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Old Feb 2, 07, 9:26 am   #1
 
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People movers at IAD

For the first time in 6 years of traveling, I got to use one of the people movers at IAD. I have to admit I like the set up and the roomyness of the main terminal. 1 question though. Can someone tell me what the big fin on the roof of the people mover is for? I watched them and couldn't figure it out for anything. Thanks
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Old Feb 2, 07, 9:58 am   #2
 
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The fins (usually called 'horns' if I remember correctly) are for the piston rods that push up or down the mobile lounge. If you look carefully, you'll notice that there are 2 varieties of mobile lounges, one with horns and one without horns. And if you look even more carefully, you'll see that the ones without horns can't move up or down. They're used only for shuttling between terminals. The ones with horns are used for shuttling to/from airplanes (i.e. International arrivals and some planes that park remotely) as well as shuttling between terminals (although not too often, I think).
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Old Feb 2, 07, 11:23 am   #3
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Old Feb 2, 07, 12:11 pm   #4
 
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Thanks that makes sense
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Old Feb 2, 07, 1:23 pm   #5
 
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I thought it was their attempt to make them try and blend in with the planes - and reduce the ugliness factor!

but then once they put on the horns the drivers started thinking they were actually planes - had more right of way - causing tons of close encounters
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Old Feb 2, 07, 4:38 pm   #6
 
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I think they enhance the ugliness, or at least the weirdness, factor.

Your description of the main terminal as "roomy" indicates that your weren't there at rush hour (early morning, mid-afternoon). A building that is roomy and (in my opinion) quite dramatic is quickly transformed into a complete zoo. Kind of a Jekyll and Hyde thing.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 11:48 pm   #7
 
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Mobile Lounge = Sci-Fi Weird

I just had my first flight into IAD a few weeks ago and I think the mobile lounges are kind of weird.

They first reminded me of the vehicle they used on some TV show that was a futuristic kid's program on Saturdays (can't remember the name...anybody recall?)

Once on board, it seemed like a subway car that had been suped up with a Monster Truck/Off Road Wheels thing going on.

What happens when one of those remote terminals needs to be evacuated...everybody runs out onto the tarmac?
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Old Feb 3, 07, 5:35 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh9168 View Post
For the first time in 6 years of traveling, I got to use one of the people movers at IAD. I have to admit I like the set up and the roomyness of the main terminal. 1 question though. Can someone tell me what the big fin on the roof of the people mover is for? I watched them and couldn't figure it out for anything. Thanks
I do not recall the fins on top of the PM's at CDG.

I think in early days, most flights were served by PM's with lift. the PM gate was the departure gate, and the flight time was when you got onto the PM. 747's loaded from at least 4 doors.

this system, and use of busses is common throughout europe. drive to plane in CDG, FRA, MUC can take almost as long as the flight. sort of funny to see people push and shove and cram to get into bus. end up in middle of bus, and be among the last on the plane.
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Old Feb 4, 07, 8:17 am   #9
 
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Slawecki wrote, "sort of funny to see people push and shove and cram to get into bus. end up in middle of bus, and be among the last on the plane."

Unless those clammering to get on to the bus stake out the seats nearest the doors or stand as close as possible to each door, and thereby make getting on the buses an ordeal from the get go.
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Old Jun 22, 07, 3:24 pm   #10
 
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I just watched the Space Shuttle landing here in California today via internet, and some of the after process. It was interesting to see that they use the People Movers (complete with 2 large pylons atop the roof) for (I presume) offloading of the crew. They called it the "crew transfer vehicle".

I still think these things just look weird, and I'm sure the one used for the Space Shuttle is much nicer than the IAD moon buggies.
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Old Jun 24, 07, 7:50 am   #11
 
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The original Mobile Lounges (see picture at http://www.metwashairports.com/dulle.../mobile_lounge) transferred passengers from the Main Terminal directly to the planes. There were no gates and jetways at Dulles when it opened. The right end of the picture shows a maneuverable/extendable ramp that extended to the door of the plane. Those ramps were cut off as the Mobile Lounges were converted to Terminal-to-Concourse transportation - and the newer Plane Mate (http://www.metwashairports.com/dulle...ery/plane_mate) was put into service.

The Mobile Lounge couldn't service the taller jumbo jets - the Plane Mate could service anything. They used Plane Mates to service the Airbus A380 when it visited Dulles a couple of months ago.
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Old Jun 28, 07, 9:57 pm   #12
 
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After the new underground terminal trains start running I'm planning on buying one of the people movers and converting it into a killer RV. It'll parallel park like nothing you've ever seen.
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