Cargo airplanes are freighters in the sky. They are designed for one specific purpose: to carry cargo, hence their name. Because of this, the bodies are designed wide to carry as much freight as possible. Being designed as wide as possible, special considerations must be given to the construction. Bear in mind luxury is not on the construction list since the intended use is for cargo only.

Internal Parts of a Cargo Airplane

The cockpit is where the pilot, copilot and navigator sit. It is the control center of the airplane. Side-by-side seats, similar to car seats, face the front windshield. The pilot and copilot both sit in the seats, and have controls, such as a steering wheel, at arms reach from them. The controls allows them to fly the airplane. A third seat is at a desk. This is the navigator’s station. The navigator plots the course of the airplane and keeps an eye on things such as weather reports and fuel usage. The cockpit is made as small as possible, while still remaining comfortable. This is because as much room as possible must be allowed for cargo.

After the cockpit is the cargo area. This is a huge, wide-open area. For example, the B757 airplane used by United Parcel Service has 1,790 cubic feet of cargo area. To put this into perspective, a school bus can almost fit inside the cargo area. Cargo is hauled in by truck or by a specialized truck called a lift truck or high-low truck. Any type of cargo can be carried, from animals to machinery to household goods.

If you need to travel with your pet, plan ahead to keep your him healthy and safe as he travels as aircraft cargo. Consult the airline and your veterinarian to ensure you have the proper documents and equipment and meet the medical and legal requirements for your pet.

Choose a nonstop flight. Avoid holidays and other busy times.

Airlines cannot accept dogs and cats as cargo if they cannot prevent exposure at temperatures of less than 45 degrees or more than 85 degrees for more than 45 minutes during transfer between plane and terminal, or more than four hours in a holding facility. An acclimation certificate, signed by a veterinarian, waives the restriction on lower temperatures.

The fame of Las Vegas as an international tourist destination makes McCarran International Airport one of the busiest hubs in the nation, with more than 40 million passengers served in 2009. If you live in the Las Vegas area, and you want to work for one of the cargo airlines which serves the airport, rather than a passenger airline, you have several choices of potential employers. They operate from the dedicated cargo terminal at McCarran, which is located 1.6 miles from the main terminal.

Inquire with cargo airlines like Federal Express, UPS and DHL directly to see if they have hiring needs in the Las Vegas market. You can access the career home pages of these carriers from links in the “Resources” section.

Call AMB Corporation, the authority which manages the cargo operation of McCarran Airport, at 702-261-4017. Ask the representative who answers if the terminal needs outsourced cargo handlers. By working for the airport, rather than one airline, you will come into contact with aircraft and cargo for many cargo carriers.

Rex needs to be in Boston by noon Tuesday. The problem is you live in New York and it’s currently Saturday. Shipping pets by plane is not a new phenomenon, but it has become a more convenient and cost-effective way to get your pooch from point A to point B.

How big is Rex? Per Delta Airlines, if Rex is in the bull mastiff/Great Dane range (very large), the cost to ship in the United States is in the range of approximately $700. (Additional charges may and probably will apply.)

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Airbus Beluga

Airbus Beluga

The Beluga (also known as the A300-600ST Super Transporter) was developed to carry complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites around