Re: A320, MD-80, 727

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Date:         28 Nov 93 16:39:06 PST
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> I have 2 completely unrelated questions that I've always been
> curious about.  Perhaps someone here knows the answers...
> 1)  Why do 727s and MD-80s always have their ventral stairs down
> when parked at the gate.  

MD-80s have stairs?

>I never see any service or maintinence people
> using them.  Is it for faster emergency egress in case of a refuelling
> accident?  Does it somehow hold the tail up when there's nobody in the front
> of the plane (ala DC8 and IL-62)?  It seems like a lot of wear on
> the hydraullics and mechanical systems, so there must be a good reason...

In certain fuel and loading configurations (empty), the 727 can rock
back a couple of feet.  The stairs are used to support it.  You'll also see
a jack attached to a hard-point on -200's at least; dunno about the -100.

A number of maintenance items (hydraulic and fuel pumps, pneumatics valves,
etc) are also located in the tail area, and are only accessible with it down.

Robert Dorsett!!rdd