WPvsMW
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Better way to load freighters

Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:52 pm

The focus is on speeding up loading and unloading ULDs and pallets on freighters... probably impractical for belly cargo on pax a/c. Instead of raising ULDs and pallets to the cargo door, why not lower the a/c to ramp level? An elevator system, similar to those on aircraft carriers, would be needed. The elevator would have separately operated sections adjacent to the cargo doors that raised to ramp level after the a/c was lowered below ramp level. The shortened turns at the cargo hub would pay for the investment.
 
Nicoeddf
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:37 pm

So you lower the wings into the ground as well? Or are we folding them like on a carrier?
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trex8
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:40 pm

do we need to flip the engines over the top of the wing, or is this only for aircraft with tail mounted engines or ones on the top of the wing?

watching planes being loaded Ive never felt the up/down of the loaders added that much time
 
COSPN
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:16 am

HKG can load the plane before it’s fueled .. the way they do it is to not use the door wheels .. they are too slow
They just retract and push .. why solve a problem that does not exist ???
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:32 am

Nicoeddf wrote:
So you lower the wings into the ground as well? Or are we folding them like on a carrier?


At a gate, a rectangular area in the ramp and large enough for the entire a/c is lowered, just like an elevator on a naval aircraft carrier. When the cargo door lip is at ground level, the lowering stops, and a subsection of the elevator is raised to form a bridge between the cargo door and the ramp. in a basic embodiment, ULD and pallet handlers drive across the "bridge', move the ULD or pallet onto the cargo deck, and back away. In an improved embodiment, the ULD and pallet transport system is built into the "bridge", and the ULDs and pallets placed on a transport system that runs straight into the sort center. No more wheeled loaders. Imagine a "train" of ULDs and pallets streaming out of the sort center are ramp level straight into the rear cargo door, and ULDs and pallets simultaneously unloading from a forward cargo door and streaming on a second transport system into the sort center. Again... no more wheeled loaders, more of a "railroad" running on motorized ball mats or roller mats instead of rails.
 
thaiflyer
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:55 am

WPvsMW wrote:
The focus is on speeding up loading and unloading ULDs and pallets on freighters... probably impractical for belly cargo on pax a/c. Instead of raising ULDs and pallets to the cargo door, why not lower the a/c to ramp level? An elevator system, similar to those on aircraft carriers, would be needed. The elevator would have separately operated sections adjacent to the cargo doors that raised to ramp level after the a/c was lowered below ramp level. The shortened turns at the cargo hub would pay for the investment.


What are you smoking ? Must be good stuff.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:57 am

I'm an inventor with multiple patents. Don't need herb. How about you?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:08 am

Sounds like an engineer—creating complicated solutions to non-existent problems making life more difficult for the workers at the coalface.


Gf
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:43 am

WPvsMW wrote:
Nicoeddf wrote:
So you lower the wings into the ground as well? Or are we folding them like on a carrier?


At a gate, a rectangular area in the ramp and large enough for the entire a/c is lowered, just like an elevator on a naval aircraft carrier. When the cargo door lip is at ground level, the lowering stops, and a subsection of the elevator is raised to form a bridge between the cargo door and the ramp. in a basic embodiment, ULD and pallet handlers drive across the "bridge', move the ULD or pallet onto the cargo deck, and back away. In an improved embodiment, the ULD and pallet transport system is built into the "bridge", and the ULDs and pallets placed on a transport system that runs straight into the sort center. No more wheeled loaders. Imagine a "train" of ULDs and pallets streaming out of the sort center are ramp level straight into the rear cargo door, and ULDs and pallets simultaneously unloading from a forward cargo door and streaming on a second transport system into the sort center. Again... no more wheeled loaders, more of a "railroad" running on motorized ball mats or roller mats instead of rails.


I love the creativity! I have a few thoughts.

1) You'd only be saving one up-down trip, because the airplane has to make one up-down trip in this example, too.
2) A good operator will have stuff moving in and out of the airplane at the same time as the elevator is going up and down to the ground. Seriously, if you've seen a seasoned pro at work doing this, stuff never stops moving. The bottleneck is the airplane's door and it's internal material handling system. It's amazing. (Well, as amazing as watching pallets go up and down can be.)
3) A tug pulling a bunch of carts is essentially a railroad like what you describe, pulling up repeatedly to the deck loader.*

There's also the C-5 route. Just push the stuff out the back as you load it in the front. Or take a regular freighter today and give it two main deck doors and collapse the nose gear. Pull it out at the front while you're sliding things in from the back. The lower deck isn't continuous, but you get the idea.

*Funny unrelated story. I remember being a baggage handler in a previous life, and totally botching the approach to the deck loader with my tug and chain of pallet carts. My first cart was close enough to roll onto the deck loader, but the later ones weren't. "Don't worry!" said the lead. I pulled forward to get the next cart abreast the deck loader, and it was like four feet away. But here's comes a guy in a another tug, who just t-bones it and pushes it sideways until it's next to the deck loader. Problem solved!
 
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:40 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Sounds like an engineer—creating complicated solutions to non-existent problems making life more difficult for the workers at the coalface.


Gf


In a related invention is a new way to load ships. Pull the cork out let it sink and load the containers, put the cork in and pump the water out and sail away. Reduced the need for those big crains.

Engineers have calculated it will save 3 weeks of loading and unloading time over a life span of 20 years.

Raising and lowering the ships in an unrelated study has shown to take only 3 years out of the life of the ship over twenty years, increased maintenance costs on the ships, required modification of the docks, the crains, and new purpose built ships.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:38 am

Thanks for the well-considered replies. Obviously, this concept trades infrastructure costs for time savings, like many (most?) things in manufacturing and operations. Think of the time to lower the elevator deck as the time for one, one-way operation of a deck loader, and the time to raise the elevator deck as the time for one, one-way operation of a deck loader. The wait times for additional operations of a deck loader are eliminated. Deck loaders are eliminated, leaving only tugs and trailers. The real savings are eliminating tugs, trailers, and deck loaders... the "sort center" model with ULDs and pallets moving on a network of ball mats or roller mats with automated routing between sort center and gates.

Jeff Bezos, take this and run with it before it's built at CGO. :D I'll help you with site selection for HQ2: the Amazon Aerotropolis at MCI.
 
SAAFNAV
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:06 pm

There's a bit of a difference in the size and weight capacity of an aircraft carrier hoist deck lifting say 50 tons, vs a hoist big enough to lift a ~200 ton aircraft.

Then, unless you can make the recess the EXACT size of every specific aircraft, you still need a bridge contraption to span from ground level to the cargo door.
So that makes two hydraulic systems, each with own methods of failing.

What about things that can go wrong? Plane accidentally parked with a full fuel load instead of min. before being lowered, uneven lowering, or system failure why the plane is down there?

With a high loader, you can just pull it away if it fails and get a new one to do the work.
I still think it's easier to lift 5 tons 100x a day than lifting 200 tons 5 times a day.
L-382 Loadmaster; ex C-130B Navigator
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:43 pm

yeah, I can see FEDEX building several hundred of these around their hubs. Not to mention each type would need a different silhouette so what happens when one type gets subbed for another. How about the new danger of a ramper falling. Considering how fast Fedex can really do it now I don't think you'll see a change any time soon.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:08 pm

How much time would it even save, and do they really need to save that amount of time? My own observations are that FedEx and UPS aren't really in a hurry to load and unload at the hubs. It's a simple matter of having to send practically the entire load from all the incoming aircraft into the cargo sorting facility, before sending them out again. This isn't a Ryanair style 20 minute turnaround operation, they have something like 3 to 5 hours to do it.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:15 pm

yes and no. During the night and afternoon sorts they have about 2-3 hours to make the sort before the first jet is scheduled to depart so jets are unloaded asap. During an intermediate stop over a jet can be unloaded and loaded in about 40 min. The only time they wouldn't be in a hurry is usually an early arrival on Sunday morn where the freight doesn't go out again till late afternoon.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:21 pm

The C-5 did “kneel” on its landing gear for a specific purpose—roll-on, roll-off cargo operations at forward bases. I’ve loaded tanks, bulldozers, electric line crews, boats, sub propulsion units, transmissions for destroyers. It’s possibke, been done but offers no advantages to commercial ops. Also, if you looked at the landing gear of a C-5, it certainly adds weight and complexity. That, and having something on the order of a 1,000 gallons of MIL-SPEC 1556 fluid meant hydraulic leaks were noteworthy.

GF
 
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:31 pm

Oops, it’s 5606 fluid
 
Nicoeddf
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:40 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
Nicoeddf wrote:
So you lower the wings into the ground as well? Or are we folding them like on a carrier?


At a gate, a rectangular area in the ramp and large enough for the entire a/c is lowered, just like an elevator on a naval aircraft carrier. When the cargo door lip is at ground level, the lowering stops, and a subsection of the elevator is raised to form a bridge between the cargo door and the ramp. in a basic embodiment, ULD and pallet handlers drive across the "bridge', move the ULD or pallet onto the cargo deck, and back away. In an improved embodiment, the ULD and pallet transport system is built into the "bridge", and the ULDs and pallets placed on a transport system that runs straight into the sort center. No more wheeled loaders. Imagine a "train" of ULDs and pallets streaming out of the sort center are ramp level straight into the rear cargo door, and ULDs and pallets simultaneously unloading from a forward cargo door and streaming on a second transport system into the sort center. Again... no more wheeled loaders, more of a "railroad" running on motorized ball mats or roller mats instead of rails.


While I find no problem in general with creative solutions, this seems to create more problems than it solves.
And not sure it saves any time.

I loose loading of main and lower deck at the same time, for example. That alone would negate any savings.
You further create a hugely expensive machine to lift not only 250t++ of aircraft, but you need to dig a huge hole, create support infrastructure for the plane and the weight of the lift and your energy requirement is not neglectable. Contrast that with easily maintainable, affordable, very low tech and easily replaceable in case of brake down high lifters.
Further you would need ventilating "downstairs" to absorb the heat of 2 to 4 engines cooling down after a flight.

Well, applaud your creativity, but I don't see a real plus, tbh ;)
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WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:13 pm

Thanks...yes the elevator area for a whole plane would be expensive, but could be replaced with an inclined ramp that the a/c would enter and exit under its own power. The hydraulic bridge between gate ramp and cargo door would still be needed, different bridges for different doors, aft belly and main deck bridges to load, and forward belly and main deck bridges to unload. The inclined ramp approach would definitely be a sort center version, given the inclined ramp would be a wingspan wide, plus margin.

As for hydraulically lifting 250t, not a problem. There would be a backup system if the primary hydraulics failed.

For tilt-nose 744Fs and 748Fs, you would have drive on/drive off for vehicles and trailers.

Financial viability depends on what time savings are worth. It might prolong the production line of 748Fs, since a full load would be off-loaded in a train and a new train, weighted and balanced, loaded in ... 3 minutes? The loadmaster would be finished before the refueling was done. Jeff definitely needs this for his Amazon Aerotropolis, should place his order for 748Fs now. :D
 
VolvoBus
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:13 pm

The inclined ramp might save on installation costs, but would be wasteful of real estate.What length of down-ramp would be required,bearing in mind that the angle of slope would be limited to avoid tail-strikes, with presumably an up ramp to allow for departure. IIRC, the limiting factor for tugs is not producing power, but transmitting it to the ground through the tyres.

Equally, you would need one of these mega-stands for every flight servicing a sort, as flights presumably wait until the sort is complete, as there may be items on the last arrival to be transferred to what might otherwise be the first departure.
 
COSPN
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:56 pm

It’s too dangerous .. what happens when the plane catches fire “underground “ this will never be allowed in the USA for insurance reasons is the AARF can not get to the plane in 2 minuets
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:46 am

Underground? It's lower than ramp level, but not underground. For the inclined ramp, adjust the inclined ramp width to satisfy regs. For the hydraulic lift, firefighting access from the basement level.

The navy deals with the risk of fire on the hangar deck. Nothing new there.
Last edited by WPvsMW on Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:58 am

VolvoBus wrote:
The inclined ramp might save on installation costs, but would be wasteful of real estate.

That tradeoff is a function of cost/benefit: time is money; real estate and infrastructure is money. The concept is really for cargo hubs, esp. what I've called the Amazon Aerotropolis, which would be a greenfield project. The entry and exit in the inclined ramp embodiment would likely be done with a towbarless tractor (upsized as needed), or even a "catapult-like" system, in which nose gear and main gear engage a subterranean cable. PIC parks the a/c before the inclined ramp, engines off until the a/c is pulled back to terminal ramp level. Refueling done after the a/c emerges from the pit or is pulled off the elevator.

VolvoBus wrote:
What length of down-ramp would be required,bearing in mind that the angle of slope would be limited to avoid tail-strikes, with presumably an up ramp to allow for departure.

Exactly... grade of the inclined ramps, down and up, avoids tail strikes.

VolvoBus wrote:
Equally, you would need one of these mega-stands for every flight servicing a sort, as flights presumably wait until the sort is complete, as there may be items on the last arrival to be transferred to what might otherwise be the first departure.

That's really an ops mgmt/sorting decision, not unique to the concept. There would be a backup deck loader if a last minute cargo adjustment were needed.

Man, I'm feelin' like Keesje. Need to made some drawings.
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:45 am

If you are talking dedicated freight operations, nose docks would be a better approach. Plane taxis up to a position and jetway like bridges connect to the plane containers roll-off and start their trip back to the sorting center without ground equipment. The just go along the moving conveyor, like your bags from checkin to the containers. Of course if there is a problem with the conveyor system, the nigh's operation could be shot, at least for the portion of the "terminal" that has the broken conveyor.
Given the stakes, the old fashioned tug and loader system, while maybe not the most efficient in terms of time to load and manpower required compared the nose dock concept, it is robust, redundant, fault tolerant and adaptive to changes in operational needs.
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:07 am

WPvsMW wrote:
The focus is on speeding up loading and unloading ULDs and pallets on freighters... probably impractical for belly cargo on pax a/c. Instead of raising ULDs and pallets to the cargo door, why not lower the a/c to ramp level? An elevator system, similar to those on aircraft carriers, would be needed. The elevator would have separately operated sections adjacent to the cargo doors that raised to ramp level after the a/c was lowered below ramp level. The shortened turns at the cargo hub would pay for the investment.


I’d think an elevator breaking hard right in the middle of the very time critical off loading/loading would drive away any users. Right now you just go get another lift and things continue on. If the elevator breaks hard not only is there no back up, the plane is stuck. Real bad scenario.
 
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:20 am

WPvsMW wrote:
, just like an elevator on a naval aircraft carrier. .


Don't know if you realize it but the US Navy Carriers have deck edge elevators to avoid a damaged or stuck elevator impacting flight operations. The Essex class carriers were that last with elevators in the middle of the flight deck.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:46 am

WPvsMW wrote:
The focus is on speeding up loading and unloading ULDs and pallets on freighters... probably impractical for belly cargo on pax a/c. Instead of raising ULDs and pallets to the cargo door, why not lower the a/c to ramp level? An elevator system, similar to those on aircraft carriers, would be needed. The elevator would have separately operated sections adjacent to the cargo doors that raised to ramp level after the a/c was lowered below ramp level. The shortened turns at the cargo hub would pay for the investment.

with zn underslung engine pod?? you didn't think this through,
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:53 am

Re: elevator failure. Just like on USN carriers, there would be a back-up system, probably a Strub (aka cog) system, to raise the elevator. Slower, but very reliable.

Re: inclined ramp. Towbarless tractors have no problem moving fully loaded A380s, so a 748F or 777F should not be a problem up- or down-ramp. An alternate would be a funicular (or "catapult") bridle system.

Re: carrier elevators. Yes, After Essex class, Midway class went to 3 lateral elevators, at least on CV-41 after the 60's rebuild. Unlike carriers, the proposed elevators would not be sitting in, or beside. runways or even taxiways.

Re: nose loading. Certainly the easiest to implement, but tilt-nose freighters are currently a small minority of frames. If a cargo hub had high demand for nose loading, the inclined ramp could go in the shoreside motorized ball mat or roller mat network to get the ULDs and pallets to main deck level.
Last edited by WPvsMW on Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:56 am

strfyr51 wrote:
with [an] underslung engine pod??

The elevator area, or (in alternate inclined ramp versiion) the "pit" area, would exceed the wingspan and length of the a/c... nothing touches the nacelles, just as aircraft carrier elevators don't affect underslung engines, like those on the old S-3 Viking.
 
stratclub
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:27 am

Have you actually worked around live aircraft before? You should try it. You would understand how far from common sense reality your engineering fix for a problem that doesn't exist is. Spending billions of dollars to save pennies never is a good idea.

I would not put much faith in Jeff Bezos's hare brained ideas. His whole living in space idea has been a fantasy since he was about 10 years old. Let's see. Could you imagine 2 to 3 million people living and/or vacationing in outer space like he envisions? The toll on earths natural resources would be just devastating. Of course someone with a 10 year old's imagination wouldn't think of practical things like that.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:56 am

Yes I've worked on the ramp, in network planning, and as an EVP of an international airline. I won't predict when the Amazon space colony will sell condos, but I do think I'll see Jeff's HQ2 in my lifetime.
 
diverted
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:47 pm

I guess my only 2 cents to add is if you're designing a pit or ramp for aircraft, you're limiting yourself as to where and what you can load. Unless I'm imagining this wrong, these ramps or pits will need to be specific for aircraft to provide spacing for wings/engines etc. As such, an operator like FX would need pits/ramps for A300/A310/757/767/777/MD10/MD11, with no interchangeability between the two. Huge infrastructure investment with a ton of space required compared with having mobile GSE which can load an aircraft just about anywhere.

Then you also have the issue of ground strikes. Whether that means extra wing walkers while the aircraft positions, or slowing the whole process down to limit ground strikes, by the time its said and done, a good ground crew could already be loading cans on the main deck.

Someone above also mentioned loading the pits while loading the main deck. Going to be an issue if half the aircraft is buried.
 
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CrimsonNL
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:31 pm

There are so many practical problems this will introduce rather then solve. How about safety? This will introduce an extreme hazard to an already dangerous work place. It's the ramp, that means that sooner or later people AND vehicles will go down into the hole and will fall onto the aircraft. Can you imagine a fuel truck driving going down in there?

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stratclub
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:56 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
Yes I've worked on the ramp, in network planning, and as an EVP of an international airline. I won't predict when the Amazon space colony will sell condos, but I do think I'll see Jeff's HQ2 in my lifetime.

O.K., that is a plus then. I can agree that for new construction of cargo handling facilities planning outside the box isn't a bad thing at all. Document the processes as they occur now including turn around activities such as fueling, maintenance etc. Do to not make assumptions about the time savings/cost benefits because saving time in one process could impact time and the scheduling window in other processes. It is very important to get input from everyone that is involved in the cargo handling and turn around activities.

I would say start there and find the actual bottle necks in the current process. I'm not going to comment so much on your ideas right now, but one thing is certain. If someone has a better way of doing things, they don't have to worry about their idea being stolen. Usually most people wont understand it.

I am somewhat against space exploration because the biggest downside is that if you go into outer space you have to take a complete living environment with you and also consume mass amounts of energy to escape earth gravity well. There are problems right here on planet earth right now that we should address instead of building/planning infrastructure for outer space travel/colonization that will not benefit anyone and will seriously put a drain on earths natural resources.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:57 pm

Re: a/c types. The ball mat or roller mat system would be flexible and adapt as needed to cargo door location. Such systems inside sort centers are full of curves and some have flexible sections.

Re: safety. A cargo ramp is a deserted beach compared to an aircraft carrier deck. Airports have bridges and tunnels among concourses and between concourses and runways. Yes, an elevator or pit is more hazardous that a flat concrete ramp, but risks are managed at all airports.

Re: fueling risk: I think the average age and experience of a fuel tech at a cargo hub is greater than the average grape shirt on a carrier, or at least no less experienced, and in a far less hazardous operating area.

Re: bottlenecks. That is exactly what the concept is all about. Having watched deck loader, tug and dolly, and more recently transporter ops for decades... there must be a better way to load and unload at cargo hubs. I doubt that the cost/benefit would be <1.0 at pax hubs.
Last edited by WPvsMW on Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:52 am

Image

Replace the jet-bridges with a bridge to the forward cargo door, and you have something that could work for most cargo aircraft. Forward doors only, of course.

On a related note, could you imagine what the TSA would say to this arrangement now, with the parking so close to the aircraft?
 
stratclub
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:42 am

Simple. Have the facilities cargo handling system extend all the way to the aircraft cargo doors with Jetways between the facility and the cargo doors. For rear cargo doors, those jetways could retract into the ground when the aircraft is arriving or being blocked out of the gate.

Your idea of a pit is good idea but for the wrong reason. You would only need the jetways aft of the wing to raise and lower and then they would always be empty of LD's so the hydraulic power requirements would be a lot less than for raising and lowering the entire aircraft. Also when the rear jetways are lowered, the landing gear tires would not roll over the top of those jetways.

No need to lower the aircraft or build special ramps. Turn around fueling and maintenance could commence as soon as the aircraft is parked because for service vehicles and technicians most of the ramp area would be unchanged.

Engineering 101: Make it as simple as possible while still meeting operational requirements.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:05 am

Yes... raising the cargo to main deck door lip level in the terminal is the alternate solution to lowering main deck door lips to gate ramp level. The "lift" up to a/c door level could be inside the terminal or between the terminal and the a/c (like a belt loader that can be lowered flush with gate ramp level). The selection of "lower the a/c" or "raise the cargo train external to the a/c" is a cost/benefit tradeoff. The "raise the cargo train" could be retrofitted to existing sort centers, unlike the elevator or pit approach, which would best work in an all-new build. The approach with the best ROI would be selected.

ROI derives from escaping the constraints of deck loaders. "Side-loading" with the new approach will be much faster than current deck loaders, but side-loading pales in comparison to what could be done with nose-loading. Therefore, the most attractive embodiment is for nose-loaders... an entire train is pulled out, and a new train loaded, in a few minutes instead of a hour or two. That would add up quickly, and keep the 748F production line alive. And lead to a tilt-nose successor to the 777F. ;)
 
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:51 am

I am not sure if loading through the nose is necessarily faster than the side door. Nose loading you are limited to 96 inches and the pallets are slightly turned to go down each side of the aircraft and don't forget locks need to be engaged.

You can turn a 747 fairly quickly using both the nose and side doors. Especially if you are doing a full upload and offload. If you are sharing a flight all bets are off depending on how the aircraft was loaded.

The idea is interesting. However, I see real estate and cost being a problem at existing airports. Compared to some loaders and cheap labor. At my station, almost everyone working the aircraft is paid poorly. Fueler, loaders,load master and even our airline staff.

N757KW
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:59 pm

The USAF tried some of these ideas with the C-5. First, it was the Sixties, think: unlimited money and support for engineering. The C-5 plan was to taxi into a nose dock, the last 50’ with the visor up and the ramp in truck bed mode. A bridge would come out, line up with the interior roller bed and off and on goes the load. They, with limitless money, built two before it was decided as being inefficient and too expensive. The way we do things is based on lots of engineering evolution, trial and improvement, and, most importantly, driving out cost.

The docks were at Travis and Cam Ranh Bay.

GF
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:52 pm

GF, do you know of anything published about that experiment? It is all about cost/benefit, ROI. Was the C-5 system for roll on/roll off, or for dollied ULDs and pallets with the roller mat connecting terminal and nose?
 
diverted
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:26 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
Re: safety. A cargo ramp is a deserted beach compared to an aircraft carrier deck. Airports have bridges and tunnels among concourses and between concourses and runways. Yes, an elevator or pit is more hazardous that a flat concrete ramp, but risks are managed at all airports.



And you can also land on a carrier with aircraft sitting on either side of you. Very different world in the military to civilian life.

I guess I'm still failing to see how the additional risks and workarounds end up being simpler than driving a loader up, loading up cans, and then sending it on its way. Maybe I'm just having trouble visualizing it.

I will say though, kudos for thinking outside the box, rather than accepting "because that's how it's always been done"

Cheers
 
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:15 pm

Roll-on, roll-off, loadmasters and port crew used old-fashioned muscle, still do. It was designed exclusively for the C-5 because of its nose visor. The dock had a a roller bridge that extended from the port building. It was designed for the C-5-taxied in, lined up with the dock, called for the visor/ramp operation, then marshaled in pretty much blind due to the visor position. After loading, the bridge was retracted, the nose gear positioned at 45*; break away thrust applied and out you went. Then visor closed. Lots of failure modes. They were long gone when I got in the plane ‘88; the old heads talked about it. They clearly thought it was a nightmare and wasn’t used for long.

Loaders are quicker, simpler, less cost. Couple of 60K loaders could load/unload a C-5 quicker than the pax service, fueling, maintence tasks were done.

Here’s a paper on it,

http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=AD0762551

GF
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:30 pm

GF, thanks for the quick reply and the link. The aerotropolis at CGO got me thinking... how are U.S. freight operators going to become more competitive?

As for muscle power, there are plenty of youtube videos of airmen pushing loads around, or red shirts hefting ordnance up to mounts on F-18s.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:47 pm

diverted wrote:
I guess I'm still failing to see how the additional risks and workarounds end up being simpler than driving a loader up, loading up cans, and then sending it on its way.


Re: risks and workarounds. It boils down to cost/benefit ratio, with risk exposure as part of cost, and risk avoidance as part of benefit. A corollary is "how much of the existing process of loading and unloading air cargo can be automated"? Are freighter ops very different from pax ops and checked bags, and the answer is yes: deck loaders and tugs pulling dollies are much easier to automate than rampers, baggage carts, and belt loaders.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:20 am

You're trying to solve a bottleneck problem where no bottleneck exists. The limit on moving cargo in and out of a main-deck freighter is not the speed of the high-loader, but rather the speed of the ULDs moving up and down the deck, unlocking or locking them into position.

Besides, you can fully unload and load a wide-body faster than you can put the required fuel in the tanks for a long-haul mission.

Besides, once you've lowered the elevator platform to meet ramp height, how are you going to get the fuel in? How are crew supposed to get on and off the aircraft? How are staff working the lower-decks supposed to get freight to and from the lowered platform? How are you going to get catering onboard? How are engineering supposed to work on the aircraft?

Your 'solution' to a 'problem' that doesn't exist present so many obstacles to ground handling it's more than dead on arrival. Don't waste your time and money patenting this idea.
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COSPN
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:43 am

Go to HKG .. loading always complete door closed as 40,000 gallons of fuel are uploaded... that takes about 1h 30 min...
 
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cougar15
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:10 am

WPvsMW wrote:
GF, thanks for the quick reply and the link. The aerotropolis at CGO got me thinking... how are U.S. freight operators going to become more competitive?

As for muscle power, there are plenty of youtube videos of airmen pushing loads around, or red shirts hefting ordnance up to mounts on F-18s.


Just automate the (main cargo) deck, see the electric example Duey, Huey & Luey (DHL, forgive the punt) introduced on the 330-300P2F. no need for ugly nose gear bubbles like in the factory 330 version
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WPvsMW
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:16 am

c15, do you have a link to the automated main deck loading on the A333F?
 
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cougar15
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Re: Better way to load freighters

Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:47 am

WPvsMW wrote:
c15, do you have a link to the automated main deck loading on the A333F?


No link mate, sorry, it is simply an electric roller system, rather than people having to ´push uphill´ due to the frame (A333) . Bearing in mind of course, Integrator ULDs (DHL) are much lighter than general cargo. There is a thread open in Civ.AV on the DHL conversions...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1366179&p=20302401&hilit=DHL#p20302401

.... perhaps that is of interest to you, few pics in there aswell.
Long story, short result, by these ´methods´ , they got around raising the NLG, and it seems to work fine for them, as the ´coffeemachine´chatter is that they will be taking on additional frames. My outfit tried these in the early 2000´s on covernted A300´s , but we quickly went back to ´man muscle´ due to the issues this system caused at the time.
However, that is of course 16 odd years ago, I expect the technology has mature since.

the following link for the conversion house may give you add. info also, just click on EN (top right) for the English version.

https://www.elbeflugzeugwerke.com/
some you lose, others you can´t win!

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