Re: Does a 747 actually have a drop ceiling?

From:         74137.1301@compuserve.com
Organization: CompuServe Incorporated
Date:         01 May 96 11:19:56 
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>I was travelling with a college orchestra in 1984 on a tour to Europe,
>and we flew Virgin Atlantic.  (It was just a couple of days after they
>started up, actually.)  Naturally, no one in the orchestra wanted to
>check their musical instruments (the bulky ones like harps were
>specially cargoed), so there was a dearth of storage space in the
>overhead bins, etc.
>
>A flight attendant opened a door which swung down out of the ceiling
>in the aisle, and put some cellos or some such overhead - it was
>fairly sizable.  The bin swung down like an attic ladder.

As a mechanic on 747 fleet I believe I can speak difinitively on this.
There is tons of room above the ceiling.  None of it would be usable for
storage without major structural modifications.  Even then the gross weight
of the aircraft would be the limiting factor, right?

The space that the musical instruments were put in was probably the old
over- head storage area for the life rafts.  They are now door mounted
and incorporat- ed in the escape slides.  We sometimes use these for extra
pillow and blanket stowage, however the lfe rafts would have been quite
heavy, probably around 100  lbs.  That's about the only easily accessible
overhead stowage area on a 747

Jim