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Old Jets In Storage, Chances Of Flying Again?  
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4900 times:

I have noticed from time to time pictures on here on a.net of some old jets such as 707, KC-135, Dc8, 727, 747 classics, etc in storage that seemed to have been there for a while. Do these old jets normally have any chance of flying again or are they mostly destined to be scrapped? How come some seem to be in storage so long, especially when many operators look for more modern and efficient jets? As a aviation enthusiast naturally it is always good to hear that some old jet is either put back into service even as a freighter or sent to museum but the reality is that many have seen their last days in service .

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7431 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4633 times:
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Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
Do these old jets normally have any chance of flying again or are they mostly destined to be scrapped?

Very little chance. That is, unless there is a desperate need for them somewhere. Most of these classics are time-expired airframes, victim of noise-restriction limitations, cost in fleet operations, etc.The 707/DC8's fates were sealed in 1984 when stage 2 noise restrictions were put in place. Most modern, first-world airlines weren't going to hush-kit them. Back in the late 1980's/early 90's, So many aircraft were also affected by the recession, the rash of bankruptcies, liquidations, and the Gulf War. Hundreds of aircraft we showing up monthly due to restructuring and realignment.During that time, aircraft were parted out like crazy for reclamation. And in later years, 95-98, the storage sites were ghost-towns. After 9/11, business was booming once again for these storage sites. Recovery has been abit slower this time around due to the lingering effects of 9/11 and airline industry reshaping itself again. Most of the aircraft being scrapped are the last of the 2nd and 3rd generation jets which were nearing the end of their lives anyway

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
How come some seem to be in storage so long, especially when many operators look for more modern and efficient jets?

Well, that's the reason they are in storage for as long as they are. The no-longer efficient aircraft are dumped on the leasing companies after the contracts are terminated. They have to find somewhere to put them during the time between leases and the desert is ideal because of space, parking fees and maintenence costs are so far less than they are at more populated airport ops. Some of these aircraft are worth more being parted out rather than the aircraft as a whole.

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
As a aviation enthusiast naturally it is always good to hear that some old jet is either put back into service even as a freighter or sent to museum but the reality is that many have seen their last days in service .

Well, as nice as it is to see old jets get a new lease on life, the economics numbers are tough to justify when faced with a cost-effective operation. The old aircraft aren't getting any younger. I think the best example of a living tribute is John Travolta's refurbishment of his 707-138B. It's great to see an old airliner(and one of the rarest of 707's built) still flying the skies. Someday, it will be too expensive for him to run and will no doubt end up in a museum some day, with glorious future ahead as a centrepiece in hollywood somewhere. And there is also the return of another QF 707 that flew from UK back to Australia to go the Qantas Museum in Longreach to sit alongside other former Qantas aircraft.



Made from jets!
User currently offlineB52murph From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4388 times:

This does raise one interesting question, though....Why so long to scrap/part out those that will not fly again? I've seen several recent photos on here of TW L10s, 741s/742s of all carriers, and 727s missing many parts, yet, they seem to stay that way for years.

I would have thought that once the parting-out was done, any reclamation company would quickly chop up the aluminum carcass for recycle.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4382 times:

I could swear I saw someone from NW out in the dessert looking at some DC9's last month!!!!!!  duck 


Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4356 times:

Quoting B52murph (Reply 2):
This does raise one interesting question, though....Why so long to scrap/part out those that will not fly again? I've seen several recent photos on here of TW L10s, 741s/742s of all carriers, and 727s missing many parts, yet, they seem to stay that way for years.

I would have thought that once the parting-out was done, any reclamation company would quickly chop up the aluminum carcass for recycle.

Same thing I was thinking. Some of these a/c fate are sealed when they go to the desert meaning that there is a high chance they will not fly again. I often wonder if it is'nt more cost effective to speed up the process of scraping the a/c than pay storage fees for years.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4231 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 3):
in the dessert

meant as in at the end of a meal...sort of like end of their time.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineStarGoldLHR From Heard and McDonald Islands, joined Feb 2004, 1529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3986 times:

Quoting JAM747 (Reply 4):
This does raise one interesting question, though....Why so long to scrap/part out those that will not fly again?

It's a bit like brinkmanship...

you fly it in as unrequired.
The leasing company "borrows" a part off the plane with the intention of replacing it, should the aircraft be required in the future.
Eventually the owner gives up borrowing parts and accepts it's over and scraps it.


Dont forget, parting out an A320 for spares when only a few dozen have been parted out and there's 1000's still flying provides much more easy to sell parts, than say a 727, where hundreds have been parted out already and only 100's are still flying means lots of cheap spare parts (and making the 727 cheaper to fly and extending the life in the long term).. NWA with it's DC9's is living proof of that.

Also an aircraft has a taxable depreciation value to an airline. It may be worth millions on the company balance sheet as a "liability", and therefore used to offset tax for a few years until it's value is down to NULL, especially if it's grounded a few years before it's expected time (as with many airframes since 9-11).

Airlines didnt loose all their billions in cold cash, it was billions in asset value (all those 727's went from being worth $20mn each to $2mn in value as far as the books are concerned, however you can only write off so much in a time period hence it drags out)..


I think we're seeing the end of that now.



So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7431 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3866 times:
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Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 6):
Dont forget, parting out an A320 for spares when only a few dozen have been parted out and there's 1000's still flying provides much more easy to sell parts,

You're going to see alot more of the first generation A320's being removed from service over the next few years, because these preowned A320's are potential competition for new aircraft orders.


Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 6):
than say a 727, where hundreds have been parted out already and only 100's are still flying means lots of cheap spare parts (and making the 727 cheaper to fly and extending the life in the long term).. NWA with it's DC9's is living proof of that

9/11 sealed the fate for 727737(1st generation). Many carriers had a slower retirement plan for the 727 pre-9/11. After 9/11, those plans were aggressively sped up in an attempt to curb capacity and reduce operating costs. Retirement plans were cut in half, leaving tons of 727's and frist generation 737's dumped on the market. It happened between 1990-1995, when the last deluge of aircraft retirements took place. I mean, yes, you're correct, the cost of parts might go down a bit, but the cost of maintaining them doesn't. As time goes on, mechanics hourly rate increases, as does the man hours per flight hours cost goes up, couple that with higher cost of jet fuel, the cost of operating continues to climb. Also, corrosion control and metal fatigue inspections adds alot more to maintenence costs. This is the big reason why I think the John Travolta 707's days are numbered. In the next few years, it's going to be too expensive for him to maintain it.

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 6):
NWA with it's DC9's is living proof of that.

We also invested alot of money into them in 1995 when stage 3 noise limitations were coming into effect. Oil was alot cheaper then too. It was more cost feasible to update the aircraft we owned, rather than buy new ones. It turned out to be smart after 9/11, becuase the high cost of operating them was trumped by the fact that weren't paying anything for them to lessors or 3rd party owners. We owned them. Now, as porfits are coming, we're now at a disadvantage with high operating costs. We're down below 100 now in operation.



Made from jets!
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3752 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 3):
I could swear I saw someone from NW out in the dessert looking at some DC9's last month!!!!!! duck

Well, I knew they were encouraging their employees to dumpster dive, but if I ever catch them romping through my food, I won't think it's very cool  Wink

Signed,

A former desert inhabitant who loves a nice sweet dessert every now and again Big grin



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5452 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3721 times:

Quoting B52murph (Reply 2):
I would have thought that once the parting-out was done, any reclamation company would quickly chop up the aluminum carcass for recycle.

Well, in a lot of cases they are waiting in case somebody wants anything else off the aircraft. Yes, the cockpit and interior might be removed, and the rudder parted out, but presumably a couple of flaps or a leading edge is worth much more than it's molten weight.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1624 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

Tucson used to have an interesting little collection of jet aircraft stored in a yard just to the left of the flight path to Runway 11L (just off Valencia Blvd.). Always something unusual there like a caravelle I recall at one point, DC-9s and the like. Last time I flew in, however, the lot was empty! I miss that collection

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3610 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 10):
Tucson used to have an interesting little collection of jet aircraft stored in a yard just to the left of the flight path to Runway 11L (just off Valencia Blvd.). Always something unusual there like a caravelle I recall at one point, DC-9s and the like. Last time I flew in, however, the lot was empty! I miss that collection

Lots of exotic types seem to end up in ELP, too, although they are usually stored far from the public's view (down between the last row of T-hangars and US Customs).

Currently at ELP: The world's only McDonnel MD-220 bizjet and, of course, N8357C. the world's last airworthy Convair CV-990A  Smile

I remember lots of strange types on the ramp when I was growing up: Avro 217's and radial-powered Convairs galore (most of these are still in operation in Mexico, being used for freight down there...). ELP is somewhat of a haven for prop-powered Convairs...lots of US freight operators use the turbine models (or turbine conversions of piston Convairs) to fly freight to and from Mexico, and the Mexican operators still use the piston models.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3548 times:

Well, during the Hadjj season, the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina lot of aircraft capacity is needed, so I think older B747s, DC10s and Tristars got a chance there.
The B727s are still useful as the Comecon planes like Tu-154 become rarer so I think they can be resurrected as well,
if not parted out for parts.


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