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93

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 utilisation is worse. This shifts the balance of cost such that fixed cost must be lower than what is possible with scheduled services. As a consequence, older aircraft ...


53

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 removed from an aircraft by removing the passenger-specific elements of design. That is done in freighter versions. Freighter models like the 747-8F already ...


52

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 can be pretty common. Both the high wing configuration and wing sweep contribute a negative sideslip-induced rolling moment, and anhedral is necessary to limit ...


46

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 example: Thousands of expatriate Brits live in the south of Spain. They want their morning London papers. We would depart Stansted (just north of London) as soon ...


45

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 at all possible, and as much as possible their bags go on the same plane that they do, and other cargo is a lower priority. There are exceptions; passengers ...


44

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 most prominent. Most were retired when the helicopter gradually took over rescue operations.


40

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 in pitch is pretty much achieved the same way as with a conventional tail, with a down force balancing out the center of gravity forward of the fulcrum of ...


36

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 mass well below the center of lift provides the same effect. Put a lot of weight down below the center of lift, and you'll get the roll-back effect again. While ...


36

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 aircraft and then the aircraft fly to the hub(s), where it's sorted and then put on the next mode of transport(truck or plane), to get to their final destination....


30

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).


29

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 develops a pure cargo aircraft from scratch. That does not mean that no one has tried. Especially for cargo, large flying wings have been proposed which store ...


29

It is quite common for float planes to carry canoes & kayaks, e.g.


27

Large enough helicopters do it. Above example is a Boeing CH-47 Chinook (businessinsider.com) But since you have tagged it seaplane, not to my knowledge. It's often the other way around, seaplane tenders tending to seaplanes (or used to). (I take it by boat you don't mean the inflatable and/or small type, as those are not hard to transport.) Catalina ...


26

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 well as landing and handling charges depending on time of day. That's also why many holiday charters fly at such ungodly hours, requiring the passengers to ...


26

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 no difference in the training and certification of pilots dependent on whether they fly passengers or cargo. Also, be aware that airlines you generally think of ...


26

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 older used aircraft a lot more attractive from a business case perspective. You have airlines that buy combination pax/freighter aircraft new, "combies" but ...


26

They have seats for couriers, same as factory freighters, but roomier. Note: From the -400BCF type certificate: There are no provisions for the carriage of passengers. A maximum of 19 couriers can occupy the aft cabin of the upper deck as defined in AFM. Source: airplane-pictures.net Above is the upper deck of a -400BCF (converted freighter). And ...


25

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 the pilot should never have lifted off in the first place. Then after you theoretically throw the stuff off board think about what happens after to the stuff. ...


23

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 on the field. (source) The aircraft will pull to the facility as they would a gate and be loaded there (source) In the case of just more generic cargo ...


23

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 freighters. https://www.aacargo.com https://www.alaskaair.com/content/cargo/general https://www.deltacargo.com https://www.hawaiianaircargo.com https://www.swacargo....


22

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 earliest. Reasons ranged from avoiding overweight and also the inability to reduce fuel being carried due to monsoons (implying more hover times) in Southern India. ...


22

I would like to suggest the "Landseaire" flying yacht which carried boats under the wings as per this question.


21

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 heavy and will bend down a very noticeable amount. The B-52 has a similar issue, to the point where it has outrigger wheels near the end of the wings to keep ...


21

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 single cargo item ever sent via air freight was loaded onto the Antonov 225. At 16.23 metres (53.2 ft) long and 4.27 metres (14.0 ft) wide, its consignment, a ...


21

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 interference to compasses: Getting stuck to things, such as other bags or the infrastructure itself, in the baggage system. Attract themselves to other packages ...


21

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 lifeboat, designed by yachtsman Uffa Fox, laden with supplies and powered by two 4 hp (3.0 kW) motors, was aimed with a bombsight near to ditched air crew and ...


20

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 in the plane-full-o-cargo market but for the airlines it actually helps to mitigate risk. If you carry both cargo and passengers you can be assured of a more ...


19

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 record, but I would expect that the world record will involve the Mil-26 somehow. Mil-26 lifting a Tu-134 carcass, seen from below (source)


19

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 are accurate, but some things are based on false assumptions. The question mentions full size airliners so I am focusing on that. I use FedEx as an example ...


19

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 use of an airplane part as a boat occurred when in 1932 the Junkers W-33 of Hans Bertram and Adolf Klausmann crashed in a remote part of Western Australia. They ...


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