Re: MD-17 vs. MD-11F/DC-10F

Date:         27 Dec 96 13:32:17 
From: (John Clear)
Organization: Panix
References:   1 2 3 4
Followups:    1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <airliners.1996.2990@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
matt weber <> wrote:
>>  I've heard the factor of an almost total lack of scissor lifts, etc as
>>being a major point in favor of a FedEx and/or UPS MD-17 purchase.  That
>>would allow them to cut *way* down on some fairly expensive ground
>>support equipment if they could simply roll cargo in and out of the rear
>>ramp.  It would also save time and manhours in handling cargo, and with
>>FedEx especially, every saved second counts bigtime...
>Perhaps, but that cargo ramp costs weight, and complexity. While the ground
>equipment bay be expensive, it is nothing compared to what it costs in an
>aircraft, or the cost of flying it a few million miles a year.(not to
>mention that a mechanical problem with renders an aircraft that costs 100
>million dollars or so useless until it is fixed!

I dont see a cargo ramp as being much more complex then a standard
cargo door.  Bigger hinges/etc, but not that much more complex.
And while there is some wieght penalty, the cargo door is shoved
up under the tail, which is usually just 'wasted' space anyway.
Being able to just slide the pallets right out the back and onto
a truck is much more efficient then slide one out, scissor lift it
and then slide it onto a truck.

As for the 'if it breaks, the plane is useless until fixed' arguement,
there are alot of parts on any plane in that category.  If anything
the cargo door will probably break less often then on the military
version since a pallet of overnight mail is just a bit lighter then
a tank or other typical military cargo.

Will FedEx/UPS find the MD-17 attractive?  Possibly, but it looks like
the bean counters are going to have to call this one.  it is four
engined, which means more maintence, but the cargo operators fly alot
of older planes.  I dont know if UPS/FedEx fly B707 or DC-8s any more,
but DHL/etc do, and FedEx is buying old B727s, so amounts of maintence
a plane requires is given much different consideration then the passenger

A purple MD-17 would look rather silly next to a green one though...

John Clear -  PP-ASEL  1Lt, CAP-CAWG
"They're all lawyers, and think that the laws of physics can be amended with
a voice vote." -- Mary Shafer ( on Politicians