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94 votes
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Why do aircraft models end their life as freighters?

Passenger operations are overwhelmingly scheduled whereas cargo is on demand and thus less easy to plan. The upside: A cargo plane crew will fly quite diverse routes. The downside: Capacity ...
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53 votes
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Why does An-225 have anhedral wings though it is a cargo aircraft?

Anhedral wings will induce roll instability and improve roll maneuverability. In a large/heavy airplane with a high-wing configuration there is usually excess roll stability, so this type of wings ...
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53 votes
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Why do cargo airlines frequently choose passenger aircraft rather than aircraft designed specifically for cargo?

Price, commonality, and size choice. A very large proportion of an aircraft's cost is in design and certification. It's followed by the engines, the avionics, and the fuselage. Not much cost can be ...
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47 votes
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Why do some companies perform their freight flights only during the night?

As the previous answers have stated, their schedules are determined by what best suits their needs. However, those schedules can be complicated by contractual and curfew requirements. A contractual ...
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45 votes
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What if all passengers pay to check in extra baggage?

To answer the questions as asked, We won't depart over the maximum takeoff weight. We'll do something to bring the takeoff weight down to not exceed the limit. Generally, people fly as scheduled if ...
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45 votes
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Do any aircraft carry boats?

Yes. During and after WW2 several aircraft were converted to serve as "Dumbo" aircraft, dropping boats or rafts near people in distress. Other models were used as well, but the B-17 were among the ...
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40 votes
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Why are there no cargo aircraft with "flying wing" design?

Flying wings can be made to have acceptable flying qualities without any artificial assistance. Just look at the Jim Marske glider designs. The principal downfall of flying wings is that stability ...
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  • 107k
37 votes

Why does An-225 have anhedral wings though it is a cargo aircraft?

Yes, this is common in heavy cargo haulers. As you probably are aware, a dihedral wing configuration provides roll stability. Roll the plane, and it will naturally roll back to level. A center of ...
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  • 719
36 votes

Why do some companies perform their freight flights only during the night?

These cargo companies specialized in overnight delivery. Basically, they have their last pickups in cities in the afternoon/evening(depending on timezone/flight durations), and then load it onto the ...
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  • 6,259
30 votes

Why do aircraft models end their life as freighters?

Freight planes fly less. Since they're not in constant use like a passenger airliner, it makes more sense to pay less up front (fixed costs).
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29 votes

Why are there no cargo aircraft with "flying wing" design?

Cargo aircraft (outside the military) almost always started life as passenger aircraft. The ratio of active large cargo aircraft to passenger aircraft is in the single percentages. Therefore, nobody ...
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29 votes

Do any aircraft carry boats?

It is quite common for float planes to carry canoes & kayaks, e.g.
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  • 2,507
27 votes
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Is training and pay different for cargo and airline pilots?

Do cargo pilots receive different training than airline pilots? First, cargo carriers are airlines just as passenger carriers are airlines, and cargo pilots are airline pilots. In the U.S. there is ...
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  • 38.7k
26 votes

Why do some companies perform their freight flights only during the night?

Another thing to consider, besides the need to get cargo to its destination in the morning (which is often but not always the case), is cost. Many busy airports charge different fees for parking as ...
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  • 15k
26 votes

Why do cargo airlines frequently choose passenger aircraft rather than aircraft designed specifically for cargo?

Pure freight operations tend to fly significantly fewer cycles than passenger or combi aircraft. And you don't care too much how ratty looking it is as long as it's reasonably reliable. This makes ...
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  • 107k
25 votes
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Can commercial aircraft dump luggage or cargo mid-air?

No they can't. The cargo doors are secured and will not open mid-flight. Cargo holds are usually pressurized so opening the door anyway would cause depressurization. Also if the weight was too high ...
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23 votes
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How are large cargo aircraft loaded at airports?

They will be loaded/unloaded on the ramp somewhere, In the case of a facility like the one UPS owns in Louisville KY. they will have a large amount of ramp space in and around the facility which is ...
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  • 96.3k
23 votes
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Why don't American passenger airlines operate dedicated cargo flights any more?

Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines still have dedicated freighters. American, Delta, Southwest and United all have thriving cargo shipping operations, but as far as I can tell, no longer have ...
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  • 2,324
22 votes

What if all passengers pay to check in extra baggage?

The situation you described actually happened recently in flights to India from the Middle East. Many bags were simply left behind and carriers were making arrangements to transport them at the ...
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22 votes

Do any aircraft carry boats?

I would like to suggest the "Landseaire" flying yacht which carried boats under the wings as per this question.
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  • 2,263
21 votes

Why does An-225 have anhedral wings though it is a cargo aircraft?

The anhedral is rather exaggerated in the top photo. If you look for pictures of the Mriya in flight the wings are more-or-less level. On the ground, fully fueled, the wings with 3 engines each are ...
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  • 415
21 votes

Are there items bigger than an aircraft section transported by air today?

According to Wikipedia, the An-225 is the world's largest cargo aircraft and it's transported both the heaviest and longest items of cargo ever carried by air: On 11 August 2009, the heaviest ...
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  • 70.4k
21 votes
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Why are magnetized materials dangerous goods?

98% percent of magnets - the everyday ones - are completely harmless. I believe the concern is with super-strong rare-earth magnets, where they can be problematic. Aside from Simon's valid point on ...
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21 votes

Why do aircraft models end their life as freighters?

If just like to add to the answers here and address a few inaccuracies made about air cargo. What you ask is true, some of the oldest aircraft out there are flying cargo, and most of the answers here ...
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  • 27.7k
21 votes

Do any aircraft carry boats?

It was one of the main roles for the Vickers Warwick in WWII. From Wikipedia: From 1943, Warwicks were loaded with the 1,700 lb (770 kg) Mk IA airborne lifeboat and used for air-sea rescue. The ...
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  • 1,328
20 votes
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Are there items bigger than an aircraft section transported by air today?

When you are not restricted by the size of a cargo hold, your cargo can become much bigger. See below how a Mil-26 lifts the fuselage and wing root of a Tu-134. I have not checked whether this is a ...
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20 votes

Why don't American passenger airlines operate dedicated cargo flights any more?

A lot of airlines (USA flagged or not) still ship cargo in the hold along with passengers baggage, for some airlines its a high dollar business. Carriers like UPS, FedEx, etc, have surely put a dent ...
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  • 96.3k
20 votes

Why was the C-5 considered the largest plane possible?

The largest airplane possible is a function of time. At any point in time, the then current technology will have a practical maximum size due to square-cube effects mentioned in this answer: However, ...
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