Re: Does a 747 actually have a drop ceiling?

From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
Date:         11 Apr 96 09:58:36 
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In article <airliners.1996.500@ohare.Chicago.COM>, ztomcich@mason2.gmu.edu
(ZACHARY R. TOMCICH) wrote:

> I was unfortunate enough to see the movie 'executive decision' last week
> with a friend.  It was a movie worthy of a mystery science theatre
> review.  But it brings up a few questions:
>
> Does a 747 really have a drop ceiling above the passenger cabin?  Is this
> mostly open space like the movie suggests?  I personally don't belive it
> is, but wanted to ask someone who might actually know this.  I appriciate
> your help.

Virtually all commercial jetliners have what you call a "drop ceiling."
The space between the cabin ceiling panels and the actual fuselage panels
is quite crowded, having air ducts, air filters, fans and motors, water
pipes, electrical harnesses, in some cases control cable and hydraulic
lines, plus all the structural components to support all this stuff.
There IS a lot of empty space up there, but it's not in large, continuous
sections.

I haven't seen the movie you're talking about, but having done some
filming in the overhead of a 777 recently, I can tell you there's not much
room to crawl around.  You can remove overhead panels and stow bins and
get up into the overhead on a ladder to get at something like a fan motor
to change it, but crawling lengthwise through the plane in the overhead
would be just about impossible.  In addition, the ceiling panels and
structural components are very lightweight, and are not designed to
support the full weight of an average man or woman.

C. Marin Faure
author, Flying A Floatplane