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Use of cargo aircraft for transporting passengers

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Use of cargo aircraft for transporting passengers

Old 11th Mar 2020, 21:12
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Use of cargo aircraft for transporting passengers

I have now seen a few instances where B747-400F aircraft are being used to repatriate folk impacted by the Coronavirius. In order for this cargo aircraft to be certified for pax use, I wonder whether the pax conversion includes the installation of items such as pax oxygen masks and life rafts? Also, how is the emergency egress requirements addressed when the main deck does not have the normal number of exits as found on a passenger configured B747-400 ?
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Old 13th Mar 2020, 03:20
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We immediately eject, and leave the passengers to sort it out ...
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Old 13th Mar 2020, 08:41
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A look inside the 747 that evacuated Americans from Wuhan
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Old 13th Mar 2020, 13:34
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Thanks for posting that. It doesn't appear to have emergency O2 for those passenger seats.
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Old 13th Mar 2020, 16:03
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Bottles on the seats


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Old 13th Mar 2020, 16:07
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Old 13th Mar 2020, 19:34
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Having spent many hours in the belly of the beast during the 747-8F flight test program, there are multiple issues - not all easily addressed.
Pax O2 is easy - as noted above seat mounted O2 bottles.
Evacuation is a bigger problem - there is only one main deck door on a 747F that can be readily opened from the inside during an emergency (regulations require at least two exit paths since you assume half are unusable in an evacuation). For the 747-8F flight test, they'd installed a special system that allowed us to open the main deck side cargo door from the inside, with ropes for escape. No idea what they did for the Kalitta flight in question but best guess is they got some sort of one flight exemption...
Then there is passenger 'comfort'. There is only one lav on a 747F, and it's on the upper deck. Even with only ~30 people on a flight test, on a longer flights lines to use the lav were common. The linked article says the upper deck was closed off (to prevent the flight crew from exposure) so no even that was available. I suspect some sort of 'porta-potty' was installed on the main deck.
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Old 14th Mar 2020, 00:56
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arent passengers just self loading cargo anyways?
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Old 14th Mar 2020, 01:10
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Restricting the cruise level to FL250 or below considerably reduces the passenger oxygen requirements but obviously has significant fuel penalties.

Obviously freighter aircraft are only used in extenuating circumstances for passenger flights and the seating shown appears pretty comfortable compared to previous emergency flights.

In 1974 a Qantas B747 carried 674 pax and 23 crew out of Darwin following a devastating hurricane and in 1991 an EL AL B747 freighter carried 1086 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
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