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Guest AJ

-400F question

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Guest AJ

I am curious. Does the real world -400F preserve the staircase between the upper deck and the main cargo deck? If so, will this be represented on PMDG's model? Also will be be able to enter the main cargo deck?Andrew

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Guest Marc Harrington

No, there is just a ladder, which we are not planning to model at this point. Same goes for the main deck.

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Guest AJ

Thanks for the info. On the real bird, though, I assume that this ladder is accessible in flight, so that the crew can go down there if the need/want to? Or is this considered a no no?Andrew

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Guest Marc Harrington

Good question... we have a cargo flyer on our test team who would know. I would think that you can access it for various reasons, such as looking after live animals or doing your rounds for fire checks. I remember when Lufthansa still had real combi -400Ms, a flight attendant had to walk back through the cargo area every hour to make sure everything is alright. They've all been converted to all-PAX since then.Cheers!

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Guest D17S

On the -1/200 conversions, the ladder's down all the time. It's a real rickety thing and really very steep, but you get used to it. Going up is not so bad because it works like it regular ladder. You face it and clammer on up just like a normal ladder. Noobis are fine going up . . . But once they are done with their tour of the astounding technology of a 747 flight deck, it's fun to watch Noobis looking that ladder over for their first climb back down. Don't say anything. Just watch the wheels turning. From the top, the Noobi now becomes completely aware this is just a ladder leaned up against a whole in the floor. There's nothing really to hang on to let you get started down the ladder facing it like you came up. Unless you want to get down on your knees and crawl backwards over the edge to get started, you have to go down facing away from the ladder. Kids will inevitably just drop to their little knees, flip around backwards and crawl over the edge so they can go down facing the ladder. Heck, they're not interested in looking cool. Just getting down in one piece. But with mom and dad, you can see this whole calculation going on as they analyze the situation. The kids couldn't care less, but this is not a floor a grown-up wants to be crawling aroud on. Imagine going down a ladder facing away from the ladder. As they look it over, it becomes apparent that's going to be the drill. But you can just see them thinking "You gotta be kidding!" There are rails on the thing (if you want to call 'em that!) and the Noobi will eventually decide this is really the only way to go. They'll get a couple of steps down and finally the rails are in range and they'll grab on, only to perceive this whole aluminum "structure" give a very aluminum wobble. At that point, they will decide this is an exercise in balance and coordination. Once they get that, they're fine. The ladder is supposed to have floor detents with pins to keep it from sliding around, but normally it just sits there. There's a ceiling latch to stow it up out of the way in the main deck's ceiling, but that's only used to get the cans loaded into the forward positions. The ladder blocks access to these forward positions. If the cargo guys latch up the ladder and you're upstairs, you're trapped for a while. Fire up the APU, get the heater going, a little quiet ADF (a favorate AM radio station) going in the background and, well, time for a nap . . . or fire up the radar and get a real weather report. There's always plenty to stay entertained with in a 747 cockpit. The sims great, but somehow there's just nothing like the real deal. Even an old, gubby -100. Never gets old. There's also a smoke door that can flip down to "seal off" the ladder hole in the upper deck floor. In flight or other wise, I've never seen it closed. Looked good in the Op Spec anyway. These things get to be real freighters in a real hurry. As far as chapter 25 (interior and furnishing) they just don't get the TLC that a pax airplane would get. I saw the upper deck interior shots of the PMDG freighter. I've never seen a -400 freighter (soon though). But I had a question. Where's the whole in the floor for the ladder? I saw the door at the back of the UD. What's back there? Maybe the ladder hole? Or maybe they finally designed a real stair system for a real-built freighter - - - like a 727 airstair-lite? Other than that, looked about right . . . but the oven was too clean . . . ah, to be young forever.

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Guest

Very interesting read Sam. I assume you work for UPS judging by the soon comment? Thats coolAnyway, I vagely remember on a Polar or Atlas DVD from justplanes them going around the upper deck and there being a staircase going down

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Guest D17S

I'd be interested to see how that staircase worked. That ladder arrangement has been like that forever, but it really is a hazard. The noobi's reaction "You've gotta be kidding", is actually an exceptionally rational response to that goofy ladder. We got used to it and always just bang on down the thing in a kinda 'controlled fall'. Some kind of stair setup makes sense. But the main deck is totally utalized for can positions except for the ladder's spot and a little room by the IL door. There's just no place to put anything perminent coming down out of the ceiling. To get back from the IL door to open the main deck door from the inside, a big boy might need to turn sideways and 'scoot' down the sidewall between a solid wall of cans and the gill-lined sidewall. I always walk that 8 inch wide floor path with my shoulders cocked at 45 degrees so I don't bruise myself up. War wounds are fun at first, but that gets old. It's that tight. Now a retractable "airstair" setup would be the boss. But whatever it ends up being, it will have to get up out of the way to let (at least some) cans go by. That -400 upper deck extension would be the perfect place . . . and PMDG has that upper deck mystery door leading to a secret place. That'd be fun to be able to go downstairs and wander around. Really, there's virtually no systems difference between a freight and a pax airplane except chapter 25 and associated stuff. A little main deck smoke detection: a nose and a main deck door. What else is there to even do with this freighter release? So what's back there guys? How about this: If we can do a flight idle descent, from TOD to the outer marker and be hooked up, on speed, dots on and fully configured for landing . . . that door pops open. Now what did you say was going on back there?

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Guest teeloo

HiIn the 747-200F the ladder is going from front to rear at about the same place where the main (left front) door is of the main deck.It goes up with a sort of spring system, you have to do it manually and is collapses up the roof of the upperdeck.It has to be retracted when particular cargo loading is going on.Inflight it is up. But can be lowered from above.When you exit the cockpit you have the ladder opening just on the right. Mind you... every Freighter can be diferent. The whole is at the same spot though. China Airlines Freighters have their 200F without any cabin walls at all on the uper deck... So when you sit in the 16 (or so) chairs... you look right into the cockpit.747-400F has a different spot for the ladder... a bit more aft and it goes from up right to down left. So the ladders ends up on the upperdeck far left facing the left side fuselage. This one retracts too inflight and can be lowered.I think it is company SOP when and who is allowed below deck. Most of the time noone is. Except for some anymal trainers that may check their cargo.regardsTeeloo

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Guest cargo747

As for CLX stairs, they can be moved up and down as required - sort of folds up/down.The location is next to the L1 door and it goes straight up (e.g. 90degrees off-set to the direction of flight). These stairs are normally in the "down and locked position" regardless of being on the ground or in the air. Exception to this is during loading process, cause thats when the stairs are in the way of loading a high-cube pallet through the nose-door :-)As to access of the main-deck while in flight, there are certain exception as to when a so-called "Groom" (Animal Attendant) is allowed down-stairs (typically during take-off and landing, but alos some times while en-route) to look after the "Live Stock". This however can only be done by carrying an oxygen-bottle and with the permission of the flight commander.Hope that helps :-)Cheers,Norbert - CLX001CEO Virtual Cargoluxwww.virtualcargolux.orgCLX_banner_grey.jpg

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Guest AJ

>747-400F has a different spot for the ladder... a bit more aft>and it goes from up right to down left. So the ladders ends up>on the upperdeck far left facing the left side fuselage. This>one retracts too inflight and can be lowered.>So in respect to the upper deck, is the ladder actually out in the open,in the passenger compartment? Or is it behind the door marked "crew only" that we see in the PMDG screenshot?Andrew

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Guest teeloo

Hi Norbert!I was actually talking about CLX... that's where I have seen it ;-)Adrew:Actually behind the cockpit there is the small galley on the left side (right side is the toilet)Next after the galley is the door. The door is a regular cabin door type that is flush with the galley-wall combination. When you open the door you look down on the ladder and into the maindeck. So really just like a basement door (amercan house style... if you know what I mean ;-) )So really the upperdeck is a little bit narrower then the 200F (appart from the fact that the upperdeck is smaller of the 400F), because of that build-in door, instead of a hole in the floor like in the 200F.

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Guest teeloo

Sorry,Forgot my name...RegardsTeeloo

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