erikwilliam
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HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:54 pm

Just wondering, since RG is getting some former UA T7´s.

How long can a plane sit in the desert waiting for a new costumer or to re-join the fleet?
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PanAm747
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:13 am

As I recall reading a long time ago, there are four different levels of aircraft storage available:

1) Extreme short term - the least expensive, but very little preparation is done. I believe this is for less than one month's time.

2) Short term - leased jets undergo this routine frequently. An airline finds itself with too much capacity, and decides to return the planes to the company. Sometimes the leasing company can find new customers right away, sometimes not. More preparation is done for this, like covering windows and tires and engine intakes.

3) Long term - this was a popular decision after 9/11. Airlines shed their excess capacity by storing a lot of planes (especially wide-bodies) in the desert. When it is believed that the aircraft will not be needed for a long period of time, extensive preparations go into covering and securing the plane from wind, sand, moisture, etc. This particular practice requires a LOT of man-hours to cover and secure the plane, but when the plane is needed again, it will be in great condition and require only minimal replacements of parts. Usually it will be in flyable condition in a very short time - witness the AI 777's taken quickly from the desert.

4) Retired - this is where planes go to die. No preparations are undertaken as the plane is not expected to fly again, merely cut-up or stripped for parts.

In answer to your question (finally!!), the techniques used by storage companies are quite refined - I can't say "indefinitely", but I would say the more money you have to spend, the more secure your plane will be.

As a side note, I have read that the cost of the most expensive level of secure storage per day is still cheaper than the landing fees at some airports!
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HAWK21M
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:22 am

As long as the AMM directed Storage Requirements/Checks are met/carried out.
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JAM747
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:15 am

I wonder which a/c has been in storage the longest? Does any one know?
 
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jetjack74
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:30 am

One of the longest stored aircraft is 707-138B, VR-CAN. She's been a resident at Marana since August of 1981. It was rumored to have been used by the Shaw of Iran while he was in exile.

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erikwilliam
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:55 am

PanAm747:

Thx for the answer, that really clreared things up for me Big grin
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ORD777
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:02 am

I think I saw recently a new Thai Airline that brought back an L-1011 from the desert. I think I remember reading that it had been in storage for a very long time. Anyone have more info?
 
carlcowkau
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:02 am

oh....that ex-Qantas has a regitration code with "VR". Isn't "VR" the Hong Kong registration code before 1997?
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daron4000
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:50 am

Why can't ordinary people get things from the planes that are going there to "die," such as seats or even parts or the whole airplane?
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:22 pm

Wasn't the Boeing's Dash 80 sitting in the desert like 20-odd years before being flown back to Seattle for restoration, then on to the Air & Space annex in DC? And don't forget all those Convairs 880s/990s that were parked for so many years before being scrapped. Regards.
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Planesmart
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:08 pm

They sit in the desert until the parts value exceeds the estimated sale value of the complete aircraft, or until the owner, or the owners bank, runs out of money, patience or both.
 
jdaniel001
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:14 pm

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 8):
Why can't ordinary people get things from the planes that are going there to "die," such as seats or even parts or the whole airplane?

I think seats are broken down and smelted like the rest of the airplane. But call Evergreen in AZ, you might get lucky and get a set. I know DH has hundreds of seats in IAD from the UAX days that are being sent to Midwest Aircraft for "recycling".
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AirframeAS
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:37 pm

You know, Marana is getting bigger and bigger daily. The last time I drove by there going towards TUS on I-10, there was a crapload of NW aircraft there.
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IslandHopperCO
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RE: HOw Long Can A Plane Sit In Desert?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:51 pm

USAir kept its fleet of BAE-146s in the desert from 1991-1997 before finally finding buyers for them. At the time they were parked they were way less than 10 years old!

USAir evidently wouldn't pay Mohave to take good care of them either, so they needed serious reconditioning when they were put back in service...the lavatories weren't even emptied! They are now flying for various European low-cost carriers.

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