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Aircraft Type With The Most Flight Time - Combined  
User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5600 posts, RR: 8
Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8770 times:

So I got to wondering about the combined flight hours that different aircraft types rack up each day and year, then wondered which has the most hours lifetime. I was curious which type flies the most, in total flight hours of all aircraft of that type combined. I really have no idea how to find that out so I am asking here.

I can see there would be many ways to parse this so I envision this as being viewed in three ways:
1.) Aircraft type/variant across all airlines (737-400, A300-600. etc)
2.) Aircraft type with one airline (all 737-400's at WN)
3.) And last, which aircraft model, combining all variants (737's, A330's, all variants, etc) period, has the most flight time.

I would include military versions as well (KC-135 anyone?). Obviously number of frames flying will affect this so I suspect #1 will be something like a 737 of some type but I don't know, maybe its a DC-3!

Thanks,

Tugg


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4830 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8701 times:

I'd imagine that the 733 would probably be up there for individual aircraft
I'm not sure about for an aircraft for an individual airline.
Overall the title surely would go to the 737... its been around in one form or another for decades, its the most numerously produced commercial aircraft AFAIK.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8684 times:

It really depends on how you look at it. The widebody longhaul aircraft will spend LESS time on the ground, have less rotations, and spend most of their lives in the air.

However, the narrowbodies will be cycled more during the day, so it's really unclear without doing some research on how to look at this and come up with some figures.

If we are talking simply logged hours since a certain time, I'd bet the DC-9 due to the large amounts produced and the 737 non-NG series would be right up there.

UAL


User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1385 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8536 times:

I could imagine something like the C-152 or the C-172 up there...


WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlineMNeo From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2004, 776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8516 times:

How about something like the DC-3.(and all military variants)
With over 16,000 built its almost 3x the amount of 737 built and i cant imagine that they were under utilized during war time



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User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8238 times:



Quoting MNeo (Reply 4):
With over 16,000 built its almost 3x the amount of 737 built and i cant imagine that they were under utilized during war time

Yeah, but how many were lost rather quickly?

UAL


User currently offlineLVHGEL From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2007, 213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8177 times:

My guess is the DC-3 there are some examples still flying with small freight operators.

See the following photo in the data base:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Four-...-Aviation/Douglas-DC-3C/1423996/M/

(Sorry I can't find a way to embed an image from the data base to the post, if anyone can help me it will be appreciated)


User currently offlineJetJeanes From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1431 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8097 times:

the dc-9 had more take off and delieveries per day than the dc-3. the 9,s were a workhorse and just like the 3 are still flying just not as much,an nw 9 would be have more cycles on it than any other comercial a/c inservice today


i can see for 80 miles
User currently offlineDstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1477 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7824 times:

The DC 3 / C 47 has had a career lasting from 1936 until now, true many were lost, or even scrapped, with very few hours in the wartime period. In the post war period the level of aircraft utilisation was also fairly light, low route frequencies - once a day services - but long sector times too, which might balance out.

The DC 9 is a mere infant, and relatively few were built in comparison to her older sister. So while we will never know for sure, I guess the DC 3 wins this one on the basis of Numbers x Years Active.

Of course now jet fuel is heading downward, the DC 9 might get a second wind and it is still fun to see one.


User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7656 times:

Cessna 172 i should imagine.

User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4830 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7577 times:



Quoting Dstc47 (Reply 8):
The DC 3 / C 47 has had a career lasting from 1936 until now, true many were lost, or even scrapped, with very few hours in the wartime period. In the post war period the level of aircraft utilisation was also fairly light, low route frequencies - once a day services - but long sector times too, which might balance out.

The DC 9 is a mere infant, and relatively few were built in comparison to her older sister. So while we will never know for sure, I guess the DC 3 wins this one on the basis of Numbers x Years Active.

Even when they were new, the DC-3 had a lot of downtime for maintenance being since they weren't gas-turbine powered aircraft, they had short range and used a lot of gas so spent a lot of time not actually flying. Many were shot down or crashed, after the war many were scrapped and the remaining aircraft didn't get worked anywhere near as much as modern aircraft (remember flying back then was mostly a fair-weather and daytime activity). Todays aircraft are often getting utilization rates of 15+ hours per day which would be more if not for the lack of need for many red-eye flights in most countries.

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 9):
Cessna 172 i should imagine.

They are not that numerous, many don't exist, many are parked in hangers for days/weeks/months on end, and when they are used its for an hour or 2 at a time. Sure there are a lot used for flight training but even those aircraft are lucky to see 8 hours of flying per day on average as they are constantly in need of mx, aren't suitable for bad weather and many are not IFR equiped. But so far as GA is concerned then yes they must surely win that title.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7537 times:



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 10):
Todays aircraft are often getting utilization rates of 15+ hours per day which would be more if not for the lack of need for many red-eye flights in most countries.

L-1011-500 sn 193J-1196 (D-AERL) was delivered to LTU on 27 October 1980 and flew 74,931 hours before LTU removed in from service on 3 April 1996. That is an average of 13.80 (13 hours and 48 minutes) flight hours a day.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7501 times:



Quoting Tugger (Thread starter):
2.) Aircraft type with one airline (all 737-400's at WN)

I can give you an exact, absolutely accurate number on that one--zero--since WN doesn't have (and never has had) any 734s in the fleet...  Wink


User currently offlineNA From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10735 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7471 times:



Quoting LVHGEL (Reply 6):
My guess is the DC-3 there are some examples still flying with small freight operators.

These aircarft are not utilized like more modern types. They flew and fly much less. I would be very much surprised if a DC-3 would fly as much in 50 years as a, lets say, 737 in 20.

There was once a thread like this and I remember that the aircraft with the record lifetime (flight hours) was a DC-10, and, if memory serves me right, one from Northwest. Must have been around 130.000 hours at retirement. 747s also clock many hours, btw this year CXs 742F B-HVY was retired with 114.000 hours, and Transaeros 742s wont be much below that figure.
Cyclewise I wouldnt be surpised if the recordholder is a NWA DC-9 as some of the oldest were flown daily from the mid-60s until recently.
As for daily utilization Cargolux 744 freighters are among the top. I read that some time ago. Cant remember how many hours in the air they are at average though. 13 or something like it.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9638 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7444 times:

The 737 is going to be the highest cycle aircraft although average duration of flights has steadily increased from close to 1 hour to closer to 2 with the advent of the NG.

As far as flight hours go, usage hours per day on widebodies often beat the narrowbodies. 747s have more hours on them than 737s, although they look a whole lot newer when you get to the parts of the plane rarely seen since long cruise puts little stress on an airframe compared to short cycles.

Quoting Tugger (Thread starter):


I would include military versions as well (KC-135 anyone?).

Military aircraft are very low time. There are 40+ year old KC-135s and B52s that have less than 10,000 cycles on them. A 737 flying for Southwest for 4 years has flown more flights on average than a B52 that was built in the 60s.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offline707lvr From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 585 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7377 times:

I'd be willing to bet it's a 747. There was a British Airways 747 mentioned on this site a few weeks back which had accumulated over nine years in the air.

User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4830 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7244 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 11):

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 10):
Todays aircraft are often getting utilization rates of 15+ hours per day which would be more if not for the lack of need for many red-eye flights in most countries.

L-1011-500 sn 193J-1196 (D-AERL) was delivered to LTU on 27 October 1980 and flew 74,931 hours before LTU removed in from service on 3 April 1996. That is an average of 13.80 (13 hours and 48 minutes) flight hours a day.

I don't think anyone on here has mentioned the L1011. Whilst it was a good aircraft, it was not particularly popular with only modest sales. It also didn't have the range to fly particularly long flights and wasn't very efficient over short flights so had limited ability to be utilized as much as other aircraft types in most situations.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7190 times:



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 16):
I don't think anyone on here has mentioned the L1011. Whilst it was a good aircraft, it was not particularly popular with only modest sales. It also didn't have the range to fly particularly long flights and wasn't very efficient over short flights so had limited ability to be utilized as much as other aircraft types in most situations.

Lockheed built and 250 L-1011 in the 1970's and 80's. By the end of June 2008 those 250 L-1011's had flown 13,613,133 flight hour in 6,389,328 flight cycles. An average of 54,454 cycles and 21,667 cycles per aircraft. Surely other aircraft have accumulated more hours and cycles but the L-1011's is technically more advance than many airliners in production today.


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4830 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7107 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
Lockheed built and 250 L-1011 in the 1970's and 80's. By the end of June 2008 those 250 L-1011's had flown 13,613,133 flight hour in 6,389,328 flight cycles. An average of 54,454 cycles and 21,667 cycles per aircraft. Surely other aircraft have accumulated more hours and cycles but the L-1011's is technically more advance than many airliners in production today.

It was more technically advanced than its competitor the DC-10. Comparing it to modern aircraft with FBW and digital cockpits etc is a different story.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
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