Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Wouldn't aircraft balance be improved if First Class were in the back?

Wouldn't aircraft balance be improved if First Class were in the back?

Old Oct 12, 16, 1:40 pm
  #1  
nsx
Moderator: Southwest Airlines
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: California
Programs: WN Companion Pass, A-list preferred, United Club ex-Lifetime Member
Posts: 19,624
Wouldn't aircraft balance be improved if First Class were in the back?

Airplanes can become unstable with too much weight in the rear and not enough in the front. First class sections carry less passenger weight per linear foot than coach sections.

Wouldn't airplanes be safer if airlines located business and first classes at the rear of the aircraft rather than at the front? To preserve boarding and exit convenience for premium passengers, the aircraft could be boarded from the rear door rather than the front.
nsx is offline  
Old Oct 12, 16, 2:32 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 16,159
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Airplanes can become unstable with too much weight in the rear and not enough in the front. First class sections carry less passenger weight per linear foot than coach sections.

Wouldn't airplanes be safer if airlines located business and first classes at the rear of the aircraft rather than at the front? To preserve boarding and exit convenience for premium passengers, the aircraft could be boarded from the rear door rather than the front.
How are you proposing to board an aircraft from the rear door when at a gate? This only works when at a remote stand. The impracticality of pulling a plane up to the gate butt first was just discussed on another thread.
milepig is online now  
Old Oct 12, 16, 2:34 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 23
I haven't seen any airport terminal air bridges connecting to the aft aircraft entry doors.
You would have the FC/BC passengers walk down from the air bridge, then on to the ramp, then up the portable stairs to the aft entry door?
FC and BC passengers would be safer seating in the back if there was a accident tho.
FC train passengers in India are seated in the last section of the train which makes then safer.

Last edited by Galileo787; Oct 12, 16 at 2:41 pm
Galileo787 is offline  
Old Oct 12, 16, 2:54 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New England
Programs: AA
Posts: 4,300
Actually this is a know issue. But not the way you think. With the development of fancier first class and business class seating, some older aircraft are being pushed beyond their weight limits and thus are not able to fly with full loads, likewise the weight and balance issue is distorted, meaning airlines need to readjust cargo and baggage. Fortunately this is being thought about in the designs for newer aircraft.

The rear of the aircraft is both noisier and subject to more movement during turbulence as well. In the old days of turboprops, first was often located in the back, as that was a quieter section.
Cloudship is offline  
Old Oct 12, 16, 3:50 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
Posts: 8,338
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Wouldn't airplanes be safer if airlines located business and first classes at the rear of the aircraft rather than at the front?
I'm pretty sure, that Boeing and Airbus take into account on how the aircraft is going to be configured. Beoing/Airbus will take the usual cabin configuration into account when developping the aircraft and depending on that move the wings, wingbox and main gear either more to the front or the back. Moreover, they can move heavy equipment (e.g. air conditioning, avionics bay, Toilet tank system, etc...) to the front to balance the plane.

Originally Posted by nsx View Post
To preserve boarding and exit convenience for premium passengers, the aircraft could be boarded from the rear door rather than the front.
Over-wing jet bridges have been in use at some airports, but are generally dismissed as being to expensive and risky to operate. KL sometimes use them in AMS.

Backing in a 80x80 widebody is pretty much a no-go. It would be like parking a car while blindfolded and without assistance of anybody.

Originally Posted by Galileo787 View Post
I haven't seen any airport terminal air bridges connecting to the aft aircraft entry doors.
Amsterdam has over the wing jet bridges, but I haven't seen them in action that often. Furthermore they don't seem to work with every aircraft type.
WorldLux is offline  
Old Oct 12, 16, 4:10 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Programs: MR/SPG LT Titanium, AA LT PLT, UA SLV, Avis PreferredPlus
Posts: 25,701
When I've had to move due to W&B issues, it's always been towards the back. So the premise that planes are tail heavy isn't true, IME.
CPRich is offline  
Old Oct 12, 16, 4:13 pm
  #7  
:D!
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Aberdeen, Bella Vista and Croydon
Programs: BA Spire, Hilton *G, A3 Diamond, IHG Silver
Posts: 4,656
Originally Posted by Galileo787 View Post
FC train passengers in India are seated in the last section of the train which makes then safer.
How does this work? Do Indian trains always travel in the same direction and turn around via loops or turntables or do they swap round the carriages whenever a train needs to reverse etc?

For Virgin trains in the UK, first class is usually seated towards London.
:D! is offline  
Old Oct 12, 16, 4:14 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
Posts: 8,338
Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
When I've had to move due to W&B issues, it's always been towards the back.
Just out of curiosity: What airplane was it?

I've been moved due to W&B issues as well, but those situation occurred in my case on turboprops, that did not carry specific First/business class seats.
WorldLux is offline  
Old Oct 13, 16, 3:12 am
  #9  
nux
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: BA Gold, QF WP
Posts: 12,551
Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
Just out of curiosity: What airplane was it?

I've been moved due to W&B issues as well, but those situation occurred in my case on turboprops, that did not carry specific First/business class seats.
Blocking forward rows of seats on ERJ-170, ERJ-190 and sometimes A319/A320 aircraft with low expected loads for W&B is quite common on BA for example.
nux is offline  
Old Oct 13, 16, 4:00 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Programs: NZ *G
Posts: 5,914
Given the cargo carried Id suggest the LEAST critical factor for W&B is people and seats...
trooper is offline  
Old Oct 13, 16, 4:52 am
  #11  
Moderator: UK and Ireland & Europe, and Carbon Conscious Travel
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Biggleswade
Programs: SK*G, Lots of Blue Elsewhere
Posts: 13,448
Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
In the old days of turboprops, first was often located in the back, as that was a quieter section.
Still is, on ATRs - you board from the back on those.
stut is online now  
Old Oct 13, 16, 6:42 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K(until 2021), MM *G for life, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 8,335
But surely the sort of people who travel business or First want to be in front of other people. That's what status is all about.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Oct 13, 16, 6:54 am
  #13  
Moderator: UK and Ireland & Europe, and Carbon Conscious Travel
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Biggleswade
Programs: SK*G, Lots of Blue Elsewhere
Posts: 13,448
Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
But surely the sort of people who travel business or First want to be in front of other people. That's what status is all about.
Some do, some don't. Perhaps that's why BA's herringbone layout is so popular?
stut is online now  
Old Oct 13, 16, 6:59 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,540
Originally Posted by nux View Post
Blocking forward rows of seats on ERJ-170, ERJ-190 and sometimes A319/A320 aircraft with low expected loads for W&B is quite common on BA for example.
Easyjet too, but they block seats towards the front so they can use only the front baggage hold for quicker loading/unloading
ft101 is offline  
Old Oct 13, 16, 8:17 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Programs: MR/SPG LT Titanium, AA LT PLT, UA SLV, Avis PreferredPlus
Posts: 25,701
Originally Posted by nux View Post
Blocking forward rows of seats on ERJ-170, ERJ-190 and sometimes A319/A320 aircraft with low expected loads for W&B is quite common on BA for example.
Many small planes, but also those listed plus many instances of lightly-loaded AA Mad Dogs. E70/90/MD all had F cabins.

I don't think I've even seen W&B issues on widebodies, so no idea which direction they move people.
CPRich is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: