Double-deck aircraft

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The A380 double-deck cross-section

A double-deck aircraft has two decks for passengers; the second deck may be only a partial deck, and may be above or below the main deck. Most commercial aircraft have one passenger deck and one cargo deck for luggage and ULD containers, but only a few have two decks for passengers, typically above or below a third deck for cargo. Most of them are disappearing.


Breguet Deux-Ponts, the first full double-deck aircraft

Many early flying boat airliners, such as the Boeing 314 Clipper and Short Sandringham, had two decks. Following World War II the Stratocruiser, a partially double-decked derivative of the B-29 Superfortress, became popular with airlines around the world.

The first full double-deck aircraft was the French Breguet Deux-Ponts, in service from 1953. The first partial double-deck jet airliner was the widebody Boeing 747, in service from 1970, with the top deck smaller than the main deck. Boeing originally designed the distinctive 747 bubble top with air cargo usage in mind.[citation needed] The small top deck permitted the cockpit and a few passengers and nose doors with unobstructed access to the full length of the hold. Most 747s are passenger jets, and a small percentage are cargo jets with nose doors.

The first full double-deck jet airliner is the Airbus A380, which has two passenger decks extending the full length of the fuselage, as well as a full-length lower third deck for cargo. It entered regular service in late-October 2007.[1]

List of double-deck aircraft[edit]

Double-deck flying boats
Partial second passenger deck
A JAL 747-300 with the stretched upper deck
Full second passenger deck
Cargo aircraft with a separate passenger deck
Double-deck cargo aircraft
Proposed double-deck passenger aircraft

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bed Down on the 'Bus: Jumbo Jets Going to the Mattresses". New York Post. Post Wire Services. October 16, 2007. Archived from the original on October 19, 2007.
  2. ^ "Case Studies Crew Rest Module". Timco Aerosystems. Archived from the original on July 5, 2011.