Re: DC 10-ski topples on to its rear when unloaded!

From: (Ed Hahn)
Organization: The MITRE Corporation, McLean, Va.
Date:         23 Feb 94 12:05:49 PST
References:   1 2 3 4
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   I remember hearing about the need for ballast in the nose on some British
   air-craft due to union out-cries when the planes were outfitted with 
   mechanical stairs in the front.  After trying to simply remove this option
   it was found that due to ensuing balance problems they had to put concrete
   in the nose to solve the problem.  Could this be related to this discussion?

   Christopher Hutton
I don't know about the VC-10 or the Il-62, but on the DC9-1X series,
you can't remove the forward airstairs without carrying the same
weight in ballast.  I understand that TWA, for example, is currently
removing the airstairs from all of its DC9s EXCEPT for the DC9-15s it
operates to free up some weight.

I also seem to recall that the MD80 requires ballast in the forward
cargo compartment when being towed around empty to prevent inadvertent
wheelies on the taxiway.  These were on aircraft without the airstairs
installed.  I think that the ballast only had to be added when there
was less than a specified amount of fuel in the center tank...

BTW, there is a tail skid on the B727, but I think it is only there to
help if there is over rotation on takeoff.  Also, the aft airstairs
now have an airspeed switch that prevents the aft airstairs from being
lowered in flight.  Maintenance crews occassionally call this the "DB Cooper"

////////   Ed Hahn | | (703) 883-5988   \\\\\\\\
The above comment reflects the opinions of the author, and does not
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Really, I wouldn't kid you about a thing like this.