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Carlos01
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Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:00 pm

I saw this Q&A at a newspaper-article, why are planes boarded from the left, and the answer was "just because". So even the reporter hadn't bothered to find out, but still went ahead with the "story".

But does anyone around here actually know why that is? Even if it is the standard nowadays and everything at airports and on the planes has been planned accordingly, what would be the initial reason for this? It must date from some reason before the era of standardization.
 
rajincajun01
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:05 pm

The right side door on many aircraft is smaller for one.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:07 pm

.... because that is the Port side.

best regards
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Lufthansa
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:22 pm

You know...because it's the 'Port Side" probably isn't as crazy as you think.
In the early days of aviation a lot of things were borrowed from shipping. Including the terms
port and starboard. Red and Green navigation signals etc.

Ships have for a long time boarded from that side, though of course not exclusively. But a quick look online at
ocean liners both before the jet age and today's cruise ships show you the same thing. My guess would be it seemed
logical to call that side the 'port side' because ships docked against the port there and the tradition was simply carried
over along with other things such as Captain and First Officer, Purser, a tug (older ships couldn't get in and out by themselves
and needed tug boats etc).... makes perfect sense really.
 
DALCE
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:24 pm

Generally speaking, I think it has something to do with muscle memory. If at one airport you board at the port side, and the other airport at starboard side boarding/deboarding will go much slower as people have to stop and look where to go. Now it is much easier, since it's the same everywhere. Would be fun to see people board a LCC plane from the starboard side.... :)

But why it was port side in the first place is unclear to me, but could be as simple as.... the stairs were brought to the plane somewhere in the 20'ies some 100 years ago and that was it.
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flee
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:24 pm

Many aviation SOPs are a carbon copy of maritime SOPs. Ships also mainly dock on the "port side" - this is the left hand side of the ship. For aircraft, it is the same and airports are also set up to handle the aircraft from the left side.
 
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Carlos01
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:27 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
.... because that is the Port side.

best regards
Thomas


So that means, this was taken over from the shipping industry, without any further thinking?

Then the next question would be, why do maritime vessels have a dedicated port side? Did they perhaps used to have cargo doors only on one side for cost reasons? And somebody thought it's easier to always have them on the same side?
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:28 pm

Lufthansa wrote:
You know...because it's the 'Port Side" probably isn't as crazy as you think.


I don´t think it is crazy...

Ships have for a long time boarded from that side, though of course not exclusively. But a quick look online at
ocean liners both before the jet age and today's cruise ships show you the same thing. My guess would be it seemed
logical to call that side the 'port side' because ships docked against the port there and the tradition was simply carried
over along with other things such as Captain and First Officer, Purser, a tug (older ships couldn't get in and out by themselves
and needed tug boats etc).... makes perfect sense really.


plus of cause the starboard side used to be where the rudder was, making docking with that side somewhat difficult.

best regards
Thomas
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neomax
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:44 pm

In theory, it would be much faster to use both left and right doors, but alas, it never got much traction. That said, MUC is one of the few airports that is configured to allow it for aircraft as large as the A380, as seen below. This setup is most beneficial on twin aisle aircraft as each aisle gets its own jetway. I have yet to see any configurations that utilize both doors on the upper and lower decks, as that would not only board separate aisles, but also separate decks and significantly speed up the boarding process.

Image

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by neomax on Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Bongodog1964
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:48 pm

Obviously tradition bears a role in this at the beginning, however as aircraft have evolved and grown larger it would not now be possible for passengers to board from the starboard side as the freight hold doors are there, and the space is required for loaders, tugs etc.
Modern ships particularly cruise liners tend to have large opening doors low down in the hull to permit level loading from the quayside into the hull, this however was certainly not the case in earlier times. Look at any pictures of vessels in the WW2 era or even slightly later and gangplanks always went from the quayside up to the main deck and any goods at all were hoisted aboard by crane. . If you go back to the era when instead of rudders ships had a sweep oar pivoted on the starboard side most probably beached anyway rather than tied up.
 
tonystan
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:48 pm

SNN once boarded 747s on both sides like the above picture. It had a swing jetty which could reach Door 1R. Reckon it was the early 80s last time it was in use.
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grjplanes
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:51 pm

https://www.georgeherald.com/News/Artic ... d-20170711

This happened earlier this year at my home airport when we had a severe windstorm. This plane managed to land, but due to the wind couldn't get the stairs to the aircraft safely...after a while the plane got turned around into this position as in the photo and parked across the tarmac blocking the wind in a way to get stairs parked and get pax off.
 
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Carlos01
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:56 pm

So, I found with some maritime googling the whole story or port/starboard:
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/port-starboard.html

From there a direct quote (for easier reading):
"In the early days of boating, before ships had rudders on their centerlines, boats were controlled using a steering oar. Most sailors were right handed, so the steering oar was placed over or through the right side of the stern. Sailors began calling the right side the steering side, which soon became "starboard" by combining two Old English words: stéor (meaning "steer") and bord (meaning "the side of a boat").

As the size of boats grew, so did the steering oar, making it much easier to tie a boat up to a dock on the side opposite the oar. This side became known as larboard, or "the loading side." Over time, larboard—too easily confused with starboard—was replaced with port. After all, this was the side that faced the port, allowing supplies to be ported aboard by porters."
 
jtamu97
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:10 pm

Galley's are primarily located on the right side of the aircraft. Was not uncommon years ago to be boarding while the aircraft was being catered. I always felt this was the reason as well as baggage being loaded on the right side as well.
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:22 pm

rajincajun01 wrote:
The right side door on many aircraft is smaller for one.


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cosyr
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:27 pm

Carlos01 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
.... because that is the Port side.

best regards
Thomas


So that means, this was taken over from the shipping industry, without any further thinking?

Then the next question would be, why do maritime vessels have a dedicated port side? Did they perhaps used to have cargo doors only on one side for cost reasons? And somebody thought it's easier to always have them on the same side?

It's not just tradition. That may have started it, but as early aviation grew, airports worked with that early way of doing things, then the next generation of planes were designed around the way airports were doing it, then newer airports were designed around how planes were built, then..., the..., and the cycle continues. Sometimes it's not just about just doing things the way we do things, it can be more beneficial that almost all airports in the world do things the same way, so there is consistency. Think about how fractured things get in technology when something new comes out and by the time everyone is finally on the same page, technology has changed again. For something so safety driven as aviation, unless there is a really compelling reason to change something, consistency outweighs experimentation.
 
SR100
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:30 pm

In the 1930s, many passenger aircraft had their passenger doors on the right side, e.g. the DC-2, the Curtiss AT-32C Condor. Even shortly after WW II, some aircrafts like the Convair CV-240 had its passenger door on the right side, e.g. American Airlines. Though Convair offered a variety of door configurations and most airlines choose to have their main passenger door on the left side.

In the 1950s, most planes used their doors mostly for dual purposes, both passengers and catering, e.g. the main passenger door of a DC-6/7, the Constellation, the aft passenger door of the L-188 Electra, etc. There were already some planes with dedicated galley doors, e.g. the Convair CV-440 Metropolitan with the passenger door in front of the cabin, and a galley at the rear of the cabin with a left side service door. Or the Vickers Viscount 800, with a same size door on both sides in the rear of the aircraft.

With the introduction of proper galley doors in the very early jets like the Comet-4, Caravelle, DC-8, B-707 and/or CV-880 - it got standardized, left for passengers, right side for services, with a few exceptions like the B-727-200. Some airlines like Delta had the aft galley with its service door on the left side to separate the ground traffic for bags and catering, others like Western and United had it on the right side.

And as mentioned, already Boeing suggested right side jetties with the introduction of the Boeing 747 in the late 60s...
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:40 pm

You get on a horse always from the left side. (even in england). :bouncy:
 
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:49 pm

Concerning the navy heritage in aviation: in Russian and some other languages the title of the First Officer is Steersman (штурман from Dutch stuurman).
 
NameOmitted
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:55 pm

Anyone know why so many helicopters seem to load from starboard?
 
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:56 pm

Lufthansa wrote:
My guess would be it seemed
logical to call that side the 'port side' because ships docked against the port there and the tradition was simply carried
over along with other things such as Captain and First Office

I heard that Juan Trippe came up with these terms (and the uniform design) for the Pan Am clippers since he served in the Navy and that it just caught on to the rest of the industry. Still a hangover from boats nonetheless!
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:01 pm

I have TWO further observations; on my last flight, I boarded from the right hand side. This was because I was accompanying an disabled person (one of six on that flight) and because LTN did not have jet bridges available, the able-bodied boarded via a set of stairs, whilst the disabled were lifted into position on a hydraulic platform that approached the aircraft from the opposite side. FYI with both entry doors open, there was a most uncomfortable thru' draught.

Secondly; in an era before air stewardesses, when some airliners only carried 6 or 8 passengers (or in today's era, the BN-2 Islander?) the pilot might be totally responsible for checking who was clambering on-board. This he can either do by leaving the cockpit and personally meeting & greeting each passenger, or he might glance out of his cockpit window. And as the Captain sits on the left.......

Image
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PPVLC
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:02 pm

:old: The 707's had very short galley doors, people would bump their heads
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JAAlbert
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:29 pm

Carlos01 wrote:
So, I found with some maritime googling the whole story or port/starboard:
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/port-starboard.html

From there a direct quote (for easier reading):
"In the early days of boating, before ships had rudders on their centerlines, boats were controlled using a steering oar. Most sailors were right handed, so the steering oar was placed over or through the right side of the stern. Sailors began calling the right side the steering side, which soon became "starboard" by combining two Old English words: stéor (meaning "steer") and bord (meaning "the side of a boat").

As the size of boats grew, so did the steering oar, making it much easier to tie a boat up to a dock on the side opposite the oar. This side became known as larboard, or "the loading side." Over time, larboard—too easily confused with starboard—was replaced with port. After all, this was the side that faced the port, allowing supplies to be ported aboard by porters."


You learn something new everyday! I never stopped to question where the terms "port" and "starboard" originated, but this explanation makes so much sense.

Thank you for the research - I will have so many more amusing topics to share at my next cocktail party! ;)
 
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Moose135
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:32 pm

rajincajun01 wrote:
The right side door on many aircraft is smaller for one.


PPVLC wrote:
:old: The 707's had very short galley doors, people would bump their heads


The right side doors are smaller because passengers board from the left. If the convention was to board from the right, those doors would be larger, and the left side would be smaller.
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masseybrown
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:40 pm

flee wrote:
Ships also mainly dock on the "port side"


No they don't; that would leave half the pier vacant. Singe-screw ships 'like' to moor port side to because they tend to port when backing the engines, which makes landing the ship easier. Twin-screw ships don't care.

But now, back to airplanes ...
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:40 pm

At some airports, it may have somethign to do with parallel parking. Literally. Check old Youtube videos of LAX in the late fifties and into about the late sixties. The jet will approach the terminal head on and then do a snappy turn to the right, presenting it's port side to the terminal and jetway. The loading and unloading jets are lined up in a straight row. This only lasted as long as the terminals had that arrangement, likely a holdover from when airports were built for smaller prop planes and the the newer, bigger jets had trouble fitting. At least in some cases, it may be a holdover from those early days of jet aviation trying to shoehorn the newer birds into older terminals to make them fit.
 
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:54 pm

neomax wrote:
In theory, it would be much faster to use both left and right doors, but alas, it never got much traction. That said, MUC is one of the few airports that is configured to allow it for aircraft as large as the A380, as seen below. This setup is most beneficial on twin aisle aircraft as each aisle gets its own jetway. I have yet to see any configurations that utilize both doors on the upper and lower decks, as that would not only board separate aisles, but also separate decks and significantly speed up the boarding process.

Image

Image

Image

Image


Hong Kong's old airport, Kai Tak, had a few gates where you can connect the jet bridges and load the passengers from both sides at the same time.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:48 pm

The pilot also sits on the left side. So if you are taxiing you can easier judge clearance etc on the left side.. which likely resulted in the left being used for passengers. (before jetways)
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VSMUT
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:57 pm

Carlos01 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
.... because that is the Port side.

best regards
Thomas


So that means, this was taken over from the shipping industry, without any further thinking?

Then the next question would be, why do maritime vessels have a dedicated port side? Did they perhaps used to have cargo doors only on one side for cost reasons? And somebody thought it's easier to always have them on the same side?


Viking ships. They had the rudder offset to one side, and hence had to dock with the other side. Port in Danish means gate or entrance [to the ship or city], and is one of many words that the English adopted from the Vikings.

Image
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:02 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Lufthansa wrote:
You know...because it's the 'Port Side" probably isn't as crazy as you think.


I don´t think it is crazy...

Ships have for a long time boarded from that side, though of course not exclusively. But a quick look online at
ocean liners both before the jet age and today's cruise ships show you the same thing. My guess would be it seemed
logical to call that side the 'port side' because ships docked against the port there and the tradition was simply carried
over along with other things such as Captain and First Officer, Purser, a tug (older ships couldn't get in and out by themselves
and needed tug boats etc).... makes perfect sense really.


plus of cause the starboard side used to be where the rudder was, making docking with that side somewhat difficult.

best regards
Thomas


All of this is correct. Even the word "Starboard" is borrowed from Scandinavia where it's called "Styrbord". Styr = steer. The viking ships had their rudder on the right hand side, the steering side.

Edit: I also see VSMUT posted a similar explenation.
 
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:18 pm

With the introduction of proper galley doors in the very early jets like the Comet-4, Caravelle, DC-8, B-707 and/or CV-880 - it got standardized, left for passengers, right side for services, with a few exceptions like the B-727-200.


The Comet 4 had passenger doors at Forward Right and Aft Left. The Fwd Left and Aft right doors were small galley doors.(very small)
I only made one flight on a Comet 4, and we boarded the BEA aircraft at Paris through the fwd right door.
 
BubbaYugga
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:19 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Anyone know why so many helicopters seem to load from starboard?

Contrary to fixed winged aircraft, the helicopter captain sits on the right side so as not to trip over the collective lever.
Thus, all parking and manoeuvering is referenced to his/her side.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:32 pm

tvh wrote:
You get on a horse always from the left side. (even in england). :bouncy:


I think you mean "everyone gets on a horse from the left side, even those countries where Napoleon changed the side of the road they ride on"...

It's one of those little things that annoy me - when people think the English are quaint and on the "wrong" side of the road. The truth is that *everyone* used to mount from the left / ride on the left / pass on the right hand. For exactly the same reasons as the steer-side discussion above(*) - the majority are right handed! You pass on the right so you can defend yourself with your sword arm!

(*) thanks for that starboard / steering-board nugget, I hadn't heard that before

Believe it or not, driving on the other side is only common now since a few countries in continental Europe were converted when the French army marched that way, because... Napoleon was left handed!

Then more followed during the political upheavals of the early 20th century where conquering countries imposed their own rules.

Even today Britain is not as unusual as the typical smug "right side of the road" person thinks - about 1/3 of the world still drives on the left.

Okay, got that off my chest. Anyone for how pointless daylight saving time is...?! ;)
Last edited by SomebodyInTLS on Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Kikko19
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:34 pm

Didn't it start with the horses??
 
jjb415
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:34 pm

JAAlbert wrote:
Carlos01 wrote:
So, I found with some maritime googling the whole story or port/starboard:
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/port-starboard.html

From there a direct quote (for easier reading):
"In the early days of boating, before ships had rudders on their centerlines, boats were controlled using a steering oar. Most sailors were right handed, so the steering oar was placed over or through the right side of the stern. Sailors began calling the right side the steering side, which soon became "starboard" by combining two Old English words: stéor (meaning "steer") and bord (meaning "the side of a boat").

As the size of boats grew, so did the steering oar, making it much easier to tie a boat up to a dock on the side opposite the oar. This side became known as larboard, or "the loading side." Over time, larboard—too easily confused with starboard—was replaced with port. After all, this was the side that faced the port, allowing supplies to be ported aboard by porters."


You learn something new everyday! I never stopped to question where the terms "port" and "starboard" originated, but this explanation makes so much sense.

Thank you for the research - I will have so many more amusing topics to share at my next cocktail party! ;)


I agree, what an interesting explanation. :-)
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:01 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
tvh wrote:
You get on a horse always from the left side. (even in england). :bouncy:


I think you mean "everyone gets on a horse from the left side, even those countries where Napoleon changed the side of the road they ride on"...

It's one of those little things that annoy me - when people think the English are quaint and on the "wrong" side of the road. The truth is that *everyone* used to mount from the left / ride on the left / pass on the right hand. For exactly the same reasons as the steer-side discussion above(*) - the majority are right handed! You pass on the right so you can defend yourself with your sword arm!

(*) thanks for that starboard / steering-board nugget, I hadn't heard that before

Believe it or not, driving on the other side is only common now since a few countries in continental Europe were converted when the French army marched that way, because... Napoleon was left handed!

Then more followed during the political upheavals of the early 20th century where conquering countries imposed their own rules.

Even today Britain is not as unusual as the typical smug "right side of the road" person thinks - about 1/3 of the world still drives on the left.

Okay, got that off my chest. Anyone for how pointless daylight saving time is...?! ;)


Very interesting discussion! I did not know the part about Napoleon and the right side of the road. Let me throw in another nugget of info. Most staircases in castles and buildings are formed so that the defending side (occupants of the building) had room to handle their sword/weapon, while the invading side did not have as much room to do this. It's mostly evident in spiral stairs.

And yes, daylight saving time is completely pointless and annoying.
 
LH707330
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:19 pm

The reason Napoleon changed it was because you'd have horse-drawn wagons and a driver swinging a whip, typically in the right hand. Therefore, you want the whip on the right side of the road to avoid hitting oncoming or overtaking traffic, hence the "drive on the right" norm.

To add to Carlos' post, that's also where the right over left norm came from. If your boat is on starboard tack and heeled over, your steering board is further out of the water than a port-tack boat, making the port-tack boat more maneuverable. Thus, the port-tack boat was required to give way. This is also why the nav lights got their colors.
 
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:19 pm

Kind of like railway track gauge. The reason why the standard track gauge is 4ft 8-1/2inches is because that is the width of a roman chariot, and the width of a roman chariot is because that's how wide the posterior of two horses are.

But ships today moor either side, port, starboard side. There are external power / water / sewage / telecommunications connections on both sides of the ship. It's whatever is more expedient for port operations. although for aircraft carriers its much easier to moor starboard side to. Its rare for aircraft carriers to more port side to due to the elevator overhang - you'll need some fending barges to moor an aircraft carrier port side to..
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Woodreau
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:25 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Anyone know why so many helicopters seem to load from starboard?


Because the aircraft commander sits on the right. He has a view of boarding especially when boarding with engines and rotors engaged/turning.
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timz
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:49 pm

As it happens, jetways became common about the same time jets appeared. Once they were common, with one jetway per gate, all the planes had to be able to load from the left.

But pics of 1950s propliners usually show them loading from stairs on the left too-- did DC-6s and 749s have small doors on the right?
 
gwrudolph
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:55 pm

Plus you have a lot of your other servicing functions (at least on an aircraft) on the starboard side. I can't imagine trying to conduct cargo operations on the same side as boarding operations. It would be very crowded and potentially a safety issue
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:12 pm

timz wrote:
As it happens, jetways became common about the same time jets appeared. Once they were common, with one jetway per gate, all the planes had to be able to load from the left.

But pics of 1950s propliners usually show them loading from stairs on the left too-- did DC-6s and 749s have small doors on the right?


Image
"I say chaps, it's the dashingly handsome Captain Speaking here. While we are waiting for Major Meyer and Sergeant Sarjent to arrive, has anybody mentioned that an aircraft Captain, like wot I am, sits in the left hand seat, and it might be a good idea if he can see who's hanging around waiting to board, say before starting up the engines?"
"No idea if that applies to helicopters too; they haven't been invented yet...." :
"Alternatively I could always read some of the previous posts on this thread to get all the answers, but where's the fun in that?" :roll:
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PPVLC
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:16 pm

Moose135 wrote:
rajincajun01 wrote:
The right side door on many aircraft is smaller for one.


PPVLC wrote:
:old: The 707's had very short galley doors, people would bump their heads


The right side doors are smaller because passengers board from the left. If the convention was to board from the right, those doors would be larger, and the left side would be smaller.


Yes, of course, that's the convention, I received pax's through the right side doors in rare and exceptional cases like storms. Some planes I flew had doors on the left side only, just emergency exits on the right, the good old Lockheed Electra for instance. The 727-100 had one door on the left, one galley door right before the right wing and one rear door with airstairs, unusual layout that woudn't happen in modern planes. Some passangers didn't like to use the rear airstairs, I have no idea why but I'm digressing...
L188 707 727 737 767 A300 DC10 MD11 747
 
superjeff
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:25 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Lufthansa wrote:
My guess would be it seemed
logical to call that side the 'port side' because ships docked against the port there and the tradition was simply carried
over along with other things such as Captain and First Office

I heard that Juan Trippe came up with these terms (and the uniform design) for the Pan Am clippers since he served in the Navy and that it just caught on to the rest of the industry. Still a hangover from boats nonetheless!



That's actually the correct answer. Trippe felt that in the early days of barnstorming pilots, an image of stability and safety was necessary. That's why his Clippers (nautical name) were manned by captains, first offices, etc. who were dressed in naval type uniforms (on Pan Am, black double breasted suits and white captains' hats) even back in "the day".

There's really no other reason, and whether you board from the left side or right side just seemed to develop, just like some people prefer to sit on the left side or right side of the airplane (port or starboard).
 
superjeff
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:27 pm

timz wrote:
As it happens, jetways became common about the same time jets appeared. Once they were common, with one jetway per gate, all the planes had to be able to load from the left.

But pics of 1950s propliners usually show them loading from stairs on the left too-- did DC-6s and 749s have small service doors on the right?



Yes, in the front of the cabin.

Also, initial Jetways (a trade name of a company called Stanway Pacific, originally) connected the airplane to both the front and back doors of the new 707's and DC8's - First Class had its own entry up front, Coach in the back.
 
F27500
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:12 pm

Cuz dat where da jetway hook up !
 
cschleic
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:25 pm

neomax wrote:
In theory, it would be much faster to use both left and right doors, but alas, it never got much traction. That said, MUC is one of the few airports that is configured to allow it for aircraft as large as the A380, as seen below. This setup is most beneficial on twin aisle aircraft as each aisle gets its own jetway. I have yet to see any configurations that utilize both doors on the upper and lower decks, as that would not only board separate aisles, but also separate decks and significantly speed up the boarding process.

Image

Image

Image

Image


As noted, it doesn't have an upper deck jetway. Could that be part of the reason for three as it is...for whatever reason, an upper deck one wasn't possible in the building?
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Kilopond wrote:
Concerning the navy heritage in aviation: in Russian and some other languages the title of the First Officer is Steersman (штурман from Dutch stuurman).

Incorrect.
"Shturman" is the Navigator. Literally.

Russian language aircraft command pecking order is:
Komandir Vozdushnogo Sudna (KVS) -- literally Commander of the Air Craft = Captain
Vtoroi pilot -- literally Second Pilot = First officer
Bortinzhener -- literally On-Board Engineer = Flight Engineer
Shutrman -- literally Navigator = Navigator
Radist -- literally Radioman = Radio operator
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Aptivaboy
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Re: Why do passengers board the aircraft from the left side?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:58 pm

It's one of those little things that annoy me - when people think the English are quaint and on the "wrong" side of the road. The truth is that *everyone* used to mount from the left / ride on the left / pass on the right hand. For exactly the same reasons as the steer-side discussion above(*) - the majority are right handed! You pass on the right so you can defend yourself with your sword arm!


Actually, that's not correct. You pass on the left to present your left arm, your shield arm, to your opponent. Back in the old sword and buckler days, that was how it was done, defense being as important as anything else. Jousting occurred the same way, with the left arm holding the shield, and the right the lance, but with the lance pointing over the horse and diagonally towards the opposing rider. In both cases, the travelers would pass left side to left side.

I'm a HEMA practitioner (Historical European Martial Arts) and the lore and background of these funny little customs is actually quite interesting. The competitions are also quite awesome, too! You get to fight people! With swords! Okay, gotta calm down... The reason men's suit buttons button to the side that they do versus womens' buttons is a little arcane search unto itself. It is partly to do with fashion, partly to do with having servants dress you and their hands being reversed compared to your's, and partly back to jousting in the way that the armor was fastened on in the case of men.

As for why the English drive on one side of the road over another I don't know and wouldn't presume to claim to, but the historical martial tendency was to pass on the left to present your more armored, better shielded side to your foe.

Bob

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