Interoperability of Military and Civil Air-Cargo Systems 821555
This paper compares military/civil air-cargo systems in terms of: (i) in-plane hardware; (ii) materials-handling equipment (MHE); and (iii) unit load devices (ULDs). A need exists to have available, on short notice, a US airlift system for deployment of cargo/troops to remote points of operation. The Department of Defense (DOD) recently expressed a requirement for increased interoperability between military and civil air cargo systems. Interest in interoperability is also indicated by the Advanced Civil/Military Aircraft (ACMA) concept. The ACMA may be described as an aircraft for fulfilling both US needs for strategic airlift and world-wide needs for civil air freight in the mid-1990s and beyond. The advances and development of cargo-capable aircraft and their in-plane cargo-handdling systems have historically paced development of complementary ground systems (1)*. The military system relies heavily on and revolves around the 88˝ × 108˝ pallet. The civil system relies to a greater extent on intermodal containers and the 88˝ or 96˝ × 125˝ civil pallets.