L1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1619 posts, RR: 9 Reply 2, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 776 times:
On a similar note, what happens to the old seats when an airline installs new ones? For example, when the L-1011s and DC-10s switched from 8-abreast seating to narrower 9-abreast seats, thousands of nice, comfortable seats were removed and replaced. What became of them?
BryanG From United States of America, joined May 1999, 427 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 749 times:
We have an outfit at GSO that occasionally buys retired planes. They're located just across from my cargo ramp. The last airliners they had were an A300 and DC-10, and they were being slowly taken apart as parts were needed. Most of the valuable parts were mechanical, like the engines and APU. I went inside the A300 a couple times, and all the stuff you'd expect to see on the inside (most of the seats, bins, side panels, galley stuff, etc...) was still there. The exception was the cockpit, in which every instrument was gone and only the wiring remained. Over the course of a couple years they sold off most of the seats and bins and stuff, then trashed all the non-metal parts from inside the plane. After that they tore the remaining fuselage apart with a arm-grapler into a huge pile of scrap aluminum. That A300 is now holds your Budweiser.
747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2776 posts, RR: 16 Reply 6, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 695 times:
1) The pilots are given the choice of retiring (it isn't called being fired) but airlines are obligated to allow them to continue by training them in a new aircraft type or, more often and if possible preferably, in a new version of the current aircraft.
2) The aircrafts are flown to various remote locations for one of two purposes: 1) Dismanteling; 2) Storage (forever or for future use). Those which go to dismanteling are described quite well in one of the other reponses. They sit, often for years, while others in line are digested, unless there is a demand for parts. All valuable entities, mechanics and computers, are removed. The tires are often deflated or removed entirely, and the engines are almost certainly taken off (engine fan blades are coated with a material similar to diamond to prevent things from easily chipping them). The airline's logo is painted or stripped off. Seats and other casual interior decorations or passenger facilities are sold to anyone who will buy them as they are needed, but can be found in great numbers in land fills (I always thought if I got rich I'd take up a collection and start myself a regular aero-theater!). The fuselage itself may not be touched, but once everything inside is finally out, it will probably be torn apart (broken up) so that the metal can be re-used. Wings are a more difficult manner since they are made of composite materials, and thus are frequently left alone to sit in heeps somewhere.
Those which go to storage can be found by the scores in desert facilities such as those at Mojave. Their windows are blocked, valuables removed, logos painted off, and they are left (usually with wings and landing gear attatched) to sit and bask in the sunlight until time should see them go. Some of them are left in-tact so that second, third, fourth, or even fifth-hand airlines may purchase them.
IF ANYONE READING THIS KNOWS HOW I CAN ACQUIRE A FUSELAGE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW, I AM DESPERATELY SEARCHING FOR A 747-100 FUSELAGE TO PURCHASE AND DON'T KNOW WHO TO CONTACT!
"Mental health is reality at all cost." -- M. Scott Peck, 'The Road Less Traveled'