Design and Development of the 747 Cargo Handling System 680546
Although the 747 was originally planned as a large passenger transport, the steady growth of the air cargo market, as well as the future potential in this area, caused re-evaluation of the original concept and development of the freighter aircraft concept.
Designing a standardized cargo handling system was a basic requirement. The basic design developed for the 747 240 model consisted of a single-floor, circular cross-section type fuselage. This design fulfilled the objectives of simplicity, high reliability, and turn-around capability of 1 hr, as well as compatibility with diversified loads. Also considered as an integral part of the cargo handling system was the development of varying size containers that would be compatible with the 747 design configuration.
It appears that the 747 will contribute to the economy of the air/passenger/cargo industry. Through use of standardized as well as specialized containers, it is expected the 747 will have the same impact on world trade in the future that the railroads had on United States trade in the present era.