Hello and welcome to a new episode by Flyboys aviation! This video is about the rise and fall of combi aircraft. They were once quite popular. Now, however, there are few left. Why is this the case? Let’s take a look at this together! For those of you wondering what the hell I’m actually on about: the combis that I’m talking about are aircraft that can carry both cargo and passengers. They were a rarity until the 1960s. Then in the early 1970s the Boeing 747 was introduced. Quite a few airlines didn’t want to miss out on such an extravagant airplane and ordered it, even though they didn’t necessarily have the passenger demand to fill these planes. An airline such as KLM for instance solved this problem by turning their 747s into combis. With a healthy mix of passengers and cargo they could profitably operate long-haul routes with a lower passenger demand. KLM has ordered a total of 30 combi aircraft. Alaska Airlines used their combi 737 aircraft to fly to remote destinations with a low demand for passengers and a high demand for reindeer. It seems like a winning concept, doesn’t it? But there were a few developments in the airline industry that negatively influenced combi aircraft. First of all, the rise of dedicated cargo aircraft somewhat eliminated the need for combi aircraft. Furthermore, modern long-haul aircraft have the ability to carry a significant amount of cargo and don’t need the extra space in the back that combi aircraft have. The final nail in the coffin for combi aircraft originated in the year 1987. Besides it being the year of the momentous occasion of my birth, it was also the year that South African Airways flight 295 crashed on route from Taipei to Johannesburg. The 747 combi crashed close to Mauritius, where it was supposed to make a stopover in Port Louis. The cause of the crash was a fire that had broken out in the cargo compartment of the airplane. After intense scrutiny by aviation authorities new regulations to improve fire safety were imposed for the design of combi aircraft. These measures meant a heavier aircraft and less flexibility which in turn lessened the attractiveness of combi aircraft. Nowadays, there are a very few combi aircraft still operating. As mentioned before, KLM has always been a big fan and is still flying nine of these models. In the north of Canada you can also still find some 737 combis. It’s interesting to think what the market for combi aircraft would have been like had it not been for the South African Airways crash. Who knows, perhaps an A380 combi would have been a smash hit. What do you guys think? Thanks so much for watching! If you liked this video, don’t forget to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. On my channel you will find a new video every week that delves deeper into the fascinating world of aviation and offers you new insights. See you around!