Why is it “the ramp”?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by denverpilot, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Just realized I don’t know. Usually a ramp has a slope to it; never seen much intentional slope to any airport ramp.

    So where did this term come from, oh history loving PoA denizens? Anybody know?

    I’m probably missing something obvious. :)
     
  2. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    That’s where they pulled the seaplanes out of the water to park them before airports were common.



    He said with a straight face.
     
  3. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    BMWTSONK beat me with the stick of not knowing

    Nate good question! MauleSkinner good answer!
     
  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  5. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    That might actually be a plausible explanation. After all, for an airport, "ramp" is synonymous with "apron," and the dictionary says that one of the meanings of "apron" is "the area along the waterfront edge of a pier or wharf"
     
  6. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Much of aviation has maritime origins. Airport, cockpit, pilot, steward / stewardess, captain, first officer, flight deck,... Even airline flight crew uniforms are derived from traditional oceanliner uniforms. Hey, that’s another one: oceanliner / airliner. Our nav light colors are the same, as well.

    Had aviation derived terms from ground transportation, airports might be air depots, pilots might be drivers, stewards and stewardesses might be conductors,...
     
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  7. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Not sure I wanna know where Cockpit came from......
     
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  8. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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  9. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    FYI: Just about every term in aviation can be traced back to nautical terms. The Navy was "politically" the most powerful service at the time of the Wright's flight and actually tried to control the expansion of aviation. Ballast, waterline, starboard, port, propeller, forward, aft, etc. are a few more. There's a book out there that provides an A-Z listing of these terms.
     
  10. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Before extendable bridge gates, passenger were loaded via a ramp. Cargo is still loaded that way today. Ramp is short for ramp area -the place with the ramps.
     
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  11. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Before the proliferation of airports, many pilots used racetracks and fairgrounds because they had relatively large, clear, flat areas. The ramp area is where they did the motorcycle stunts.
     
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  12. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    At least “ramp” is better than “tarmac” ...

    o_O
     
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  13. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Tarmac comes from the WWII era, where you called everybody “Mac”.

    “Whats that stuff under the airplane, Mac?”
    “It’s tar, Mac.”
     
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Apron (Ramp). A defined area on an airport intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers or cargo, refueling, parking, or maintenance. Now, the apron includes parking, maintenance and service areas, including taxi lanes
     
  15. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    'Tarmac' sounds so much better than "FOD-surfaced"

    Nauga,
    chipsealed
     
  16. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Because it’s a ramp, and land pilots seem to always wish they were float pilots ;)

     
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  17. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    On a boat, maybe. In 20 years of USCG service I never heard of the steering station/helm on a ship referred to as "the cockpit," just "the bridge."
     
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  18. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Line Up and Wait

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    "Ramp" is an acronym... "Remote Aircraft Maintenance Point."....


    ;) JIC
     
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  19. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    I'd like to see a Beaver do that in SE AK with 20 foot tide swings. Maybe at High tide.....:rolleyes:
     
  20. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    The open self bailing "tub" area of smaller sailing vessels where the tiller or wheel is located is called the cockpit. In fact, as a small boat sailor for sixty years I've never heard it called anything else.

    Cockpit (sailing) | Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  21. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The OED supports this etymology. The use of seaplane base ramps as parking areas for those planes predates its appearance in other documents. It's an American derivation.
     
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There's an older nautical use for this unrelated to boat control, but this one comes from 1691. It's was also used to describe the seating part of a canoe. Both predate aviation by centuries.

    In fact, describing the driving position of early cars as a cockpit predates its use in aircraft by a few years.
     
  23. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I’m still looking for the flight line.
     
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  24. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    The Wikipedia history of the term "cockpit" says it's derived from the Royal Navy, and is where the coxswain (the person in charge of a boat, particularly its navigation and steering) was stationed.
     
  25. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Simple. They had to have a "ramp" in order for the FBOs to justify charging a ramp service fee.
     
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  26. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Have you considered having smaller swings ;)
     
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  27. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's over there by the prop wash....;)
     
  28. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    The cockpit was where the coxswain sat or stood (in a pit). Coxpit which morphed into cockpit.

    The origin of "bridge" is really interesting. :)
     
  29. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    Yes I have considered smaller swings.. Answer, I don't want to live near the equator..:)
     
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  30. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bah, just need some common sense tide control lol
     
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  31. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Cleared for Takeoff

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    Also, airship, rudder!, “landing”, heading?
     
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  32. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Does anyone have some relative bearing grease?

    Friend from high school who is now Capt at UAL was an early US Navy female pilot who calls it the box office;)
     
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  33. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Won’t any bearing grease work?
     
  34. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Not for relatives...they’re unbearable without proper lubrication.
     
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  35. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    And do not even try to substitute magnetic bearing grease...been known to cause explosive decompression and make both wings depart the airframe:eek:
     
  36. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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  37. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    I started with the Air Force; we called it the flightline. When I got into GA and heard ramp, I was looking for a sloped surface somewhere, as in a particular place, perhaps in the vicinity of aircraft parking. Gradually concluded that's all it meant - where the airplanes were parked.
     
  38. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Here's the "Ramp" I'm familiar with:

    Ramp.jpg
     
  39. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    I would write something, but I have to go to the ‘head’.
     
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  40. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    I'd guess that the term "cockpit" for the "pit" stemmed from its similarity to small arenas used for rooster-fighting. "Cock-fighting" is the proper term, of course, but I ain't handing this crowd THAT good of a setup.....

    Ron Wanttaja