Sunday, July 15, 2012

Working on the 240 Door

Trying to Lock the Door Up
While I was photographing the interior a couple of hard working guys were trying to fix up the forward door so that it would open and stay up in a latched and safe position. Under new conditions, the door and stairway are electrically powered and supported by a pressurized system similar to that used with hatchbacks on many modern cars such as my Prius. The door is activated to swing up and away from the fuselage, helped by its pressurized system. The stairway is then lowered to the ground with an electric motor. When it's time to close up the aircraft before takeoff, the stairway is lifted back into the fuselage and the doorway is then lowered and latched.When the door's in the up position it's locked and helped to stay up with its pressurized system.

The problem is that the stairway and door system have been in service for so long that a number of key parts are bent and worn. When I got there that 2x4 was used to help hold up the door. If you look at the top photo you can see the bends in the handrails where the door has been allowed to fall down on the stairway. While I was there they managed to find most, of not all, the problems with the door mechanism, but it'll take a trip or two elsewhere to find replacements. While I was half-way listening to their conversation, as they came across yet another problem with the door, the guy in the background (below) said "It's always something else, isn't it?" To which the guy in the blue coveralls replied "That's what makes aviation interesting." Yes, interesting indeed.
Working on the Door
The mechanisms to control and motorize the stairway and hatch appear to be in a small closet on the immediate right side of the hatch.

One other interesting observation. It was hot, but not that hot. I attribute that to the white paint on the fuselage. That, and my interest in the plane. I was so involved with photographing and just slowly looking and taking in everything that over an hour and a half passed before I decided I'd seen and done enough. I can't explain why I find old aircraft fascinating, but I do know if I'm not careful I can loose track of time very easily.

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