manfredj
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How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:19 pm

Seeing the wonderful photo of the Air France Concord being towed to the stand this morning got me to wondering: How flyable are aircraft that have been restored? In any given museum, could an airplane be taken out of storage and flown again? I'm sure the engines have been removed, but how about the rest of the tidbits? Do the instruments work? Can the control surfaces still move?

Does anyone know the procedure for an airplane being pulled from the desert? For example, if United wanted a 747 ASAP, how long would it take to get it airworthy?

Where are Concord spare parts stored? Are spares still being made today? It's a fun thought.
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HAWK21M
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:24 pm

Not sure about museum pieces flying again....However in Maintenance, we follow a long term storage checklist for stored aircraft,covering schedules calender period wise from a week,forthnight,30/60/120.....onwards,each higher check indicating what needs to be dome to keep the aircraft airworthy.
In addition components when due need to be replaced accordingly to mantain airworthiness.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:35 pm



Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
In any given museum, could an airplane be taken out of storage and flown again?

It very much depends. Some aircraft could probably fly tomorrow with a little work. Others would take months to make airworthy. Same with stored aircraft.

Typically the longer an aircraft has been stored without maintenance, the longer to get it airworthy. Even in the desert, components do degrade. Also stored aircraft have a tendency to get cannibalized for parts.

It can also be harder to find parts for older aircraft.

I saw this docu of an Australian group that restored an old Connie. Took them literally years. Granted, they didn't work on it the whole time, and it was a hobby project, but it shows how much work old aircraft can be to get in the air again.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
aviopic
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:43 pm

PART 1  Wink

Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
In any given museum, could an airplane be taken out of storage and flown again?

Don't know about all museums but there are several who do restore a/c.

Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
I'm sure the engines have been removed

Usualy museums are only interested in complete a/c which means including the engines.

Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
but how about the rest of the tidbits? Do the instruments work? Can the control surfaces still move?

Depends how they are operated(mechanical, hydraulic) and how the a/c is stored.
In many cases an a/c is not stored(properly) but parked or abandoned if you will and that's where the problems begin.

Instruments are usually sealed and keep working although they all need to be checked and calibrated.
Electrics usually keep working as are the electronics again everything needs to be checked though.
Most problems will occur with the hydraulics
If it is not drained the fluid has become some kind of a soapy substance contaminating the whole system.
If the system has been drained all seal's are gone and everything is stuck.
After re-filling the system leaks faster then can be filled.  Smile
The fuel system is another worry.
If drained every tank will be leaking and the fuel probes are gone.
If not drained there is a good chance of fungus in the tanks.

Telling everything will take to much time but here's one example in a nut shell.

The aircraft in question, flying for the US air force.

View Large View Medium
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Photo © Ralf Manteufel
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Photo © Ralf Manteufel



Became a crop duster in Canada after which it was parked.

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Photo © Gerard Helmer
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Photo © Alain Rioux



Then flown to Tucson and basically abandoned, parts cannibalised for the MATS Connie.

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Photo © David Oates
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Photo © Ralph M. Pettersen



After about 10 years inop the a/c was bought by the Dutch aviation museum Aviodrome(well first by a private group but after they ran out of money the Aviodrome took over).

Will continue in PART 2 tomorrow or some other time(if you are still interested that is).
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
dxing
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:53 pm

One thing that was not mentioned above. Corrosion. That is the big stored plane killer. In order to get an aircraft that has been stored for quite some time airworthy a lot of panels are going to have to come off so the insides can be inspected. Not so much of a problem for a museum piece stored inside in a controlled enviroment.
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Northwest727
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:26 pm

The 747 protoype comes to mind for me. It was inactive for a period of time, then Boeing brought up from the dead, restored it, and used it during the 777 engine program.

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 3):
Will continue in PART 2 tomorrow or some other time(if you are still interested that is).

I'd be interested  Smile Thanks for your time researching though
 
411A
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:34 am

Our small company maintains about forty aircraft in both active, and inactive, storage.
In 2000, we activated an ex-ANA L1011 at ROW, performed an A check on the airplane, and flew it to AMM, for heavy maintenance.
On departure, nil descripancies.
On arrival Amm, nil descripancies.

Presently, I'm flying an ex-DAL L1011 for Hajj flights, after storage for two years.
One descripancy only, a delaminated First Officers windshield, which was replaced in two hours.

No other old(er) wide body airplane even comes close to L1011 systems redundancy...period.
Find ground engineers who know their stuff and it will make a profit for those few companies who know how to operate the type, properly.
 
jush
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:58 am



Quoting Aviopic (Reply 3):

Hey were is your report my friendly neighbour? I can't wait to get the updates ..

Regds
jush
There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
 
aviopic
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:49 pm



Quoting Northwest727 (Reply 5):
I'd be interested   Thanks for your time researching though



Quoting Jush (Reply 7):
Hey were is your report my friendly neighbour? I can't wait to get the updates .

Didn't see any respons so I thought...........

Anyway will post part 2 somewhere next week when I get back home.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
aviopic
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:04 am

Sorry for keeping you waiting, still not much time though.

Our team worked for about 2 years in the US repairing the oil and fuel systems, rudders had to be re-skinned due to holes, cleaning a few bucket loads of bird shit out, cleaning polishing and painting, engine tests(2 came to their end in the process) and loads of other jobs just to get it airworthy.
It was flown to the Netherlands with 1 borrowed engine and 4 borrowed propellers where the restoration started, another 2 year job.
We could not afford 4 other electric props so the decision was made to modify the a/c ourselves from electric to hydraulic(which requires more electrics btw).
acquired another engine and testing could begin.
Finally first flight, great no problem.
Second test flight, one engine(3) is running a little warm nothing to worry about but still.
Checked and tested again, oil cooler replced, tested fine, no further problem.
Third test flight, engine 3 is now running hot and had to be shut down.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Willem Honders


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q9LDAVDy0w&feature=related

Great now what......
Mats Connie is parked in Korea and after some begging at KL they managed an agreement with Korean Airlines so we could swapped 2 engines.
A team went to Korea with 2 of our faulty engines under their arms and came back with 2 perfectly ok engines.
So now we can fly........... well not quite.
By now due to new EU regulations the insurance bill went up from 12.500 to 65.000 EU something we can't pay of course.
Dealing here, dealing there, talking here and there management was able to make a deal somewhere in the middle.
Great finally we can fly....... not quite.
FAA certified pilots are no problem but we can't find a FAA certified flight engineer anywhere in the world.
The FAA has a special board to re-examine pilots but they never added a flight engineer to that board and we are stuck again.
Everybody wants to help us(Swiss, Australian Connie crews) but they don't get permission.

Current status.
The crew problems seem to be resolved together with the help of the FAA.
Done taxi trials last month with went ok.
Technically the a/c is great and the finances seem sorted as well.
So come hell and high water, next year we'll fly............ I think  Wink

To some it up.
We are working for 8 years now with this project and are still grounded.
Can stored aircraft brought to live again ? yes.
But it takes a bucket load of money and a nerve system made of steel, the a/c is never the problem.
Recent footage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbWA0sTX0O0&feature=related

Photos of the restoration can be found on my website at: http://www.honders.net

Cheers,
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
Venus6971
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:38 pm

Most the airplanes the Smithsonian have could bee brought back to life, their reasoning is that it was flyable when it got here so for historical accuracy it should be kept that way, for all the stored acft in their Silverspring facility they used to restore them to airworthy condition.
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
Northwest727
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:31 am



Quoting Aviopic (Reply 9):

Thank You sir, your time was much appreciated into that!
 
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United_fan
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:45 pm

Look at the guy who wanted to restore the CV880 in MHV. One would need a ton of $ and expertice . Not mention the type hasn't flown in how many years?
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A333TS
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:00 pm

I had a 1994 Camaro 350 small block that I bought couple of years before I went to school, and the car was packed for 4 years while I was at school. I drove it couple of times a year just to keep the fluids moving, but I found that a lot of the moving components (wheel bearings is one of examples) were not spinning as freely. Repair bill for that would have been enormous and it wasn’t safe to drive either. I can only assume that the same thing happens with aircraft. If the airline wants to store it for few weeks in a desert that’s fine but in case of museum to store for years then return it flying condition it’s probably ridiculously expensive and very dangerous.

A333TS
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft?

Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:49 am



Quoting A333TS (Reply 13):
If the airline wants to store it for few weeks in a desert that’s fine but in case of museum to store for years then return it flying condition it’s probably ridiculously expensive and very dangerous.

Expensive? Yes. Dangerous? Not if you do it right.

In any case reactivating a stored aircraft may be much cheaper than buying a new plane. Also, and very importantly, the wait is probably shorter.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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