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North America, "world's Oldest Airplanes"  
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 1028 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 18191 times:
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"the average fleet age in North America is higher than Africa"..... ouch

Must be all the MD80s and 767s in North American fleets.

Delta, American, and Aeromexico operate lots of MD80s and 767s...

USAirways' 757s are very old too

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/north...planes-kcVxcivFTiGz2B7nYMzBGw.html

[Edited 2013-01-25 15:44:08]

68 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25983 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 18147 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
"the average fleet age in North America is higher than Africa"..... ouch

Aircraft age is unrelated to safety. Compare the safety record of North American airlines with Africa (and almost everywhere else in the world).


User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 1028 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 17954 times:
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Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Aircraft age is unrelated to safety. Compare the safety record of North American airlines with Africa (and almost everywhere else in the world).

you do understand that I'm quoting the journalist from the video right?


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25983 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 17921 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 2):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Aircraft age is unrelated to safety. Compare the safety record of North American airlines with Africa (and almost everywhere else in the world).

you do understand that I'm quoting the journalist from the video right?

I was only commenting on the relationship of aircraft age to safety, as that's usually the point most people try to make when talking about older aircraft.


User currently offlineKC135Hydraulics From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 17870 times:

I fly on 50 year old aircraft regularly and have never once felt unsafe. Age isn't indicative of safety as someone else mentioned.

User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1867 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 17743 times:

but if the cabin isn't refreshed and revamped from time to time, the old plane will be less comfortable.

User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 17672 times:

What determines the ultimate end life.....ignoring mandated life limits...of an airplane. All the mechanical parts can be replaced, cockpits upgraded, interiors changed, and engines swapped. I would presume that corrosion of the airframe would be one issue...sealing of the fuel tanks maybe.

Jim


User currently offlinedtwlax From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 819 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 17504 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
I was only commenting on the relationship of aircraft age to safety, as that's usually the point most people try to make when talking about older aircraft.

Not necessarily. Older aircrafts can be uncomfortable if the interiors are not refreshed. Old worn out seats do not leave a good impression on the passenger.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7718 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 17456 times:

OK, please don't flame, but is it really true that aircraft age is absolutely unrelated to safety? That is to say, I fully understand well-maintained older aircraft to be safe, but I merely pose the question about how well-maintained new aircraft compare to well-maintained older ones. I ask with no expectation or bias, other than to obtain some kind of statistically valid answer.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 17430 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
the average fleet age in North America is higher than Africa

The fleet is several magnitudes larger too. The top African airlines (ET, KQ, SA, MS etc) do indeed have modern fleets, but although they are pretty small compared to US carriers, it will still sway the average fleet age significantly on the continent. Lots of national or "major" airlines have a total fleet of just a handful of aircraft.



Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
User currently offlinea380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1118 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 17393 times:

What I don't get is that Airbus and Boeing are selling their products based on performance. How can old metal compete with brand new models? I don't doubt that these airlines are run competently. Are new Boeings and Airbuses not so good after all? I don't get it.

User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 1028 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 17382 times:
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Quoting RussianJet (Reply 8):
OK, please don't flame, but is it really true that aircraft age is absolutely unrelated to safety? That is to say, I fully understand well-maintained older aircraft to be safe, but I merely pose the question about how well-maintained new aircraft compare to well-maintained older ones. I ask with no expectation or bias, other than to obtain some kind of statistically valid answer.

If they're well maintained (to Western Standards), and flown by a reputable airline, I feel as safe in a MD80,DC9,or 737-200 as I do in a new 737-900 or A319..

Actually I'd love to fly in a DC10 again.. i really want to do that


User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 17367 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Aircraft age is unrelated to safety. Compare the safety record of North American airlines with Africa (and almost everywhere else in the world).

However, aircraft age does have a strong correlation to fuel efficiency.

All these old gas guzzlers are hurting our environment.



Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6131 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 17262 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 11):
Actually I'd love to fly in a DC10 again.. i really want to do that

Just one left...I think Biman Bangladesh has the last active passenger DC-10 on the planet.

There are a couple of other options.... I can't tell you how many times I ended up on a KC-10 flying somewhere to do something  



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1961 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 17029 times:
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Quoting a380900 (Reply 10):
What I don't get is that Airbus and Boeing are selling their products based on performance. How can old metal compete with brand new models? I don't doubt that these airlines are run competently. Are new Boeings and Airbuses not so good after all? I don't get it.

I don't think there is any doubt that the latest A & B generation of aircraft are much better and more efficient than their older counterparts. Without being an economics expert, I would guess that it works out cheaper and is better for cashflow to fly around 20 year old airplanes that have long since been paid for even if they burn a little more fuel than it is to run up massive debts in this world of restricted credit availability to buy the newest generation of aircraft. Add to this the fact that unlike the likes of the L1011/DC10/DC8 (many of the last operators of these types ditched them because there were so few of them left), there are still plenty of B757s, B767s and MD-80s in active service, meaning that there is no shortage of spare parts and support systems to keep them operating.

Long story short, it works out cheaper to spend a little more on gas and spare parts than it is to run up massive debts to buy new planes.



Next Flights: CX178 MEL-HKG; CX257 HKG-LHR; EI387 LHR-SNN; EI384 SNN-LHR; CX250 LHR-HKG; CX135 HKG-MEL
User currently offlineGSPflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 16866 times:

Fleet size seems to correlate with age. Everyone knows that most of the time, airlines must wait years from ordering a new aircraft to receive it. We also know that North American carriers are larger than most others. I did a little research, and came up with the following numbers. (Numbers don't include regional airlines/subsidies)

Airline.....Fleet Size.......Avg. Age (years)

North America
DL...........722..................16.4
UA..........707..................13.4
AA..........605...................14.8
WN.........585...................11.6
US..........348..................12.5
AC..........330...................12.5

Europe
LH...........306...................12.6
BA..........256....................13
AF...........253...................10
KL..........115....................9.6
IB............95....................9.7

Asia
NH...........170...................11.1
KE...........149...................9.5
CX............135...................10

Australia/New Zealand
QF............135...................10.4
NZ.............50.....................9.8


User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2748 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 16799 times:

Quoting airtechy (Reply 6):
What determines the ultimate end life.....ignoring mandated life limits...of an airplane. All the mechanical parts can be replaced, cockpits upgraded, interiors changed, and engines swapped. I would presume that corrosion of the airframe would be one issue...sealing of the fuel tanks maybe.

Money. The airplane will age to the point where is is not economically feasible to keep it flying anymore. Every part can be swapped to keep an older airplane flying, but as the plane gets older, it becomes more maintenance intensive as well as using more fuel than newer aircraft. Every airline is different when it comes to determining when a given airplane is due to be retired.


User currently offlineAussieItaliano From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14958 times:

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 17):

North America
DL...........722..................16.4
UA..........707..................13.4
AA..........605...................14.8
WN.........585...................11.6
US..........348..................12.5
AC..........330...................12.5

Europe
LH...........306...................12.6
BA..........256....................13
AF...........253...................10
KL..........115....................9.6
IB............95....................9.7

That's amazing to think that WN has a fleet larger than LH and BA combined! I realise that LH and BA operate aircraft with many more seats than the 737, but still, that is amazing that a US carrier that doesn't operate outside of North America has a fleet larger than 2 carriers combined, each of which has a well-developed worldwide network.

Which I think is exactly the point. While North American carriers are renewing their fleets, and for the most part, they are constantly taking delivery of new planes, they cannot do so at a pace to have a brand new fleet every 10-15 years, simply because their fleets are massive. Wait until FR and U2 have been operating on the same scale for over 30 years, and you'll see their fleets age as well without being able to be replaced straightaway.

In addition, the early 2000s saw a huge decline in air travel in the USA (most of North America's air traffic) in response to the 2001 terrorist attacks, leading most airlines to suspend or even cancel deliveries of new aircraft. UA, US, DL, and NW (now part of DL) all went through bankruptcy during this time (AC did as well). So, in essence, North American carriers were not in a position to take delivery of entire fleets of new airplanes.



LHR - The Capital of the World
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9727 posts, RR: 31
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 14743 times:

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 17):
LH...........306...................12.6
BA..........256....................13

These figures are wrong, even before LH phased out a larger number of 735/733/744s last year as well as phasing out complete all Avro/HS146 jets the average was at 11.2 or so.

It should now be aroiund 10, or even under 10 years in average.

More 744s will leave this year as will 737s and new A320 and 5x 748 will join the fleet and reeduce the average.

LH and Regional hjas a total of 403 aircraft, if OS and LX are added the total makes 572



Es saugt und blaest der Heinzelmann wo Mutti sonst nur blasen kann. Frueher war mehr Lametta.
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 1308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 14449 times:

The huge advantage of those old planes is that there is no capital expenditure. Those planes are paid for. It means you can even have the luxury of parking one of those as a fleet reserve at your hub and use it if another plane has a technical.

User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 1028 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 14255 times:
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Quoting seahawk (Reply 21):

Correct these old planes have no capital expenditure, but higher fuel and maintenance costs. It evens out at the end


User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2830 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 12299 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
"the average fleet age in North America is higher than Africa"..... ouch

Must be all the MD80s and 767s in North American fleets.

Delta, American, and Aeromexico operate lots of MD80s and 767s...

USAirways' 757s are very old too

From an aviation enthusiast's point of view - and this is a forum for aviation enthusiasts, correct? - this is actually not too bad. I am writing these lines from China and I can tell you, all the airports here, the big ones as well as all the provincial ones - are so boring. Only 738s and A 320s. I am even no longer looking out of the window during take-off and landing, in opposite to landing in Miami, where I typically freak out while watching all these rarities in the maintenance area.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 20):
These figures are wrong

Well, let's say they are not up to date. However, it shows a trend and I find it very interesting.


User currently offlineb2319 From China, joined Jan 2013, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11332 times:

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 23):
I am writing these lines from China and I can tell you, all the airports here, the big ones as well as all the provincial ones - are so boring. Only 738s and A 320s.

My last two flights have been Airbus A300s between SHA and SZX.

Please look at the daily variety of aircraft between PEK and SHA/PVG: A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/A343/B733/B73G/B738/B744/B772

But let's not let the facts get in the way of a good argument, eh?

Regards

B-2319


User currently offlinecontext From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11215 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 8):
OK, please don't flame, but is it really true that aircraft age is absolutely unrelated to safety? That is to say, I fully understand well-maintained older aircraft to be safe, but I merely pose the question about how well-maintained new aircraft compare to well-maintained older ones. I ask with no expectation or bias, other than to obtain some kind of statistically valid answer.

I too would like to see a strictly statistical analysis. We all have our opinions of what's comfortable or which planes seem to have the most MX delay but anyone know where we could get some hard numbers for this?


User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11197 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
"the average fleet age in North America is higher than Africa"..... ouch

Better to have a well maintained, older fleet than a poorly maintained, newer fleet, I would think.  



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11238 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 8):
OK, please don't flame, but is it really true that aircraft age is absolutely unrelated to safety? That is to say, I fully understand well-maintained older aircraft to be safe, but I merely pose the question about how well-maintained new aircraft compare to well-maintained older ones. I ask with no expectation or bias, other than to obtain some kind of statistically valid answer.

I accept what you are saying. Everything can be maintained and refreshed and an old airplane can be as safe as a new one, but a new one doesn't have age related issues that have to be fixed. TWA flight 800 caused by dry brittle wiring, allowing a current to jump from a high voltage line to a low voltage line. That is something that could have been prevented by catching that spot in the wire and replacing it, but it involves checking thousands of miles of wiring! A new aircraft doesn't require that check, and if there were a problem with a wire, it would be more isolated and easier to spot. I have full faith in the maintenance crews in the US, and I am excited to fly on older aircraft, not scared, but age does effect things.


User currently offlineboeingrulz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 481 posts, RR: 1
Reply 26, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11103 times:
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One of the reasons that there are some companies that can dramatically replace their fleets with new airplanes is that money is cheap right now and interest bearing investments are not an attractive option. Those airlines who have not gone through bankruptcy have access to the cheapest debt and capital investments are a no-brainer. How many North American airlines have not gone through bankruptcy?

User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 27, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11176 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 28):
Better to have a well maintained, older fleet than a poorly maintained, newer fleet, I would think.

And even better to have newer well maintained fleets.

From an enthusiast point of view seeing the newer generation of vintage aircraft all over US airports is a delight but as business traveller point of view travelling through the US has lost a lot of its charm. Old airports with boring architecture for the most part, old planes that look old regardless of how well maintained they are, very low quality service with very exceptions to the norm, huge queues and ill tempered staff in lots of places and horrible uniform standards.

The truth is that when I was a kid the US had huge airlines with new planes, fantastic looking airports (relative to the rest of the world) and fantastic customer experiences to tell about. Things went fast down the drain post 9/11 (understandably) but it is time for you guys to stop being apologetic about your industry and demanding what the US was famous for 20 years ago, fantastic customer service and customer experiences.

Just some feedback, so do not flame me for it.


User currently offlineGSPflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10990 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 20):
These figures are wrong, even before LH phased out a larger number of 735/733/744s last year as well as phasing out complete all Avro/HS146 jets the average was at 11.2 or so.

This is my source for the information;

http://airsafe.com/events/airlines/fleetage.htm


User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 29, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10941 times:

Quoting bogota (Reply 31):
about your industry and demanding what the US was famous for 20 years ago, fantastic customer service and customer experiences.

Are the passengers willing to pay for it?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9727 posts, RR: 31
Reply 30, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10860 times:

The current active 23 747s have an average age of 12,26 years, not 14,6

just to mention one. The fleet does not contain the LH regional jets which further reduces the average. The remaining 39 737s will be gradually replaced by A32x and so on.



Es saugt und blaest der Heinzelmann wo Mutti sonst nur blasen kann. Frueher war mehr Lametta.
User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 31, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10676 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 33):
Are the passengers willing to pay for it?

I do not seem to recall US airfares cheaper than the rest of the world.


User currently onlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8760 posts, RR: 3
Reply 32, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10630 times:

Our market is competitive. The market does not allow big spending for aircraft that don't provide a direct financial return.

Other countries need to worry about (1) capability and (2) reputation, when they use old aircraft. In the US, maintenance is a given. Passengers are ok with the idea of flying a 30 year old aircraft and they accept it as equivalent (or actually superior to) a 3 day old aircraft.

Everybody is free to try the counterexample. Go ahead and buy A320s and start an airline. Won't be easy to pay the bills in this competitive environment.

[Edited 2013-01-26 09:20:50]

User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 33, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10503 times:

Quoting bogota (Reply 35):
I do not seem to recall US airfares cheaper than the rest of the world.

But they probably cheaper, here, than they used to be, when inflation is figured in. To get the kind of service (which the U.S. carriers are more than willing to provide) that they want, ticket prices will have to go up.

On the other hand, it's difficult to buy a shiny new a/c everytime that the customers want a new experience. As an example, how much is DL investing in refurbishing a/c and improving the experience? I believe it's about $2billion.......on top of that there are new (or nearly new) a/c coming into the fleet in the next couple of years. If an a/c is refurbished on the inside and maintained properly, overall, the people sitting inside aren't going to know the age of the a/c or even care about it.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 34, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10306 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):

Makes you wonder what happens with this theory when DL, WN, UA and AA start to take delivery of all the a/c they have on order........  



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5743 posts, RR: 19
Reply 35, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10134 times:

Quoting a380900 (Reply 10):
Are new Boeings and Airbuses not so good after all? I don't get it.

They are, but at the same time the old airplanes have been fully paid for long time ago and they are now only making money for the airline (minus necessary maintenance of course).
That being said I still find it hard to comprehend that there are countless "vintage" DC9s or 762s being used by major airlines while fairly young 736s and A318s have been already scrapped.

The article is an attempt for cheap sensationalism. They should do a follow-up piece though.... North America: World's Oldest Flight Attendants.   


User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 36, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10006 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 36):
Our market is competitive. The market does not allow big spending for aircraft that don't provide a direct financial return.

Not as much then, if the market allows for lower quality service and no company can change that trend it is not a competitive market.

Quoting mayor (Reply 37):
To get the kind of service (which the U.S. carriers are more than willing to provide) that they want, ticket prices will have to go up.

Maybe the large US carriers should ask Virgin America or even Jet Blue how to compete with a different and better customer experience. Again, do not flame me for it, this is just feed back. I tend to see so many apologetic answers about the state of US aviation that it saddens me. It was the US aviation that made me a fan of aviation in general and since I have to travel constantly to your country I would love to have the same customer experience that I have in Europe or Asia, and I simply do not.


User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 37, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9963 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 39):
They should do a follow-up piece though.... North America: World's Oldest Flight Attendants.

That could be true, but on the other hand they are the nicest people you run into when you fly in the US. When I see a mature person in my cabin I get excited about it. They smile, they are warm and charming.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13518 posts, RR: 100
Reply 38, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9400 times:
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Quoting mayor (Reply 38):
Makes you wonder what happens with this theory when DL, WN, UA and AA start to take delivery of all the a/c they have on order........

Just AA riding themselves of the MD-80 and DL replacing DC-9s with 717s will skew the numbers quite a bit.
With the immanent 'fast retirement' of 757s, it will be a quick fleet switch.

Quoting a380900 (Reply 10):
What I don't get is that Airbus and Boeing are selling their products based on performance. How can old metal compete with brand new models?

Up to $35/bbl, easy. But at today's oil prices, they do not. It has been more of an ability to finance new aircraft. This is one reason AA is in BK. One of many I admit...

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 12):
All these old gas guzzlers are hurting our environment.

Aircraft burn about 2% of the oil. I think there are far worse concerns out there. Namely the spike in coal burning. That puts far more nasties into the air than jet fuel.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 39, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9129 times:

Quoting bogota (Reply 40):
Virgin America

Maybe Virgin America should ask the legacies how to be profitable......  



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 40, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8985 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 43):
Maybe Virgin America should ask the legacies how to be profitable......

Especially AA... anyhow if the service you get is what you are actually expecting then I guess then again they are doing what that market wants. It may not be anything to rave about, but as I understand from the defensive answers that is as good as the customers are wanting it to be.


User currently offlinetan1mill From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8885 times:

If a plane from the 50's is still flying, I feel that's a testament to how safe it really is.


Love many, Trust few, Always paddle your own canoe.
User currently offlineokie73 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8064 times:

None of the airlines in the U.S. receive government subsidies. That is a big factor.

User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7718 posts, RR: 21
Reply 43, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7701 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 11):
If they're well maintained (to Western Standards), and flown by a reputable airline, I feel as safe in a MD80,DC9,or 737-200 as I do in a new 737-900 or A319..

As do I, absolutely, but that really wasn't the point of my question.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 29):
I accept what you are saying

Not saying, asking. I am making no assertion of any kind.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 29):
. I have full faith in the maintenance crews in the US, and I am excited to fly on older aircraft, not scared, but age does effect things.

Sure thing. But still, I would be interested to know what the stats were, assuming that all other factors such as good maintenance etc were equal.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineLN-KGL From Norway, joined Sep 1999, 1082 posts, RR: 4
Reply 44, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7462 times:

Quoting okie73 (Reply 47):
None of the airlines in the U.S. receive government subsidies. That is a big factor.

Since you have said A, now you have to start listing airlines that receive government subsidies. I suggest you start with one of the airlines with the lowest fleet age - Ryanair (305 x Boeing 737-800 - average age 4.3 years).


User currently offlinexaapb From Mexico, joined Jan 2005, 447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 45, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6320 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
and Aeromexico operate lots of MD80s and 767s...

IIRC AM dosen't operate any MD80 anymore, all of them had been replace with 737NG, as for the 767 they have according to planespotter 7 767s: 5 767-200 and 2 767-300

Greetings.



Jorge Meneses
User currently offlinehOmsAR From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5546 times:

Quoting bogota (Reply 27):
The truth is that when I was a kid the US had huge airlines with new planes, fantastic looking airports (relative to the rest of the world) and fantastic customer experiences to tell about. Things went fast down the drain post 9/11 (understandably) but it is time for you guys to stop being apologetic about your industry and demanding what the US was famous for 20 years ago, fantastic customer service and customer experiences.

I'm not sure how long ago you were a kid, but in the 90s (since you're referring to US airlines from 20 years ago, I'll pick that time), airlines were flying ancient airplanes.

UA still had DC-8s flying past 1990 (from what I can find, DL just barely got rid of theirs before 1990). A few carriers (not just NW) were still flying DC-9s from the 60s. Every major airline was flying 727s into the late 1990s (I can't remember off the top of my head which of the surviving majors was first to retire their fleet, but for most of them I think it was after 9/11). DC-10s, L-1011s and 747-100s and -200s were still flying past the year 2000.

I don't have exact numbers, but it wouldn't surprise me if US airlines' fleets today are, on average, newer than they were in the mid 1990s. If not, then once you factor out the DL DC-9s and some of the oldest 757s still hanging around (for which replacements are on order), the age will drop quite a bit.

I can't comment too much on airports, because I honestly don't pay attention to them very much (and I don't travel internationally much at all, other than to Canada, having been to Europe only twice). As for customer service, it seemed that airlines had just as bad of a reputation back then as they do today. Of course, it's hard to compare because you didn't have as big of an internet community back then to comment on every facet of everything going on, so sources of information were limited. I do remember airline food often being ridiculed as the worst stuff you could possibly ever eat. Guess they took care of that problem.

Otherwise, you can just point to economics to explain why the industry has evolved the way it did (I guess that makes me an apologist?).



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 47, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5312 times:

Quoting tharanga (Reply 5):
but if the cabin isn't refreshed and revamped from time to time, the old plane will be less comfortable.

I dunno. A lot of those older seats are much, much more comfortable.

Quoting bogota (Reply 36):
Maybe the large US carriers should ask Virgin America or even Jet Blue how to compete with a different and better customer experience

That's the thing, Virgin can't compete. They cannot charge enough more for their service to create a profitable enterprise.

We know the product is great, but it is addressing a market that's insufficiently large to sustain the airline.

NS


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5743 posts, RR: 19
Reply 48, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5210 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 47):
That's the thing, Virgin can't compete. They cannot charge enough more for their service to create a profitable enterprise.

What about JetBlue, can they compete? Their product seems to be quite similar to VX.

[Edited 2013-01-26 16:05:16]

User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 49, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5215 times:

As for flying to be "better" in the good old days, here's a quote from the Air Transport Association:



"A round-trip coach ticket between New York and Los Angeles was $208 in 1958, according to the Air Transport Association. You can still sometimes find a $208 ticket today, but that 1958 price is $1,570 in today’s dollars."



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 50, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5197 times:

Here's the thing. JetBlue addressed a market with demand - low cost, domestic service from JFK. They faced very little competition on the routes they launched, and in fact from the airport at large. They have a large route network with many destinations, and defined the terms of their engagement with other carriers, and that was years ago.

Virgin, on the other hand, has a very limited route map that includes routes with at least 1 if not several other carriers from airports with immense competition available. They just don't fly enough places to generate scale on their routes or to generate robust loyalty from travelers who fly to more than a handful of places.

Its all about timing and size. Virgin didn't grow large enough to compete effectively and now that opportunity may well be past.

NS


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23296 posts, RR: 20
Reply 51, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5147 times:

Quoting hOmsAR (Reply 46):
I can't comment too much on airports, because I honestly don't pay attention to them very much (and I don't travel internationally much at all, other than to Canada, having been to Europe only twice).

I can. New build airports are nice regardless of where they are, but among large hubs only DEN fits in that category in the United States and it is now nearly 20 years old. In contrast, there are numerous new build airports in other parts of the world (ICN, DXB, SCL, etc.) If you look at airports that were around prior to, say, 1990, it's as much of a mixed bag airport to airport (and sometimes terminal to terminal at an airport) in the United States as it is anywhere else. Large parts of CDG and LHR aren't nice. GRU and EZE aren't nice. Most of JFK isn't nice. But DTW is nice, YYZ Terminal 1 is nice, etc.

US airports are, like many western European airports, "victims" of the fact that civil aviation developed faster and earlier in this part of the world than in much of the rest of the world. Perhaps the same is true of fleet age/aircraft. UA has an average fleet age of 13.4 years. That's not too much different from LH (12.6 years) or BA (13.0 years).



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2301 posts, RR: 7
Reply 52, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5073 times:

Good. Another thing to like about aviation in the USA. I'll put that on the list with free upgrades and real business class seating.

Quoting bogota (Reply 27):
The truth is that when I was a kid the US had huge airlines with new planes, fantastic looking airports (relative to the rest of the world) and fantastic customer experiences to tell about. Things went fast down the drain post 9/11 (understandably)

Let's just say my worst customer service experience in the USA was pre-9/11 (I won't name the airline, but I won't fly them anymore). It's not as simple as you might think.

I've had some great crews on Delta recently. It really makes a big difference where the F/As are from. Atlanta crews are usually very good. In fact, I think things have gotten better in the last few years... I also expect a rise in standards on AA as well, soon.

If you want terrible customer service, go to Southern and Eastern Europe... Trust me, I know.

Airports, on the other hand... American ones suck with few exceptions. I like DTW, though.


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 53, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4791 times:

Quoting 93Sierra (Reply 14):
Please don't drag green environmental crap into this forum. Air travel isn't Eco friendly and never will be. The amount of toxins from jet a to de ice fluid at an airport to the amounts of exhaust from gse to the actual aircraft engines all are " pollutants" however we gotta get from a to b and nobody's gonna stop. Climate change is a joke, nature is cyclical

You may not like it but environmental concerns are reality.

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 17):
Fleet size seems to correlate with age.

No it is not. Plenty of small airlines with very old average to disprove that theory. Fleet age is determined by multiple factors, e.g. demand, fleet policy, financial situation, timing ( when in the product life cycle you look )

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 19):
While North American carriers are renewing their fleets, and for the most part, they are constantly taking delivery of new planes, they cannot do so at a pace to have a brand new fleet every 10-15 years, simply because their fleets are massive.

Sure you can. Every plane must earn it's keep so the reasoning for replacement are the same if you have a fleet of 50, 250 or any other number.

Quoting g500 (Reply 22):
Correct these old planes have no capital expenditure, but higher fuel and maintenance costs. It evens out at the end

No, at the end fuel and maintenance becomes too high and it is replaced  
Quoting Flighty (Reply 32):
Our market is competitive. The market does not allow big spending for aircraft that don't provide a direct financial return.

There are plenty of competitive markets.

Quoting okie73 (Reply 42):
None of the airlines in the U.S. receive government subsidies. That is a big factor.

Is it, and don't they? Seems there are plenty of airlines not receiving subsidies that have younger fleets. And I don't think it is fair to state there isn't government support in US.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23296 posts, RR: 20
Reply 54, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4745 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 53):
Sure you can. Every plane must earn it's keep so the reasoning for replacement are the same if you have a fleet of 50, 250 or any other number.

What you are missing is that there are a finite number of delivery slots and, obviously, many customers. So if DL decided today to replace all remaining M88s with 738s as soon as possible, it would be 2020 or so before that task could be completed. If SW decided to replace its three 737 classics with 738s, it could do that much more quickly.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinemacc From Austria, joined Nov 2004, 1072 posts, RR: 3
Reply 55, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4678 times:

From an enthusiast point of view i am travelling to DFW today on AA 767. Dont care at all for the age of the plane, but being stuck in that tube for 10 hours with no in seat entertainment but some screens in the aisles has definitley became a bit old fashioned by now.  


I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
User currently onlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4067 posts, RR: 13
Reply 56, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4642 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Aircraft age is unrelated to safety. Compare the safety record of North American airlines with Africa (and almost everywhere else in the world).

Your statement is usually accepted as true. But here is another kink on this: Are newer airframe designs safer than older ones. If so, older fleets are less safe.



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User currently offlinePanAm788 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4594 times:

Quoting incitatus (Reply 57):
Your statement is usually accepted as true. But here is another kink on this: Are newer airframe designs safer than older ones. If so, older fleets are less safe.

I'd say the DC-9 is a "safer" design than the MD-11 and the DC-9 is much older. The Comet was likewise less safe than the vast majority of the previous generation piston airliners.



You know nothing Jon Snow
User currently offlinehOmsAR From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4514 times:

Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 58):
Quoting incitatus (Reply 57):
Your statement is usually accepted as true. But here is another kink on this: Are newer airframe designs safer than older ones. If so, older fleets are less safe.

I'd say the DC-9 is a "safer" design than the MD-11 and the DC-9 is much older. The Comet was likewise less safe than the vast majority of the previous generation piston airliners.

Those are somewhat apples-oranges comparisons.

The Comet was an entry into what was then brand new technology with very little understood about the forces and stresses it would encounter over time.

MD-11 vs. DC-9 is perhaps a bit more valid (since neither were groundbreaking designs with a totally new technology). My understanding of the MD-11 issues are with how the plane handles on landing, which seems to be how a number of them were lost. MD-11 vs. DC-10 would be a fairer comparison.

But in general, many accidents lead to some new safety feature or design modification that gets incorporated into the next new airplane.

A 777 has more advanced safety features than a 707 did. Even a 737-800 has an improved design over the 737-200.

Then again, it's also true that any serious flaws that are discovered have a fix retrofitted on older planes, so even if the initial design was less safe, it has been improved over time.

You'll always be able to find specific examples, but on the whole, I'd wager that airplanes rolling off the production line today are safer than airplanes that were rolling off the production line 40 years ago. In the mean time, some of those planes from 40 years ago have been modified to increase the safety in their design.

Still, these are small variances over what is already an extremely unlikely event. Even if old airplanes were twice as likely to crash as new airplanes, you're still talking a bunch of zeroes to the right of the decimal point in terms of likelihood of a fatal incident of some sort.



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 59, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4490 times:

Quoting hOmsAR (Reply 59):
You'll always be able to find specific examples, but on the whole, I'd wager that airplanes rolling off the production line today are safer than airplanes that were rolling off the production line 40 years ago. In the mean time, some of those planes from 40 years ago have been modified to increase the safety in their design.

However, I doubt if the fleets compared in the original article have a 40 year differentiation between them.....more like 20 years (with the exception of DL's DC-9s). Is the design of most current Airbus narrowbodies flown by African or European carriers all that much safer or different than those that are flown by DL, US or UA? It's not like we're talking about an early build A320 and comparing it to a A320NEO, correct? We're talking of the same generation of a/c, in general and as long as the maintenance is kept up to date on the older a/c, they might just be better than one that is flying within Africa, on a carrier that skimps on maintenance as a matter of course.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2830 posts, RR: 25
Reply 60, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4180 times:

Quoting b2319 (Reply 22):
But let's not let the facts get in the way of a good argument, eh?

Let me start by saying that I didn't intend to say anything negative about your country or the civil aviation of your country.

Quoting b2319 (Reply 22):
My last two flights have been Airbus A300s between SHA and SZX.

All my domestic eight flights within China since September last year have been on A 320 or B 738, nothing else. Well, maybe it was just bad luck.

Quoting b2319 (Reply 22):
Please look at the daily variety of aircraft between PEK and SHA/PVG: A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/A343/B733/B73G/B738/B744/B772

Hmm, problem is I am used to the following composition (active planespotter between 1983 and 1992):
B707-100/B707-300/B720/B727-100/B 727-200/B732/B733/B734/B735/B741/B742/B74SP/B743/B744/B752/B762/B763/B772/DC 8-50/DC 8-60/DC 8-70/DC 9-10/DC 9-30/DC 9-50/DC 9-80/DC 10-30/L1011-1/L101-500/A 300B4/A 306/A310-200/A 310-300/A 320/A 340/SE 210/Bac 1-11, Rombac 1-11/HS 121/Bae 146-100, Bae 146-300/Fokker 28/Fokker 100/VFW614/Il62/Il86/Tu134/Tu154 and I am not talking about rarities but normal daily movements.

Greetings from Songyuan.


User currently onlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4067 posts, RR: 13
Reply 61, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3927 times:

Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 58):
I'd say the DC-9 is a "safer" design than the MD-11 and the DC-9 is much older. The Comet was likewise less safe than the vast majority of the previous generation piston airliners.

True but those are two designs with defects. Electras and Stratocruisers had issues as well. Soon after EIS aircraft will have problems not detected in the development phase that will be ironed out - good timely examples the 787 and the A380. But the question remains as to whether newer designs are generally safer than older ones.

If that is the case, a fleet of well-maintained older aircraft may be less safe than a fleet of new aircraft.



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User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10645 posts, RR: 14
Reply 62, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3822 times:

Quoting incitatus (Reply 63):
If that is the case, a fleet of well-maintained older aircraft may be less safe than a fleet of new aircraft.

What if that fleet of new a/c is NOT well maintained? Doesn't that change the argument, slightly?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinepeanuts From Netherlands, joined Dec 2009, 1445 posts, RR: 4
Reply 63, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3824 times:

So, we are having an argument over "old" planes, yet the rest of the world is just at the dawn of the mess US carriers just went through over the past uh let's say 20 years???

Right.

Apples/oranges.

Nothing to do about our beloved environment and safety. It is, and was, all about different accounting principles.

[Edited 2013-01-27 08:38:03]


Question Conventional Wisdom. While not all commonly held beliefs are wrong…all should be questioned.
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 64, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

Quoting peanuts (Reply 65):
Nothing to do about our beloved environment and safety. It is, and was, all about different accounting principles.

Can you expand on this because I'm not able to make heads or tails of what you're trying to say.


User currently offlineNWAROOSTER From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1149 posts, RR: 3
Reply 65, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3412 times:
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Newer aircraft most likely will not be able to be used as long as some of the older aircraft. Newer aircraft are manufactured to lower minimums as engineers have figured out what is the minimums that an aircraft can manufactured to. They may have lighter gauge aluminum, more fibreglass and composites. They may be lighter and save fuel, but not necessarily have the durability of an older aircraft that was over engineered. Also, the newer aircraft have a lot more electronics which is subject to more failures along with the fact that the electronics becomes obsolete in a shooter time.
Aircraft built today are computers with wings that can now fly. I am not saying that earlier aircraft are better aircraft, but that earlier aircraft will be flying a longer life span than newer aircraft. They were simpler. The DC-9 is a good example.   



Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
User currently offlineFlyingAY From Finland, joined Jun 2007, 713 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

Quoting cosyr (Reply 25):
I accept what you are saying. Everything can be maintained and refreshed and an old airplane can be as safe as a new one, but a new one doesn't have age related issues that have to be fixed.

I would also expect that the certification requirements for new aircraft these days are more strict than the requirements were in 1960s for example. For example, it's practically impossible to certify a new combi aircraft these days (because the fire protection requirements for newer planes are so strict that a combi does not make economical sense), but that wasn't the case earlier and the old combis keep flying still even if they would not pass the certification requirements for new planes these days.

I'd also expect that the new aircraft have many technological advances that actually increase safety compared to a situation where such systems would not exist.

Note that I'm not saying that older aircraft are unsafe. Well maintained fleets of older planes are safe. I'm just interested in finding the answer to the question RussianJet posed: are equally well maintained fleets of new planes even safer?


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 67, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 67):
more fibreglass and composites.

Fibreglass and composites will live nearly twice or 3 times as long under compression as aluminum.

The 787's fuselage has a practically unlimited lifetime.

NS


User currently offlineNWAROOSTER From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1149 posts, RR: 3
Reply 68, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2129 times:
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Quoting gigneil (Reply 71):

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 67):
more fibreglass and composites.

Fibreglass and composites will live nearly twice or 3 times as long under compression as aluminum.

The 787's fuselage has a practically unlimited lifetime.

Did you ever try and repair fiberglass or composite materials. It is not as simple as aluminum.   



Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
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