MD-11 Main Deck Pallet Locations

The MD-11 F
The successor aircraft to the DC-10, the MD-11 Freighter is a wide-bodied transport optimized for air-cargo duty.

The MD-11 shares a similar cross-section, nose cone, tail cone, and compartment configuration with the DC-10. However, several important changes were made to increase the utility of the aircraft as a freighter. These changes include a fuselage extension, and the addition of a full size cargo door to the forward belly compartment.

The MD-11 Freighter aircraft is extremely well suited to the carriage of horses, livestock, and other live animals. All of these aircraft have main cabins with exceptional temperature control and a high throughput of fresh air. Some are also fitted with additional air-conditioning packs in the nose, for main cabin cooling.

Pallet Positions
The main deck of the MD-11 holds twenty-six pallets. Unlike the DC-10, the MD-11 was designed to accommodate full-size 96" x 125" Size M, Class 2 pallets, in a parallel arrangement.

MD-11 Belly Pallet Locations

Pallet Profiles
Pallet profiles differ by position in the aircraft. As a rule of thumb, the maximum main cabin stack height is 97.5 inches. The MD-11 shares the same fuselage cross-section as the DC-10, consequently, the profiles are similar by position. Reference the DC-10 page for greater definition of allowable profiles. In general, the largest volumes are found between pallet positions 2 and 13, as the first and last positions are pinched by the curvature of the fuselage.

Pallet loading differs by position in the aircraft. Each of the pallet positions accommodates different weights, depending on the series and modification of the aircraft. Generally, those positions directly over the wing spar have the greatest load carrying capability, and those closest to the tail, the least.

In most cases, the weight limitations of the MD-11 closely mirror those of the DC-10, allowing for the fact that the ncreased payload capability of the MD-11 stems from the greater number of pallet positions.

Cargo Compartments

MD-11 Cargo Compartments

Aside from the main deck, the MD-11 Freighter has three separate lower, or belly compartments. All are pressurized, and the forward (Belly 2) and aft (Belly 4) compartments are temperature controlled.

The forward Belly 2 compartment accomodates six additional full-size 96" x 125" Size M, Class 2 pallets. This compartment features a cargo door larger than any other belly compartment, enabling it to handle full pallet loads up to 66 inches. Due to the unique climate control of the aircraft, it is possible to carry animals that do not require in-flight attention in the forward belly compartment of this aircraft.

MD-11 Cargo Doors

The Belly 3 compartment door is smaller, but permits carriage of much of the equipment shown on this site when collapsed, however, it requires attention when stacking to utilize the full volume of these compartments.

The lower aft lower compartment (Belly 4) handles bulk cargo only, and is where domestic animals are stowed on passenger flights. There is no in-flight access to this compartment. Due to the small size of the aft compartment door, not much of the equipment supplied here is able to utilize this volume, whether assembled or collapsed.

The MD-11 proceeds the older DC-10 aircraft by almost 23 years. Although similar in appearance, it has better range and payload than its predecessor. The MD-11 is most distinguishable from the DC-10 by its greater length and span, and the addition of winglets.

Several versions of the MD-11 have been produced including the "F" designated freighter version, and the "CF" designated convertible cargo-passenger version. No designation letter is used for the standard passenger configuration.

The specifications and graphics provided apply specifically to the MD-11 F aircraft. 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 198,700 lbs. (90,318 kg)
Main deck container capacity 26 positions
Maximum payload range 4,425 statute miles (7,121 km)
Main cargo door dimensions 102.0" high x 140.0" wide
(355 x 259 cm)
Belly 2 cargo door dimensions 104" high x 66.0" wide
(264 x 167 cm)
Belly 3 cargo door dimensions 70.0" high x 66.0" wide
(177 x 167 cm)
Belly 4 cargo door dimensions 44.0" high x 48.0" wide
(111 x 122 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.