallets with the over wing exits available.

I don’t doubt Dominion301 for a second, as he/she was a First Air F/A. But I am still leery of an approved cabin configuration where the rear ventral stairs were the only single exit. The option of exiting through the partition to reach an over wing exit is cumbersome at best.

I only say that, as on the 737-200 Combi we had two rear doors. If door R2 was inop, it was a no-go as L2 had stairs attached and could be unreliable ..... yet still more reliable than the ventral stairs of the 727! When the idea of using the over wing exits through the partition was proposed , it was not approved by Transport Canada.