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96 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 ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
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 ...
Therac's user avatar
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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 ...
Terry's user avatar
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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 ...
Ralph J's user avatar
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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 ...
bjelleklang's user avatar
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42 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 ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
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 ...
slookabill's user avatar
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31 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).
Will In The World's user avatar
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 ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
29 votes

Do any aircraft carry boats?

It is quite common for float planes to carry canoes & kayaks, e.g.
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 2,577
28 votes

Why does the USAF still use the C-17 Globemaster III?

The C-17 is made by a US company, Boeing. The A-400 is not. KC-10 is long out of production. Every aircraft in the history of ever had growing pains. If we bailed at the first "problem", ...
WPNSGuy's user avatar
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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 ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
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 ...
jwenting's user avatar
  • 16.1k
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 ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
26 votes

How practical is mid-air cargo transfer?

It's technically feasible to do this, there are mid-air capture systems already, developed to snag payloads returning from space (film, samples, etc) which are descending by parachute. There are fixed ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
24 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 ...
TomMcW's user avatar
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23 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 ...
Chethan S.'s user avatar
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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
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 ...
gwally's user avatar
  • 2,394
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.
dalearn's user avatar
  • 2,263
22 votes
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Why do windowless cargo Metroliners still have overwing-exit hatches?

The window openings are still there, they are just filled with aluminum panels replacing the acrylic ones, and the joints are fine enough they don't show up in pictures unless the light is coming at ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
22 votes

Why does the USAF still use the C-17 Globemaster III?

This answer covers some significant differences in the aircraft. The key difference there is maximum cargo weight. The A-400M has a maximum cargo of 81,600 lb. The C-17 has a maximum cargo of 175,000 ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 6,213
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 ...
user_1818839's user avatar
  • 1,378
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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
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, ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
19 votes

Do any aircraft carry boats?

The Fernic T-9 of 1929 was prepared for an Atlantic crossing and as a precaution had removable upper engine nacelles which could double as a life raft, including an outboard engine. A less planned ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
18 votes

Why do windowless cargo Metroliners still have overwing-exit hatches?

Adapting an airframe for a new mission requires a series of cost-benefit decisions. Removing the exits from the fuselage would require a complete set of structural testing to gain certification, which ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
17 votes

Why do cargo aircraft still have floors?

Because the overwhelming amount of cargo is fairly small and floors allow easy loading of both decks at the same time which is more important than the ability to load big cargo on occasion. By having ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k

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