PanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 10 Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3367 times:
As I recall reading a long time ago, there are four different levels of aircraft storage available:
1) Extreme short term - the least expensive, but very little preparation is done. I believe this is for less than one month's time.
2) Short term - leased jets undergo this routine frequently. An airline finds itself with too much capacity, and decides to return the planes to the company. Sometimes the leasing company can find new customers right away, sometimes not. More preparation is done for this, like covering windows and tires and engine intakes.
3) Long term - this was a popular decision after 9/11. Airlines shed their excess capacity by storing a lot of planes (especially wide-bodies) in the desert. When it is believed that the aircraft will not be needed for a long period of time, extensive preparations go into covering and securing the plane from wind, sand, moisture, etc. This particular practice requires a LOT of man-hours to cover and secure the plane, but when the plane is needed again, it will be in great condition and require only minimal replacements of parts. Usually it will be in flyable condition in a very short time - witness the AI 777's taken quickly from the desert.
4) Retired - this is where planes go to die. No preparations are undertaken as the plane is not expected to fly again, merely cut-up or stripped for parts.
In answer to your question (finally!!), the techniques used by storage companies are quite refined - I can't say "indefinitely", but I would say the more money you have to spend, the more secure your plane will be.
As a side note, I have read that the cost of the most expensive level of secure storage per day is still cheaper than the landing fees at some airports!
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FlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 15 Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2715 times:
Wasn't the Boeing's Dash 80 sitting in the desert like 20-odd years before being flown back to Seattle for restoration, then on to the Air & Space annex in DC? And don't forget all those Convairs 880s/990s that were parked for so many years before being scrapped. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
Jdaniel001 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2642 times:
Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 8): Why can't ordinary people get things from the planes that are going there to "die," such as seats or even parts or the whole airplane?
I think seats are broken down and smelted like the rest of the airplane. But call Evergreen in AZ, you might get lucky and get a set. I know DH has hundreds of seats in IAD from the UAX days that are being sent to Midwest Aircraft for "recycling".
IslandHopperCO From Micronesia, joined Dec 2003, 224 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2569 times:
USAir kept its fleet of BAE-146s in the desert from 1991-1997 before finally finding buyers for them. At the time they were parked they were way less than 10 years old!
USAir evidently wouldn't pay Mohave to take good care of them either, so they needed serious reconditioning when they were put back in service...the lavatories weren't even emptied! They are now flying for various European low-cost carriers.