Re: 747 question

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         22 Mar 95 02:34:23 
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1995.272@ohare.Chicago.COM> (ZACHARY R. TOMCICH) writes:
>I'm a writer and I have some basic questions about a 747, or any wide 
>body aircraft for that matter, for a story I'm writing.  
>When an aircraft is parked and totally abondoned how does one get in and
>out?  Is there a nose gear hatchet or must they use a stair truck to board
>and disembark? 

There is an avionics compartment underneath the first class section.  
It leads to a hatch which is located near the left second-row seat forward
of door L-1, underneath the rug.  Entry can be attempted that way.  Otherwise,
airstairs are preferable.  

>Secondly are the emergancy slides a reflex system that will operate 
>whenever a door is opened or does it have a arming switch?

The doors have an arming lever with two settings: "Auto" and "Manual."
That's what the "Doors to auto" PA announcement to the flight attendants is
about.  If you open a door in auto, the slides will deploy.

Older aircraft (non-747) have tug-bars which have to be put into place.  Much
more primitive, when the doors are opened, the slide deploys; the bars anchor
the slide.  I saw one of these go off in an airplane once (707 in Paris).

>And finally when these aircraft are in drydock- presumablly for good- 
>what sort of security is around them?  

Security?  Ask the kids who broke Heathrow security right after Lockerbie,
and partied on 747s just coming out of maintenance. :-)

>If anyone has 
>any technical data on the systems on board an aircraft- 

There are some children's books which are pretty good, lots of color pictures.
The Time-Life series edition on flight has an easy-to-read overview on 
systems and theory.  And Stewart Davis' _Fly the Big Jets_ is oriented toward

Most books emphasize the 747; it seems to have some special appeal with

Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation