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vfw614
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Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:48 pm

I am wondering about the use of the upper deck of the Boeing 747-400BCF. To make maximum use of the main deck, the 747-400F and the 747-8F have a shortened upper deck as the main deck area below the "bubble" has a lower ceiling height than the rest of the main deck. This is of course impossible when converting a passenger aircraft. Boeing promo material (see link to PDF below) suggests that in the upper deck 8 or 19 "supernumerary" seats can be installed. From the drawings, this seating area appears not to cover the whole upper deck. So is the rest of the upper deck just empty and sealed off or is it used for something useful? Particularly with regard to future conversions of pax 747-8i with its even longer upper deck a concept not to waste the upper deck space certainly makes sense - has it been considered to make it accessible for lightweight freight or something else?

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... CG5QCWmsBG
 
B777LRF
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:07 am

Most -400BCF have a bulkhead installed roughly half-way down the upper-deck, which still leaves plenty of room for a galley, 6 seats and a sleeping area at the aft end.

Using the upper-deck for cargo is a non-starter, for the simple fact said cargo would have to be hand carried up a very, very steep ladder. Simply not worth the time or effort for the, relatively, minute amount of cargo you could place there. Not to mention the fact OHS would chew your posterior out for just suggesting it.

Chances of the -8i being converted are slim to none, owing to the very small feedstock and the tendency of it's 3 operators to fly them until they're out of life.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:08 am

More than 19 you might need a F/A, they’re passengers.
 
spudsmac
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:08 am

vfw614 wrote:
I am wondering about the use of the upper deck of the Boeing 747-400BCF. To make maximum use of the main deck, the 747-400F and the 747-8F have a shortened upper deck as the main deck area below the "bubble" has a lower ceiling height than the rest of the main deck. This is of course impossible when converting a passenger aircraft. Boeing promo material (see link to PDF below) suggests that in the upper deck 8 or 19 "supernumerary" seats can be installed. From the drawings, this seating area appears not to cover the whole upper deck. So is the rest of the upper deck just empty and sealed off or is it used for something useful? Particularly with regard to future conversions of pax 747-8i with its even longer upper deck a concept not to waste the upper deck space certainly makes sense - has it been considered to make it accessible for lightweight freight or something else?


Just aft of the window aft of the emergency exit doors is a bulkhead. There's a door that goes back into a small area that contains a fire bottle and some flight control cables. There could be more space up there but if they did that then the ceiling on the main deck would be lower for a longer length and it wouldn't accommodate as much tall freight.
 
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:13 am

vfw614 wrote:
This is of course impossible when converting a passenger aircraft.]


Actually, that underestimates the creativity of the converters. They actually do cut the floor out of about half of the bubble, and put a bulkhead just aft of the upper exit door.
 
vfw614
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:29 am

Oh, that's interesting. But is the cut out the case for the official Boeing conversion? Their promo stuff I linked to above seems to suggest (page 6) that the upper deck floor remains as it is.

As for the supernumerary seats, has a carrier chosen to have more than a handful of seats or even max out the seating capacity with 19 seats? While I see the need to carry a relief crew and maybe a loadmaster or a deadheading crew every once in a while, I don't really see how 19 seats could be used (I assume carrying, for example, couriers would be impossible/unlawful)
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:47 am

vfw614 wrote:
Oh, that's interesting. But is the cut out the case for the official Boeing conversion? Their promo stuff I linked to above seems to suggest (page 6) that the upper deck floor remains as it is.

As for the supernumerary seats, has a carrier chosen to have more than a handful of seats or even max out the seating capacity with 19 seats? While I see the need to carry a relief crew and maybe a loadmaster or a deadheading crew every once in a while, I don't really see how 19 seats could be used (I assume carrying, for example, couriers would be impossible/unlawful)


Maybe not 19 seats, but you need some seats for "passengers". Horse handlers are carried routinely, for example.
 
jbmitt
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:13 am

There are a couple of UPS pilots who are active on Twitter that post a lot of pictures. I believe either @AeroSavvy or @kclepley have posted pictures showing the various jumpseat accommodations including the difference on the -400F, -400BCF, -8F
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:03 am

vfw614 wrote:
Oh, that's interesting. But is the cut out the case for the official Boeing conversion? Their promo stuff I linked to above seems to suggest (page 6) that the upper deck floor remains as it is.

As for the supernumerary seats, has a carrier chosen to have more than a handful of seats or even max out the seating capacity with 19 seats? While I see the need to carry a relief crew and maybe a loadmaster or a deadheading crew every once in a while, I don't really see how 19 seats could be used (I assume carrying, for example, couriers would be impossible/unlawful)

Page 5 states "remove floor beams"... So, their promo "stuff" says they remove some floor beams from the upper deck.
 
vfw614
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:04 am

The drawings show two areas, in the front an area for 86in high cargo that covers most of the area below the bubble, and another area for 118in high cargo aft of the "bubble".

https://www.boeing.com/resources/boeing ... 747BCF.pdf

Based on what has been described here, I would expect that the main deck can accommodate at least two more M1H pallets below the bubble, but obviously that is not the case. Hence my asking if the Boeing BCF concept also includes cutting the floor of the bubble.
 
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747classic
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:14 pm

- The upper deck floor beams aft of the upper deck doors (aft of station 780) are removed.
- To retain the structural strength, higher (to allow the 10 ft main deck loading) installed tension ties are added, between the flat sides of the upper deck crown structure
- The flight control cables routed through the upperdek floor are re-routed upwards (in a slight angle) between sta 780 and sta 880.
- At sta 902 (just aft of sta 880) a restraint strap is installed, to guard against wrongly loaded higher than 8 ft maindeck cargo.(to avoid damaging the control cables and upper cargo lining)
- The aircon ducts are also re-routed.
 
vfw614
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:33 pm

Interesting, thanks for the insight. But it still leaves me puzzled why the Boeing brochure only has 7 ft freight on the main deck below the bubble.
 
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:37 pm

vfw614 wrote:
Interesting, thanks for the insight. But it still leaves me puzzled why the Boeing brochure only has 7 ft freight on the main deck below the bubble.


96 inch = 8 feet

Max main deck cargo height aft of STA 902 = 10 ft
Max main deck cargo height fwd / incl. of sta STA 902 = 8 ft
 
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747classic
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 5:22 pm

On the picture below (looking from aft to fwd) you can see (far aft at this picture) the white horizontal floor beam of the cut-back upper deck floor.
In front of that you can see the braun colored horizontal tension ties, that are higher installed than the removed upperdeck floor beams , allowing for additional 10 ft main deck cargo positions
The aircraft shown is a 747-300SF because no main deck upper lining was required at the time of certification.
The airconditioning duct running (at the top) is bending upward at the far end into the (dark) empty aft section of the stretched upper deck structure.
At the 747-400BCF the complete structure is covered by the fire resistant lining

Image

 
vfw614
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:09 pm

Thanks, very interesting. Quite confusing as page 8 of that brochure has the same view as the picture you posted and visually the set up looks quite different. So while part of the beams get taken out, this apparently does not result in part of the area below the bubble being able to accommodate the same containers as on the main deck aft of the bubble. My obviously wrong assumption was that immediately aft of the door on the upper deck the space usable for main deck freight begins. It appears, however, to only begin af of the last plugged out window of the upper deck. As this wastes some space, I wonder why it is - structural integrity?
 
VMCA787
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:50 pm

[quote="vfw614", I don't really see how 19 seats could be used (I assume carrying, for example, couriers would be impossible/unlawful)[/quote]

Quite the contrary. If you are carrying livestock, such as expensive racehorses, you could have one groom/horse and a vet. Likewise, expensive cargo could also have a courier with it. Withoujt seats, you couldn't carry them.
 
vfw614
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:38 pm

I was not aware of the fact that it is legal to carry non-crew members on a cargo plane, but of course you cannot carry livestock without grooms. Could carriers theoretically sell seats on those planes, given that they often go to rather exotic destinations that are difficult to reach nonstop (or at all) on scheduled passenger flights - just like you can travel on many cargo-hauling vessels?
 
VMCA787
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:13 pm

Not unless that in the OPS SPEC. Technically, they are not passengers but Supernumerary Crewmembers.
 
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MoKa777
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:45 pm

VMCA787 wrote:
Quite the contrary. If you are carrying livestock, such as expensive racehorses, you could have one groom/horse and a vet. Likewise, expensive cargo could also have a courier with it. Withoujt seats, you couldn't carry them.


How would these personnel be carried on other cargo aircraft like a 777F, for example?
 
nws2002
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:45 pm

vfw614 wrote:
I was not aware of the fact that it is legal to carry non-crew members on a cargo plane, but of course you cannot carry livestock without grooms. Could carriers theoretically sell seats on those planes, given that they often go to rather exotic destinations that are difficult to reach nonstop (or at all) on scheduled passenger flights - just like you can travel on many cargo-hauling vessels?


Like someone mentioned they are supernumeraries, not passengers. The B737-800BCF has space for 4 in the small galley area just behind the flight deck. Generally people like mechanics, loadmasters, cargo specialists, or ground service reps use these seats.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:02 pm

nws2002 wrote:
Like someone mentioned they are supernumeraries, not passengers. The B737-800BCF has space for 4 in the small galley area just behind the flight deck. Generally people like mechanics, loadmasters, cargo specialists, or ground service reps use these seats.


Or most frequently in my experience in the past, commuting pilots or deadheading pilots. Flying NW freighters from ANC to LAX usually had at least 2 commuters and was sometimes maxed out with the four seats we had in the upper deck.
 
Max Q
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:41 am

vfw614 wrote:
I was not aware of the fact that it is legal to carry non-crew members on a cargo plane, but of course you cannot carry livestock without grooms. Could carriers theoretically sell seats on those planes, given that they often go to rather exotic destinations that are difficult to reach nonstop (or at all) on scheduled passenger flights - just like you can travel on many cargo-hauling vessels?



IIRC Flying Tigers did sell seats to the public on the upper deck of their 747 freighters
 
chimborazo
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:08 pm

The Boeing conversion pdf also notes that the flight deck door is removed and replaced with a curtain. This suggests any person carried on the freighter would need to be vetted/approved (further adding to comments above about them not being passengers).

That actually surprised me- I would have anticipated keeping the door. Effectively anyone travelling on the freighter (and not part of the flight crew) is kind of jump-seating so would fall under the rules for that relevant to the company.
 
trex8
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:03 pm

Max Q wrote:
vfw614 wrote:
I was not aware of the fact that it is legal to carry non-crew members on a cargo plane, but of course you cannot carry livestock without grooms. Could carriers theoretically sell seats on those planes, given that they often go to rather exotic destinations that are difficult to reach nonstop (or at all) on scheduled passenger flights - just like you can travel on many cargo-hauling vessels?



IIRC Flying Tigers did sell seats to the public on the upper deck of their 747 freighters

I don't know if that occurred but my dad who was a CNAC Hump pilot with Dick Rossi who was one of the original AVG aces and then flew with CNAC and was one of the founders of Flying Tigers had a standing invitation for dad to fly on any Flying Tiger flight. He did that twice (I'm pretty sure it was a DC8 only though) then decided paying for a real seat and service was worth it! Especially since Pan Am usually upgraded him to first!
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:29 am

As I recall, the SUD is aerodynamically more efficient resulting in reduced fuel burn. However, because it adds weight over the original length, factory freight models did not include it as it would reduce payload on shorter stages.
 
VMCA787
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:14 am

Okcflyer wrote:
As I recall, the SUD is aerodynamically more efficient resulting in reduced fuel burn. However, because it adds weight over the original length, factory freight models did not include it as it would reduce payload on shorter stages.


The reason the SUD was not included in the factory build Fs, is there is a limitation of pallet height due to the UD structure. The factory-built F minimizes the height restrictions.
 
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747classic
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:11 am

VMCA787 wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
As I recall, the SUD is aerodynamically more efficient resulting in reduced fuel burn. However, because it adds weight over the original length, factory freight models did not include it as it would reduce payload on shorter stages.


The reason the SUD was not included in the factory build Fs, is there is a limitation of pallet height due to the UD structure. The factory-built F minimizes the height restrictions.


The cons are added empty weight (approx. 10.000 lbs.) and the "straight" sides of the upper deck are prown for fatigue (pear-shape wants to become an apple under pressure).
The only positive is the more efficient aerodynamical wasp tail effect.

In an imaginary factory built SUD freighter the height restictriction would not have been valid because the internal construction would have been totally redesigned with more tension straps, deletion of SUD upperdeck doors and a very short upperdeck floor and further re-routing of flight control cables.
But still the empty weight increase would be huge .
 
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:48 pm

MoKa777 wrote:
VMCA787 wrote:
Quite the contrary. If you are carrying livestock, such as expensive racehorses, you could have one groom/horse and a vet. Likewise, expensive cargo could also have a courier with it. Withoujt seats, you couldn't carry them.


How would these personnel be carried on other cargo aircraft like a 777F, for example?

777F:

Image
Image


MD11F:

Image
Image
 
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MoKa777
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:05 pm

Horstroad wrote:
MoKa777 wrote:
VMCA787 wrote:
Quite the contrary. If you are carrying livestock, such as expensive racehorses, you could have one groom/horse and a vet. Likewise, expensive cargo could also have a courier with it. Withoujt seats, you couldn't carry them.


How would these personnel be carried on other cargo aircraft like a 777F, for example?

777F:

Image
Image


MD11F:

Image
Image


Those are fantastic pictures that answer my question completely. Thank you.
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:48 am

Horstroad wrote:
MoKa777 wrote:
VMCA787 wrote:
Quite the contrary. If you are carrying livestock, such as expensive racehorses, you could have one groom/horse and a vet. Likewise, expensive cargo could also have a courier with it. Withoujt seats, you couldn't carry them.


How would these personnel be carried on other cargo aircraft like a 777F, for example?

777F:

Image
Image


MD11F:

Image
Image


Do any of those fold flat into beds? You would think previous gen first class or business class lie flat seats would be available (used) for an affordable price. Would be way better for the crews...
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:25 am

Okcflyer wrote:
Horstroad wrote:
MoKa777 wrote:

How would these personnel be carried on other cargo aircraft like a 777F, for example?

777F:

Image
Image


MD11F:

Image
Image


Do any of those fold flat into beds? You would think previous gen first class or business class lie flat seats would be available (used) for an affordable price. Would be way better for the crews...


Lie flat seats are heavy and bulky though. Might not really be feasible given the space constraints.
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:11 am

Okcflyer wrote:
Horstroad wrote:
MoKa777 wrote:

How would these personnel be carried on other cargo aircraft like a 777F, for example?

777F:

Image
Image


MD11F:

Image
Image


Do any of those fold flat into beds? You would think previous gen first class or business class lie flat seats would be available (used) for an affordable price. Would be way better for the crews...

The 777F has a proper crew rest with two bunk beds just aft of the cockpit on the left hand side.

On the MD11F I've seen several configs.
The courier station in the last picture slides aft, then the backrests can be reclined full flat. An ottoman extends it to a full bed. A heavy curtain then separates the crew rest area from the rest of the galley.
Sometimes there are additional flight attendant jump seat style seats installed opposite to the cockpit door that may only be used in flight, to give passengers who are not allowed on the flight deck a seat, when the courier station is used as a crew rest.



In place of that courier station can be a collapsible crew rest that slides out in front of door 1L once in flight.
Also I've seen hammocks and sleeping bags strapped to the 9G net
 
ACMIdriver
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:52 am

Also I've seen hammocks and sleeping bags strapped to the 9G net


On the 744 BCF and BDSF also there is a massive space behind the seats between the exits, perfect for a full size inflatable double bed. (BDSF is the best as the galley is at the front so no one will walk past you while sleeping).

Way better than the bunk compartment, a lot of guys don't even bother with it.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:04 am

ACMIdriver wrote:
Also I've seen hammocks and sleeping bags strapped to the 9G net


On the 744 BCF and BDSF also there is a massive space behind the seats between the exits, perfect for a full size inflatable double bed. (BDSF is the best as the galley is at the front so no one will walk past you while sleeping).

Way better than the bunk compartment, a lot of guys don't even bother with it.


Related: When I did a ferry we'd just sleep in business class. The bunk is nice and all, but you have to make the beds, crawl into the tube, lav visits involve crawling out... Plus the screens in business class are way bigger.
 
VMCA787
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:09 am

ACMIdriver wrote:
Also I've seen hammocks and sleeping bags strapped to the 9G net


On the 744 BCF and BDSF also there is a massive space behind the seats between the exits, perfect for a full size inflatable double bed. (BDSF is the best as the galley is at the front so no one will walk past you while sleeping).

Way better than the bunk compartment, a lot of guys don't even bother with it.


You have never been on a 400F. The bunks are at the rear of the upper deck and very quiet. The ones I have flown were extremely comfortable and they were essentially two different compartments running laterally across the upper deck. They aren't bunks but a bed on each side of the Centerline.
 
ACMIdriver
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:27 am

VMCA787 wrote:
ACMIdriver wrote:
Also I've seen hammocks and sleeping bags strapped to the 9G net


On the 744 BCF and BDSF also there is a massive space behind the seats between the exits, perfect for a full size inflatable double bed. (BDSF is the best as the galley is at the front so no one will walk past you while sleeping).

Way better than the bunk compartment, a lot of guys don't even bother with it.


You have never been on a 400F. The bunks are at the rear of the upper deck and very quiet. The ones I have flown were extremely comfortable and they were essentially two different compartments running laterally across the upper deck. They aren't bunks but a bed on each side of the Centerline.


Yes we have those in the fleet too, I agree they are very nice much better than the converted freighters. The mattresses in those are hopelessly compressed in the middle from decades of abuse, giving crippling back ache and who knows how often they clean the covers? Maybe every D check? Best not think too hard about such things...
 
VMCA787
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Re: Upper Deck Boeing 747-400BCF

Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:52 pm

I was at SQ and they were outstanding! Managed to get 8 full hours from ANC-TPE!!! It was the ultimate in "dozing for dollars"!!

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