747 Freighter

747 Main Deck Pallet Locations

The 747
The 747 is the only commercial wide-body transport with three levels; an upper flight deck, main deck, and belly compartments. This unique configuration presents several advantages as a freighter aircraft.

Originally nicknamed the "Jumbo Jet" the large main deck of the aircraft can be configured in various pallet layouts on the main deck, and several different container and bulk configurations in the belly.

The availability of a main deck, unobstructed by a crew cabin or barrier net allows installation of an oversize nose loading door. The addition of the nose door allows the aircraft to be loaded simultaneously from both the front and side. In addition to quick turn-around, these features make the 747 Freighter aircraft well suited for the carriage of oversize loads.

Main Deck Pallet Positions
The main deck can be configured in several different pallet layouts utilizing different pallet sizes. The most common pallet layout is shown here. The main deck can accommodate twenty-nine 125" x 96" pallets arranged in two rows of 13 with the 125" dimension running fore-aft, with two additional pallets in the nose, and the last in the tail. This arrangement is depicted in the graphic above.

Main Deck Pallet Loading

747 Pallet Loading

The maximum allowable load for any single pallet is 14,690 lbs. (6,800 kg). However there is an additional load requirement that stipulates the maximum allowable weight of a pallet pair, or "compartment". These compartmentalized requirements differ by position in the aircraft. The max allowable compartment load is 30,184 lbs. (13,720 kg) for the three positions over the wing (shown above in red). The positions in the nose of the aircraft have lower allowable loads of 9,988 lbs. (4,540 kg), (shown in blue). while the last tail compartment is rated lowest at 4,488 lbs. (2,040 kg) (shown in yellow). All the remaining compartments are rated the same, with allowable loads of 21,384 lbs. (9,720 kg) (shown in green)

Pallet Profiles

747 Pallet Profiles

Pallet profiles also differ by position in the aircraft. In general, the tallest loads can be accommodated toward the back, and must be loaded through the side cargo door. This is a unique characteristic of the 747F and is attributable to the location of the flight deck. Allowable dimensions are shown below. Dimensions include the height of the pallet. The color-coded contours shown correspond to their placement in the graphic above.

Positions AR-MR,CL-ML

Positions NR-OR,NL-OL

Position PR

Belly Positions

Lower Deck Pallet Positions
The lower belly deck of the 747 F can be can be configured with either 125' x 88" or 125' x 96" pallets in both the fore and aft compartments. The forward compartment holds 5 of either pallet, while the aft accommodates 4. Both compartments have a maximum load per pallet of 11,088 lbs. (5,040 kg) and similar profiles (shown above in green).

Cargo Compartments

747 Cargo Compartments

Aside from the main deck, the 747 Freighter has an upper flight deck, and three separate lower, or belly compartments. The flight deck is not suitable for the carriage of any beyond carry-on, but is ideal for the carriage of supernumeraries.

The belly compartments are pressurized and temperature controlled. All are capable of carrying live animals, however there is no access to these compartments in flight. The aft bulk compartment holds un-palletized cargo only, and is where domestic animals are stowed on passenger flights. Due to the small size of its door, not much of the equipment supplied here is able to utilize this volume, whether assembled or collapsed.

The large door sizes of the two lower fore and aft compartments permit carriage of much of the equipment shown on this site when collapsed and stacked. Due to its large door and height, the forward compartment can accommodate occupied Livestock Pens when loaded with animals not requiring in-flight attention.

Cargo Doors

747 Cargo Doors

The 747-200F has a nose cargo door as standard equipment. The nose hinges just above the flight deck, swinging forward and upward to provide clear access to the main cargo compartment.

A large side cargo door is also provided to allow simultaneous loading of the main deck through the nose and side. Tall loads up to 123" can be accommodated through the side door, as the ceiling profile of the main cabin is higher in the back.

Two large cargo doors provide excellent access to both the fore and aft belly compartments, allowing palletized loads up to a height of 64".

747 Nose Door

The 747 was conceived in 1965, and flew for the first time on February 9th, 1969. Its inaugural passenger flight was Pan Am's New York - London route, in January of 1970.

By all standards, the 747-100 aircraft was large for its time. Its 200 ft wingspan, 230 ft length, and 300 ton take-off weight dwarfed all other aircraft on the tarmac.

The -100 was quickly superceded by the 747-200 with a new wing, giving it far greater range, increased capacity, and an elongated ten-window upper-deck rather than just the three windows possessed by its predecessor. The huge 747-200 Freighter can deliver 200,000 lbs. of cargo over a range of 4,490 miles, and a great many of these aircraft are in service today.

The series 300 is the same basic airframe as the -200 except for the extended upper deck, which trades range for additional load and passenger carrying capability.

The 747-400 is basically the original series 300 aircraft with an additionally extended flight deck. It also features a new cockpit, and enhanced wing features such as blended winglets to give it much greater lift range and efficiency, with the same power.

Several versions of each series were produced including the "F" designated freighter, or all-cargo version, the "C" designated convertible cargo-passenger version and the "CF" designated cargo-passenger "Combi" version. No designation letter is used for the standard passenger configuration, except to two variants of the passenger aircraft; the shortened long range "SP" or special performance version, and the "SR" short range version.

As of November 19, 1999, a total of 1,236 of all types of this aircraft had been manufactured, with that number growing at a rate of 3 per month.

The specifications and graphics provided apply specifically to the B747-200F aircraft. Due to its nose door, it is one of the most popular of this type for cargo operations. While this information is intended to serve as a general guideline of aircraft capabilities, always check with the aircraft operator for exact dimensions and loading requirements. Exact configurations can vary considerably from aircraft to aircraft.

Maximum gross payload 222,620 lbs. (100,980 kg)
Main deck container capacity 29 positions
Maximum payload range 3,480 nautical miles (6,450 km)
Side cargo door dimensions 123.0" high x 134.0" wide
(312 x 340 cm)
Nose door dimensions 98.0" high x 104.0" wide
(249 x 264 cm)
Forward belly cargo door dimensions 66.0" high x 104.0" wide
(168 x 264 cm)
Aft belly cargo door dimensions 66.0" high x 104.0" wide
(168 x 264 cm)
Aft bulk cargo door dimensions 44.0" high x 47.0" wide
(111 x 119 cm)

If you would like information on aircraft not listed, or would like to have aircraft added to this site contact, Aerofex Corp. at

[Home]  [Containers] [Aircraft] 

Flying Corral is a division of Aerofex Corporation. Box 638, Manhattan Beach, CA 90267. Copyright © 2004,, all rights reserved.