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Using 737 Passenger Aircraft for Cargo.

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Using 737 Passenger Aircraft for Cargo.

Old 29th Mar 2020, 09:09
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Using 737 Passenger Aircraft for Cargo.

These are unprecedented times.

To survive, passenger airlines should utilise their aircraft to carry freight (medical supplies, sanitizer, ventilators, etc). Some are already doing so.

Below are two sample loadsheets. One has 189 passengers (all seats occupied). The other has the equvalent weight of cargo on seats. This just for demonstration purposes. In both cases there is cargo in holds 3 and 4, and the crew and fuel are the same.

For spacing, every other row of seats could be removed. Nets would be used to secure the cargo, and plastic wrap as protection.












Last edited by Dadanawa; 29th Mar 2020 at 11:03.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 10:16
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You should not mix passengers and cargo in the same area. Security 101.

Using cargo nets and plastic wrap among passengers is not guaranteed to be safe or secure.

Fire suppression systems for cargo would kill your passengers !
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 10:27
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I don't think he's talking COMBI just pure freight.
Some people are trying to re-invent the wheel. Mail has been carried on pax seats for years. The only consideration of concern is Dangerous Goods, and maybe damage to cabin seats and furnishings.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 10:49
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A lot of cargo ac don’t have fire suppression on the main decks. Haven’t Channex being carrying night mail this way for years?
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 10:58
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Channex night mail was carried in quick change freighters (bar one that was a pure freighter). Seats were palatised to fit the roller floor, and taken out in the evening and replaced in the morning, the change took 45 minutes ( hence QC or “quick change” freighters). But that stopped a few years ago and the last QC in the fleet was withdrawn from use last week.
None of them had cargo deck fire suppression but they did have cargo deck smoke detection, which is lacking in a pure passenger aircraft, but you could carry a crew member as a fire watch.
Boeing publish a rapid descent profile for freight aircraft in the FCTM, in case of smoke/ fire in the cargo bay.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 11:13
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The problem with your calculation is that most cargo is bulky especially what you’re taking about, medical supplies, ventilators etc, you won’t get 16 T of cargo carrying it on seats. SAS has a history of carrying I think mail bags in seat pouches I think but that’s about it I believe. Another problem is that you’ve got no main deck loading door for Hi loader so it would take a very long time to on/ off load cargo, and no fire extinguisher system or main deck smoke detection system would be available and how would you restrain the cargo on the seats, that’s why cargo conversions costs millions of pounds.
As an experienced freightdog, a fully kitted out 737 freighter with all the kit inc the above, side cargo door, and strengthened floor, and loading the cargo in main deck containers, you sometimes bulk out at 17-20 tons, carrying 16 T in a pax 737 would definitely not work unless you were carrying lead in the seat pockets. Channex 737s are the QC conversions, so can remove seats and carry cargo and are fitted with the side cargo door and are certified for this use.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 11:35
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The choice of cargo would be restricted of course.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 11:37
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excrab. Thanks for that - knew Channex did the changeover thing, but never knew the details.

The Boeing freighter quick descent is quite a thing to practise in the sim!
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 11:38
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Just carrying cargo instead of pax does not make it a cargo aircraft. There are a lot of airworthiness requirements to carry cargo, it is in the design and structure which is why there are companies who carry out the conversions.
You can not carry cargo in the pax cabin and be either safe or legal.

I understand why people are doing it but if they carry on there could be a serious incident.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 12:17
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At what point is a structural bulkhead or net (9g?) required between the cargo bay and cockpit area?

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 15:28
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I used these at a previous operator.

https://www.seatpack.net/

You don't need a 9g bulkhead or any of the other special cargo aircraft accoutrements. The cargo being carried isn't supposed to really weight more, or use up any more room then the self-loading-freight would.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 18:04
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Originally Posted by plhought View Post
I used these at a previous operator.

https://www.seatpack.net/

You don't need a 9g bulkhead or any of the other special cargo aircraft accoutrements. The cargo being carried isn't supposed to really weight more, or use up any more room then the self-loading-freight would.
O.K., I get it now. I went back to the Original Post and see that the O.P. is just asking about some interim measures involving little or no structural modifications. I think it could be safely done, but as Icehouses pointed out, the loading/unloading would be awkward and slow. These challenging times require innovative responses.

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 18:45
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With a fleet of grounded planes, I would not mind a few delays on loading them if I could keep a few flying and also provide relief to those that are in need.
We are at war.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 12:51
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Apart from being a pretty wide 737 (must be the NMA version ), good job on the strappings, unlike what I saw on the TV this evening with the seats just strewn with unsecured boxes!

As mentioned before, seat pack freight has been carried for decades.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 15:47
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
As mentioned before, seat pack freight has been carried for decades.

How do you comply with fire detection and extinguishing requirements in that scenario?. Do you still have cabin crew?
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 16:17
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Pure freighters rarely have main deck extinguishing. They do have detection though. You could have some sort of fire watch, I guess.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 19:27
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On most pure freighters, main deck fire extinguishing is done by depressurizing the aircraft and maintaining at least 25,000 ft. pressure altitude (flight crew obviously on supplemental O2). This usually requires additional O2 for the crew.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 21:26
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Air Baltic using passenger aircraft for medical supplies. "Let's Do This."

https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/a...n-airbus-a220/
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 00:57
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Originally Posted by Cashash
How do you comply with fire detection and extinguishing requirements in that scenario?. Do you still have cabin crew?
Fair question, Cashash. We didn't have FAs, but that was a while ago. I don't know about the current fire requirements; but certainly in those days, it was all CAA approved, the seat packs were purpose-made to fit the seat profiles exactly, secured by the lap belts and IIRC not to weigh more than the standard pax weight.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 11:23
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Originally Posted by cashash View Post
How do you comply with fire detection and extinguishing requirements in that scenario?.
Do you have a reg for detection / suppression of cargo / baggage fires carried upstairs?

Yes, seat packs I use are limited to 225kg = 3*75kg then plus the 6kg for the bag weight you're at 3*77kg.
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