Human use of belly

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14 years 3 months

Posts: 1,101

What is the practice about humans in the belly of airliners? The narrowbody and regional jets are of course too low. Boeing 377 used to have a lower-deck lounge with up to 14 seats - with windows just behind the wing. Shorts S-25 seaplane is a full two-decker - see lower deck: http://www.airliners.net/open.file/775831/M/ Note the outward curving sidewall with down-looking windows - great for views and great for headroom! As for widebody jets... Lockheed Tristars often have lower deck galleys, with elevators et cetera. I have heard that DC-10-s also may have lower deck galleys. Some Lockheed Tristars also have a door with airstairs on the lower deck. Seems logical - it would be easier to carry airstairs tall enough to connect lower deck with ground than for reaching the ground from main deck! It was just ahead of the wing, I think. Also Tristars, I think the PSA ones, had a lower deck lounge - with up to 16 seats for sale. In the forward belly, between wing and the nosewheel. But it was said to require special strengthening of fuselage in case it crashed. Is it the general rule for landplanes that the belly is the crumple zone in case of crash and can only hold expendable baggage? Do any Boeing 747-s have any human-usable spaces in the belly? Il-86 and -96 routinely have integral airstairs from the belly - as well as a wardrobe. The stairs to main deck are blocked in flight. The Airbus 300/310/330/340 series commonly have crew rests in the belly. This is also the option for many B777-s. And I have heard that Airbus 340-600s may have toilets in the belly. So, what are the belly uses being exploited and which are being considered as options? Has any liner manufacturer considered bringing back lower deck windows?
Original post
Profile picture for user frankvw

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 4,445

The MD-11 had such an option, IIRC.
Profile picture for user rdc1000

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 1,342

The role and value of cargo is too important to most airlines to waste too much space for humans below the maind deck! The space if often impractical and can be better filled with cargo. The Lufthansa A340-600s have lower deck toilets.

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16 years 7 months

Posts: 1,029

MYT A330's have the passenger toilets on the lower deck. DC10's could have a galley on the lower deck with a tiny lift to go between levels.
Profile picture for user cloud_9

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14 years

Posts: 2,343

The role and value of cargo is too important to most airlines to waste too much space for humans below the maind deck! The space if often impractical and can be better filled with cargo.
Q. Do all airlines carry cargo (i.e charter/low-cost)? If not, is there potential for more seats on the lower deck?
Profile picture for user philgatwick05

Member for

14 years 4 months

Posts: 1,614

Many charter airlines sell cargo space via a third party - e.g. Viking Aviation for FCA, and they only sell 'belly freight' if space is available - but they do take freight e.g. to canary islands for example