Re: passenger stairs in aircraft tail

From: (Das Pork)
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Date:         27 Jun 95 01:43:18 
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Some DC-9/MD-80 aircraft not only had aft airstairs, but also incorporated
forward, electrically operated stairs that extended from just below the
forward, left-hand passenger entry door and unfolded. A built-in airstair
in addition to the rear ventral airstair. Most airlines that have them use
them at remote airports without much ground handling support. TWA has
taken the forward stairs out of their aircraft for weight and cost

The 737's also have an option for a forward stair similiar to the
DC-9/MD-80's. Most don't have them but some airlines ordered the option.
The 737 however, has no aft airstair.

The 727 also has a rear, ventral airstair. Unlike the Douglas aircraft,
the 727's airstair locks down and doubles as a tail support so the
aircraft doesn't drop on it's ass during certain unbalanced conditions on
the ground. It's a much heavier-built stair than the relatively flimsy
Douglas rear stair assembly.

Hope that helps.

Das Pork