lredlefsen
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:50 pm

What's A Scrapped Airliner Worth?

Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:08 pm

OK, this might be a stupid question, but "what's a scrapped airliner worth?"

As I understand it, retired planes are stripped of all their valuable components (engines, avionics, etc.), and whatever is left is scrapped by chopping it to pieces, and selling the aluminium by the pound (or whatever) -- right?

It looks like aluminium trades at about US$1/pound. Doing some rough checking, I saw that a Boeing 737-300 has a "typical operating empty weight" of 72,000 lbs. If half of that weight is the stripped, empty carcass, does that imply that it would be sold at scrap for about $36,000 these days?

It'd be kind of cool to get one, and at that cost, it seems like it's not all that bad -- transporting the thing might be the bigger expense!

Could it really be that simple?
 
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litz
Posts: 1918
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 6:01 am

RE: What's A Scrapped Airliner Worth?

Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:09 pm

If I remember correctly, the Mythbusters bought their used HA DC9 (used for the explosive decompression myth) for $6500 ...

Mind you, that might not have been an outright purchase price since they didn't move it off-site, rather simply blew holes in it in-situ ...

- litz
 
Yellowstone
Posts: 2821
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:32 am

RE: What's A Scrapped Airliner Worth?

Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:00 pm

More than I can afford. Rather a shame, too.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
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falstaff
Posts: 5593
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:17 am

RE: What's A Scrapped Airliner Worth?

Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:02 am

The price would vary depending on the prices of scrap metal at any given time. I scrap cars all the time and sometimes I get $50 and sometimes I get $250 for similar vehicles depending on the price. When you break up a plane you would break it it down into "different piles" of materials to get your maximum value out of it. There are thousands of aluminum alloys and some are more valuable than others. Even different types of steel can vary in price. Some automobiles have a large variety of materials in them. When you break them up into subgroups of materials and scrap those parts separately you can get more money. If I do that I can get up to $500 for a car, instead of $100 or so for the whole thing.

A friend of my dad bought a F-86 ten years ago. It was in a trailer park that was being redeveloped. He went and ask the contractor what they were doing with it. He said he could have it at scrap price. He bought the plane for $1800 or something like that. It cost that much to move. It was complete except the engines. It still looked cool. He cleaned it up and donated it to a museum. I would have put it in my yard and sat in it and drank beer. How cool would that be.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
aviateur
Posts: 562
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:25 am

RE: What's A Scrapped Airliner Worth?

Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:29 am

Anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000, normally.

I wrote an article two weeks ago about airplane scrapyards. You can see it here. Access is free:

Letter from Mojave: The Deeper Meanings of an Airplane Graveyard
http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/08/04/askthepilot197/


- PS
Boston
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
TinkerBelle
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:46 am

RE: What's A Scrapped Airliner Worth?

Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:33 am

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 4):
Letter from Mojave: The Deeper Meanings of an Airplane Graveyard

I drove by there last Monday.. Some interesting casualties. Thought I saw a KLM 747 sitting upright.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
aviateur
Posts: 562
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:25 am

RE: What's A Scrapped Airliner Worth?

Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:38 am

There are two KLM 747s there. They're converted 200/300 models. I was there for a documentary shoot for Discovery Channel, and we had access to a CO 747. Mojave is quite a surreal place. My favorite sight is the old chunk of an Eastern DC-8. Just a fuselage plug, really, but with seats and bins are still neatly installed.

- PS

www.askthepilot.com
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author

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