The liner on pensions: what happens to the aircraft after the last flight

After you returned home from a trip, what will happen when the aircraft made its last commercial flight? Versed in this edition of Reader’s Digest.

Лайнер на пенсии: что происходит с самолетом после последнего рейса

Photo: Depositphotos

What is the typical life expectancy of a plane?

First, it is important to find out the average service life of the aircraft. Interestingly, life expectancy is not measured in years. “The service life of aircraft established by the manufacturer and is usually based on cycles of takeoff and landing,” said John Petrakis from the Federal aviation administration.

“The fuselage is most susceptible to wear, but the wings are too, especially on short flights, when the plane goes through cycles of increasing pressure every day.”

Why the plane ceases to fly?

Planes “retire” at a certain age. At this point, the aircraft sent for storage and waiting to be picked up and repaired another carrier, or disassemble and recycle. “The decision to dismantle the plane most often depends on higher value of its parts and components than that of the aircraft as the aircraft,” said CNN Travel mark Gregory, managing Director of Air Salvage International.

“The plane is removed from service for several reasons,” says Patrick Connell, CEO of Jet Yard certified repair station FAA.

“They can rent, and the lease expires. The operator can carry out the upgrade in size and to Park smaller aircraft. Typically aircraft retire from service and injected into the storage program. These programs support the aircraft in working condition. System aircraft are operated on a regular basis until the engine starts. This process is regulated and approved by the FAA. Some of these aircraft can be sold, and the new operator they will start again. The rest will be stripped for parts, crushed or renewed,” he added.

The storage location of the planes after their retirement is often called an “air burial.”

What is the “aircraft graveyard”?

After a certain period of time the aircraft is no longer good to fly and is sent to the graveyard. As a rule, such burials are in the American southwest, because the climate is favorable for storage. Dry weather helps to limit the amount of corrosion or rust on the metal parts, which is subjected to the plane.

“Planes can be stored for many years. Some are only stored for a few months until you find a new operator or owner,” says Connell.

Aerospace technical maintenance and recovery (AMARC) at the airbase Davis-Monthan (DMA) outside of Tucson, Arizona, has set the Guinness world record-largest store for aircraft. Commercial aircraft were not the only planes that appear at the funeral. Sometimes military jets also placed in graves. For example, according to Tucson in 1955, the bomber Boeing B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, were stationed in Japan at an air force base Davis of Montana. In 1961, the “Boxcar” was transferred to the national Museum of the U.S. air force.

Is it possible to visit the “aircraft graveyard”?

It is better to call ahead or confirm on the website if you can schedule a tour or reservation.