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How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:30 pm

I remember seeing a very loud Aero California Dc9 and I wondered to myself how can these planes still be flying. I saw the pic below and it said that that particular dc9 was delivered 1966. I know the replacing of engines and avionics that go on but aren't some of these airlines taking risks by flying these type of airplanes just to make big profits?

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Photo © Juan Carlos Guerra Aviation Photography of Mexico

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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:34 pm

If you take care of it and treat it with respect, it'll last forever.  Big grin
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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:36 pm

NWA's oldest DC-9s must be in the age range of 1966-1970s. If an airline maintains good and strong maintaince on them, then they are still perfectly safe to remain flying.
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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:38 pm

"big profits"...that's a knee jerker. If only that were true.
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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:41 pm

The answer may well depend on how old you are. The concept of age is relative to ones own. The fact that the planes you are looking at are still flying speaks volumes. Of course it's up to the carrier to keep up with the manufacturers recommendations on maintenance and the governing body of the country of ownership to do its enforcement duties and to ensure the ships integrity. That can cost extra but commitment can definitely accomplish that. I would not hesitate to board any acft from a carrier/country I trusted.

Economics will decide the date your looking for, both of fuel and in maintenance.
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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:14 pm

As stated above, as long as the airline takes the step to follow all "suggested" mx procedures and treat the a/c with respect then there should be no issues with flying such an a/c for more than 30 years. Another issue is that money + plane = Ch. 11. These airlines own the aircraft so why not invest a larger sum that will soon make itself up time and time again? It's worked for NW and many other airlines so before you judge an a/c by it's age take a look at the facts.

Thanks again.

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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:24 pm

I love the fact you can still fly these older aircraft on pax revenue services. We should all be happy they are still around, cos when they're gone they won't be back. Provided they are mechanically sound/and maintained they are perfectly fine to fly on.
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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:50 pm

If you think that's old, you should come up to FAI. We still have several DC-6's and C46's flying daily. Granted, they're used for cargo, but they're still going strong.

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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:33 pm

Until it gets Economically Difficult to Maintain.
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RE: How Old Is Too Old?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:03 pm

Theoretically you could apply the this practice to your car. While not economic you could replace your engine, gear box interior etc periodically and the car will last forever or untill the supply of parts dries up. Also since an aircraft is a money making device you have to take in this maintenace into account. If it costs more to maintain the aircraft then it produces in revenue, theres no point in keeping it and you'll soon go out of business, espcially if the entire fleet is like this.

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