Feats of engineering

02Apr03

I was just watching the airport crew load our 777 bound for paris. All the checked luggage is loaded into these containers designed to fit in the plane’s cargo hold. The containers are put on these single container platforms and linked all train like to a little truck. The truck pulls a platform up alongside the loading macine which consists of an intricate belt drive mechanism and 2 hydraulic lifts. A ground worker pushes, with very little effort, the cargo crate from the platform onto the loading mechanism from the side. Then the belts drive the container forward, and can even turn it around 180 degrees if need be while a lift brings it up to the second platform. Once up, the container is driven further forward by the belts until it’s inside the cargo hold. I have to assume the same system or at least a slightly simpler one is in place inside the plane’s belly to move the containers once they’re on board. It’s pretty damn cool.

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