Date: 02 Apr 98 01:23:59 From: email@example.com (C. Marin Faure) Organization: NorthWest Nexus Inc.
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I believe someone in this group asked how the 777 translating door could work since it is not a plug-type door which is held in place by the pressurization of the cabin. I was out on the 777 final assembly line today and I took the opportunity to make a quick examination of the forward passenger door of a new Air France 777. The door is not a plug, but is fitted with dozens of right-angle, round pads spaced around its circumference which face out. There are corresponding pads attached to the door frame which face in. When closed, the pads on the door press out against the pads on the door frame. This makes it impossible for the door to be forced open, and the greater the pressurization, the tighter the door is pressed closed. When the door is opened, a mechanism at the top of the door relaxes or moves to allow the entire door to move slightly upward. The upward movement is driven by a rotating cam device attached to the door handle. When the door moves up, the pads on the door no longer oppose the pads on the door frame but are positioned just above them, which allows the door to be pushed straight out from the fuselage and then swung to the side. This may not be the best explanation in the world, but that's how the door works. Believe it or not, the passenger doors on today's jetliners are one of the most complex mechanical devices on the entire plane, and there are probably more parts in one door than there are in an entire single-engine general aviation airplane like a Cessna 180. C. Marin Faure author, Flying A Floatplane