Date: 23 Apr 97 02:58:17 From: Robert Nielsen <email@example.com> Organization: AT&T WorldNet Services
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A major consideration in NOT extending the upper deck of the 747 for the full length of the fuselage is the very important matter of emergency evacuation. Existing escape slides for the 747-400 upper deck can accommodate two people side-by-side, and are nearly thirty feet long and ten feet wide. Storing, inflating, and deploying such a monster is no easy task, and keep in mind that the slides must be capable of deploying in wind, and must not interfere with any other slide. The wings of the airplane are a formidable obstacle to slide deployment, hence Boeing's reluctance to stretch the upper deck. Airbus has not yet fully grasped the magnitude of the task they may be taking on in designing and CERTIFYING escape systems for the double-deck A3XX. A rule of thumb: the larger the airplane, the more emergency evacuation considerations influence the final design configuration. There was a excellent talk given on this subject by Geroge Veryioglou of Boeing at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, March 1997.