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AZa346
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On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:28 pm

I recently flew with FR from BUD to BGY and I boarded the 737-800 using stairs that came out of the belly. I was really surprised by that as it sounds like flying around a lot of weight just to save a few minutes at the airport, not to wait for ground service. What planes can be equipped with on-board stairs? which airlines use them? any insights?
Thanks, and this is my first post!
 
BravoOne
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:40 pm

Don't know how any operators have opted for the air stairs at the 1L door, or for that matter the 2 L door but when the 737 Classic first came out it was a fairly common sight. I think the additional weight and maintenance involved caused many operators to remove this feature. It's standard on the 737 BBJ's followed by after market stairs for the 757/767/787/747 series.

Having some past experience with a 757 installation it was always our mind set that if we got them extended and then could raise them, we would simply detach form the door way, leave them at there respective airport and have them shipped home. Happy to report, that ever happened:)
 
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Acey
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:24 am

It's not necessarily a matter of not wanting to wait for stairs, but some fields might not have any at all... or only one, in which case they could then go to the back door to allow dual boarding. Of all airlines, FR definitely would not get this optional equipment if they didn't see a need for it.
 
mmo
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:02 pm

It's not about waiting, it's about having to pay for air stairs! Nothing is for free and it's probably a minimum of $125 per use so $250 for departure and arrival. So, the money adds up quickly.
 
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Channex757
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:39 pm

mmo wrote:
It's not about waiting, it's about having to pay for air stairs! Nothing is for free and it's probably a minimum of $125 per use so $250 for departure and arrival. So, the money adds up quickly.

It adds up, especially if an air bridge is involved. That can really slow things down if there isn't anyone qualified to move it into place. All they ideally want is a set of steps for the rear but at a pinch can even do without those.

FR prefers non-contact stands where they can be in and out within 25 minutes. Delays waiting for steps and airbridges can potentially add up to an extra sector at the frequency Ryanair sweat their assets per day.
 
mmo
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:24 pm

But it costs money to have the use of the air stairs. That is why several low cost carriers have opted for self contained stairs. They pay for air bridges too, so it's not all about time the bottom line for the true LCCs is $$$!!!
 
AZa346
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:48 pm

mmo wrote:
But it costs money to have the use of the air stairs. That is why several low cost carriers have opted for self contained stairs. They pay for air bridges too, so it's not all about time the bottom line for the true LCCs is $$$!!!

So what carriers have opted for this option?Is it available for A32X as well? And what about bigger planes?
Thaks for the answers, guys
 
BravoOne
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:45 pm

Not aware of any large airliner installations but there are numerous air stairs for other Boeing models up to and including the 747. On the bigger airframes there are weight limitations regarding the number of pax on the stairs at one time so that makes them somewhat impractical for a traditional airline operation.

Trumps 757 has a stair for the 1L door that when all folded up inside the airplane slides into a compartment just aft of the door opening. The deployment takes at least five minutes or more to get everything in place. Not a practical solution for an airliner and not even that practical for a BBJ. The 737 is unique in its design and speed at which it can be deployed.
 
Viscount724
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:03 am

BravoOne wrote:
The 737 is unique in its design and speed at which it can be deployed.


Many DC-9s, MD-80s and MD-90s were also built with the optional forward airstairs, virtually identical to those on 737s.

Image
 
BravoOne
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:49 am

Viscount, thanks for keeping me honest as I had forgotten all about the DC9/MD80 series. As for speed of deployment my comments were directed at the 737 compare to the after market STC'd installations as the are painfully slow and you just wince when watching go up or down for of fear of some mechanical failure right before your eyes.
 
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speedygonzales
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:16 am

The Il-86 had airstairs with boarding thorugh the cargo deck:
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Aeroflot ... 86/2363036
 
JAGflyer
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:14 pm

Several aircraft that make up my airline's fleet had airstairs installed from the factory. I don't remember which exact ones they were however I know we have one or two which were previously operated by a now defunct European charter carrier. The stair systems were removed by us as we don't require them and the extra weight/maintenance is therefore not worth it. The door below the L1 door, the control panels on the forward attendant panel, and the handrail attachment on the bulkhead are the only remaining traces of the stair system.

There is a YouTuber who works for Mid-East Jet as an AME on their VIP 777. He's got a video of the aftermarket airstair system on his channel. "BigIronTV".
 
AMSYUL
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:31 pm

JAGflyer wrote:
Several aircraft that make up my airline's fleet had airstairs installed from the factory. I don't remember which exact ones they were however I know we have one or two which were previously operated by a now defunct European charter carrier. The stair systems were removed by us as we don't require them and the extra weight/maintenance is therefore not worth it. The door below the L1 door, the control panels on the forward attendant panel, and the handrail attachment on the bulkhead are the only remaining traces of the stair system.


Same thing at the airline I used to work for, the control buttons were still there and I clearly remember scaring a fellow flight attendant by touching those buttons and telling them the stairs were gonna open inflight haha! :mrgreen:

Considering some of the sectors (Caribbean-YVR) this airline flies, clearly it is not worth it to carry the weight around, although sometimes in busy airports such as Cancun, Punta Cana(da) and Toronto I wished we had them, waiting for those stairs (or bridge if in Toronto) after a long duty day is not very pleasant!

Cheers!
 
L-188
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:25 am

Acey wrote:
It's not necessarily a matter of not wanting to wait for stairs, but some fields might not have any at all... or only one, in which case they could then go to the back door to allow dual boarding. Of all airlines, FR definitely would not get this optional equipment if they didn't see a need for it.


Back when I worked for Alaska Airlines they had six -200's combi aircraft. 5 of the six aircraft had build in air stairs at the rear left door of the aircraft. One aircraft (I think it was 740AS) did not. That aircraft could not be routed to several communities because the stations did not have air stairs. Also if a station reported it's stairs where out of service that aircraft also could not be used for that section. At times I sure it caused issues for the folks that schedule the aircraft for flights.
 
BravoOne
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:17 pm

L1888, I seem to recall the Electra also had stairs as standard equipment at the left loading door just forward of the wing?
 
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longhauler
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:03 pm

BravoOne wrote:
L1888, I seem to recall the Electra also had stairs as standard equipment at the left loading door just forward of the wing?

The Viscount and Vanguard, too were equipped with boarding stairs. The Viscount at its forward entry door and both doors in the Vanguard.

I guess it was a factor of airport facilities, as well as fast turns on short haul aircraft.
 
Tristarsteve
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:20 pm

So what carriers have opted for this option?Is it available for A32X as well?

It was available in 1987. The first 10 British Airways A320 all had airstairs fitted on delivery. There was a control panel on the NLG. i saw them deployed at Toulouse, but never saw them used in service. I was always tempted to try but was scared that they would not retract. After a couple of years they were removed.
 
Viscount724
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:48 am

longhauler wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
L1888, I seem to recall the Electra also had stairs as standard equipment at the left loading door just forward of the wing?

The Viscount and Vanguard, too were equipped with boarding stairs. The Viscount at its forward entry door and both doors in the Vanguard.

I guess it was a factor of airport facilities, as well as fast turns on short haul aircraft.


I believe only a minority of Viscounts built had airstairs. They were rare on the 700 series except on those built for Capital Airlines that went to UA after their 1961 merger.
 
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longhauler
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:04 am

Viscount724 wrote:
I believe only a minority of Viscounts built had airstairs. They were rare on the 700 series except on those built for Capital Airlines that went to UA after their 1961 merger.

Yes, it was only the later build 700s that had airstairs, and quite a few of the 800s.

I am guessing that it had to do with the engineering and design of the airstairs. When these Viscounts were built, the Vanguard was being designed. It almost looks like the stairs were required and designed for the Vanguards, then offered on the Viscounts currently being built.

Although, a smaller version for the Viscount ... the similarities were noticeable when extending and retracting. The stairs were quite a piece of machinery.

BEA eventually removed a lot of the stairs from their Vanguards ... likely for the same reason B737s are being built without them today. They were very heavy and maintenance nightmares. Also, while not the case with the B737, on the Viscount and Vanguard they took up a lot of room in the cabin.
 
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barney captain
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:32 pm

Please, stairs are so twentieth century. ;)


http://youtu.be/J9ezob-ALSI
 
MD88CLE
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:07 pm

speedygonzales wrote:
The Il-86 had airstairs with boarding thorugh the cargo deck:
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Aeroflot ... 86/2363036


The same kind of setup was an option on the L-1011.
 
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OneSexyL1011
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:13 pm

I know some of SY (Sun Country) 737-800's had the installed airstairs option. I do not remember which tail numbers specifically as its been years since I last worked there. When I was there I think 3 or 4 of them had them. Great for charter flights that didn't have adequate handling equipment.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:05 am

barney captain wrote:
Please, stairs are so twentieth century. ;)


http://youtu.be/J9ezob-ALSI


That's a great feature for VIP aircraft, but when it comes to cheap, cheaper, cheapest stairs are the way to go.
 
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Acey
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:45 am

That elevator looks really cool, but seems highly inefficient on so many levels.
 
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Ty134A
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Re: On-board stairs boeing 737-800

Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:55 pm

MD88CLE wrote:
speedygonzales wrote:
The Il-86 had airstairs with boarding thorugh the cargo deck:
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Aeroflot ... 86/2363036


The same kind of setup was an option on the L-1011.


There were actually two versions of the L1011 PAX stairs, the one featured above with PSA. These are similar to the ones of the IL-86, since the L1011 was first considered by the Soviet Union as and IL-86 alternative (but decided to build the ILW).

And then there was this (2/3rds into the video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oTI-z1RAEU

Complete aeronautical beauty: a bulk loaded widebody airliner with built in everything!!!!

So there were different approaches to the built in air stairs at the L1011, but the Court Line thing is astonishing.

By the way, the IL-86 stairs were part of a concept in which the passenger was able to load bigger pieces of luggage himself during boarding - in the staircase there was a wardrobe. Although I don't know if it ever happened, but I read somewhere that even a flight attendant handed out numbers, like in a wardrobe in a Soviet theater... wonderful times that were...

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