Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aviation Technology

First Advisor

Denver Lopp

Committee Member 1

John P. Young

Committee Member 2

Timothy Ropp


Since the dawn of aviation, cargo loading on aircraft has remained virtually constant. A person and a baggage cart together have been the primary method of loading baggage on to aircraft, and this practice has virtually remained unchanged, especially for narrow body aircraft. This study explores the question of whether a loading device, designed for Embraer 190 aircraft, can increase economic efficiency by reducing aircraft turnaround times, increasing aircraft utilization and reducing work hours. In the course of designing a theoretical loading device for an Embraer 190, various literature ranging from elaborate articulating conveyor belts, to the use of LD3-45W containers in Airbus 320 aircraft were analyzed. In the pursuit of understanding ground operations with containers, the study looked at the Boeing 767-300 and the Boeing 777-200LR to analyze the timeliness in which containers can be loaded and unloaded from an aircraft. With the goal of using common narrow body ground support equipment, time trials were done with a Purdue University baggage belt loader to see if loading a container on a conventional belt loader was feasible. To create a theoretical working container design, the LD3-45W boundaries in relation to the Airbus 320 aircraft cargo walls was scaled to match the Embraer 190s. With this scale, a container size could be derived, as well as volume, capacity, tare weight and maximum weight. In determining these various parameters, the amount of baggage that could be placed in 11 loading device containers was determined. With these figures an extensive comparison between loading baggage by hand and loading baggage utilizing containers, was analyzed.