Retired liner: what happens to the plane after the last flight
After you return home from a trip, what happens when the plane completed its last commercial flight? The publication understood this Reader`s Digest.
What is the typical life span of an airplane?
First of all, it is important to find out the life of an average aircraft. Interestingly, life expectancy is not measured in years. “Aircraft life is determined by the manufacturer and is usually based on take-off and landing cycles,” said John Petrakis of the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The fuselage is most susceptible to wear, but the wings also, especially on short flights, when the aircraft goes through pressure cycles every day.”
Why does the plane stop flying?
Aircraft “retire” at a certain age. At this moment, the aircraft goes to storage and waits for it to be picked up and repaired by another airline, or dismantled and disposed of. “The decision to dismantle the aircraft most often depends on whether the cost of its parts and components is higher than that of the aircraft as an aircraft,” said Mark Gregory, managing director of Air Salvage International, CNN Travel.
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“The aircraft is being decommissioned for several reasons,” says Patrick Connell, CEO of Jet Yard, an FAA Certified Repair Station.
“They can be leased, and the lease expires. The operator can carry out size upgrades and park smaller planes. Typically, aircraft are decommissioned and put into storage. These programs keep the aircraft operational. Aircraft systems are operated on a regular basis until the engine starts. This process is regulated and approved by the FAA. Some of these aircraft may be sold, and a new operator will launch them again. The rest will be disassembled into spare parts, shredded or recycled, ”he added.
The storage location of aircraft after they retire is often referred to as “air burial”.
What is an “air cemetery”?
After a certain period of time, the aircraft is no longer suitable for flights and is removed to the cemetery. Typically, this kind of burial is located in the American southwest, because the climate is favorable for storage. Dry weather helps limit the amount of corrosion or rust on the metal parts that the aircraft is exposed to.
“Aircraft can be stored for many years. Some are only kept for several months until they find a new operator or owner, ”Connell says.
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The Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at the Davis Montan Air Base (DMA) outside Tucson, Arizona, has set the Guinness World Record for airplanes. Commercial planes are not the only planes that appear at a funeral. Sometimes military aircraft are also placed in burials. For example, according to Tucson, in 1955, the Boeing B-29 bomber, which dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, was stationed in Japan at Davis Montana Air Force Base. In 1961, Bokskar was transferred to the National Air Force Museum.
Can I visit the "air cemetery"?
It is better to call in advance or confirm on the website whether you can plan a tour or a reservation.
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