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13

It's due to the overnight parcel distribution model which limits the available operating time. A parcel picked up by 5pm needs time to get a terminal, and then has to get to the destination distribution terminal in time to be distributed and dropped off by mid afternoon the next day. This means the heavies in the freight business do their flying overnight ...


3

Another factor is that airplanes (like almost anything else) become cheaper when you buy them in bulk. That means a massive capital investment up front. FedEx, for instance, was ready to buy 10 A380s at one point, but backed out due to production delays FedEx Express, the express package delivery unit of U.S. shipping company FedEx, became the first ...


17

There is no such thing as aircraft designed specifically for cargo. The types like C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster, An-124 Ruslan, C-130 Hercules or A400M Atlas are not designed for just any cargo, but for carrying cargo to the front line in a war, with ability to land on a strip prepared in a day by a small team of battle engineers and option to para-drop ...


25

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 ...


2

These days airlines often transport passengers by day and cargo by night. Seats are mounted on pallets, they can all be removed in about half an hour. Then the cargo goes in. The margins for passengers are shrinking but those for packages go up. The Type of aircraft is called combi, one Example would be Boeing 747-400M, there are more current types.


52

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 ...


2

The first certified stable aeroplane flew in 1910 at (and without) the hands of J W Dunne. It was also the first tailless swept plane to fly, sort of a biplane flying wing except that everything was piled in between the wings so not a true flying wing. Contemporaries Handley Page and Igo Etrich were obliged to add tails to their more bird-like attempts. ...


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