Early Air
Topic Author
Posts: 624
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2001 6:53 am

Retire Boeing Aircraft

Sun Feb 18, 2001 4:04 pm

I was just wondering if there is an age that boeing suggests to retire an aircraft?
Posts: 2216
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2000 6:00 am

RE: Retire Boeing Aircraft

Sun Feb 18, 2001 4:12 pm

Age of an a/c is not true indicator of its use. Number of cycles is the most logical measuring stick for airlines do decide whether the a/c will stay or go. Other considerations, such as age (obsolete technology), fleet commonality, availability of spare parts, noise restrictions, etc... play parts in the decision as well.
But generally speaking, old airplanes are the first to go, rather than new ones. Then again, DC3s out there defy that logic.
Philly Phlyer
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 23, 1999 12:05 pm

RE: Retire Boeing Aircraft

Mon Feb 19, 2001 1:32 am


The reason that DC3s "defy that logic" (as you posted) is because they are not pressurized. That is what is most tough on an airframe during cycles. For non-pressurized aircraft, the cycles still are important since there is a lot of stress on take-off and landing (especially landing). These, however, do not produce anywhere near the problem of presurization over and over again.

If you keep blowing up a balloon and letting the air out again and again, it gets easier to blow up the balloon as time goes on. This is because the balloon gets weaker each time (each cycle) until it eventually breaks. This is what happened to that Aloha 737 that "lost its ceiling" about 20 years ago.

RE: Retire Boeing Aircraft

Mon Feb 19, 2001 4:31 am

That Aloha flight had a bit of help from salt corrosion, though... but you're right- same thing applies...