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intothinair
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Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:09 pm

Hi Folks,

I was intrigued when i read that the Ilyushin IL 96-300 is still in production, with its first flight having been a whopping 29 years ago.

That leads to my question. Which is the oldest aircraft variant still in production today? By variant i dont mean model. IE. 737-800 not 737.


Thanks,
intothinair
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:18 pm

Airbus A320 was launched in 1984, production began in 86. This was the -100 model, the first production -200 entered service in 1988 I believe. So that's 29 years.
 
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N14AZ
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:26 pm

What about the 767-200?
 
akelley728
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:30 pm

N14AZ wrote:
What about the 767-200?


The 767-200 entered service in 1982, but it would be a stretch to call the KC-767 (which is based on the 767-200 airframe) to be called a variant of it. On the other hand, the 767-300ER entered service in 1988, and freighter versions of the -300ER are still coming off the production line.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:32 pm

N14AZ wrote:
What about the 767-200?


The 767-200 had it's first flight in September '81 and entered service in September '82, so that's 35 years. But I don't believe the -200 is still in production or on offer? The -300ER had it's first flight in October '86 and entered service in 88, so that's 29 years.. same as the A320-200.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:45 pm

JetBuddy wrote:
Airbus A320 was launched in 1984, production began in 86. This was the -100 model, the first production -200 entered service in 1988 I believe. So that's 29 years.


Need to decide how to define a variant. Just the name, number, certificate or what, given all the continuous improvements going on.

I guess the first 320-200 is closer to 320-100 than to current 320-200.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:47 pm

YIMBY wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:
Airbus A320 was launched in 1984, production began in 86. This was the -100 model, the first production -200 entered service in 1988 I believe. So that's 29 years.


Need to decide how to define a variant. Just the name, number, certificate or what, given all the continuous improvements going on.

I guess the first 320-200 is closer to 320-100 than to current 320-200.


I agree, which is why I went for the designation the author of the thread described. Airbus is known for small incremental improvements while keeping the same designation, but it falls under the umbrella of a single subtype.
 
iceberg210
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 3:48 pm

767-300ER might take the cake for jets I would think
December 9, 1986 first flight.

Depending how you look at variant overall the Cessna 172 or 182 would probably be the longest starting in 1956, although both have had gaps in production.
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VC10er
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 9:11 pm

Fresh from the internet: The first 737's maiden flight was 9th of April, 1967. I realize that aircraft was a loan mower compared to a 737MAX - but is it still not a 737, and still in production, or is it disqualified because that variant hasn't been built for so many decades?
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hOMSaR
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 11:12 pm

VC10er wrote:
Fresh from the internet: The first 737's maiden flight was 9th of April, 1967. I realize that aircraft was a loan mower compared to a 737MAX - but is it still not a 737, and still in production, or is it disqualified because that variant hasn't been built for so many decades?


The very first post in the thread said generic types like "737" don't count, and the thread specifies "variant", so, no, the 737-100/200 (nor 300 through 500) don't count.

Others have noted the 767-300, however I suppose it depends on whether you count the F as the same variant as the ER (Wikipedia says the first 767-300F was delivered in 1995), and whether a type being technically on offer counts even if there are no orders (such as the passenger -300ER).

The AN-124 might have taken the title, but production stopped a couple of years ago due to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Probably the slowest production rate ever, but supposedly that type still has 10 outstanding orders (again, per Wikipedia).
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Quantos
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 11:36 pm

I believe it wasn't uninterrupted production, but the DHC-6 Twin Otter was introduced in 1965 and the latest series are in production by Viking now.
Quantos,

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xdlx
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 11:40 pm

BN2 is going strong at 60yrs
 
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alberchico
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Tue May 09, 2017 11:51 pm

Image

The Chinese MA-60 is a modern descendant of the AN-24 which flew in 1959
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cschleic
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 12:00 am

C-130? 1954.

Interesting that the A-320 family is going strong on a 30-year old wing design, yet Boeing has updated the 737 wing.
 
lapa_saab340
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 12:50 am

The C-130 probably has everything else beat, in production since 1954 as someone mentioned above.

Close second are the Cessna 172 and 182s, in production since 1956 (albeit production interrupted in 1986 when Cessna stopped manufacture of singles, both were restarted in 1996).

The BN-2 Islander design is not 60 years old yet, it didn't fly until the mid 1960s.
 
Yflyer
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 1:08 am

Regarding the C-130, it depends on whether you consider the current C-130J (first produced in 1996 per Wikipedia) a separate variant from the original C-130A. I'm not all that familiar with the updates in the J model, but what I just read on Wikipedia makes me think a C-130J has about as much in common with a C-130A as a 737-800 has with 737-200.
 
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alberchico
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 1:42 am

Just occurred to me, what about the iconic Piper Cub ? There are companies like CubCrafters that produce this plane with modern touches like glass cockpits and more powerful engines.

Image
short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
2175301
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 3:04 am

Quantos wrote:
I believe it wasn't uninterrupted production, but the DHC-6 Twin Otter was introduced in 1965 and the latest series are in production by Viking now.


The DHC-6 production was interrupted by 22 years with the last 300 produced in 1988. The new variant is series number 400 with first delivery in 2010.

The 400 has modern turbo prop engines and a glass cockpit. Its a great plane...

Have a great day,
 
cschleic
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 3:20 am

Yflyer wrote:
Regarding the C-130, it depends on whether you consider the current C-130J (first produced in 1996 per Wikipedia) a separate variant from the original C-130A. I'm not all that familiar with the updates in the J model, but what I just read on Wikipedia makes me think a C-130J has about as much in common with a C-130A as a 737-800 has with 737-200.


Yes, I thought about that. One reason I included a "?" in the post. But looking at some details on the J, it has enhanced systems and avionics and newer engines. One of the other models has a "redesigned outer wing." So, yes, there have been many versions, although the basic structure has remained relatively unchanged. IMHO, the comparison with a 737-800 vs. a 737-200 might be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) since the -800 is much longer, has an entirely different wing, different tail, and engines. But it's difficult to say.

Defining any continuously produced plane might be difficult since they all undergo some changes during their lifespans. Airbus and Boeing planes get various minor aerodynamic upgrades, engine variations, avionics, fuel capacity, weight savings, etc. Remember those few A-320s with four wheel main bogies? How much of a difference is that? Even Cessna 172s have come with different engines, tail design, fuel capacity, avionics, and fixed gear vs. retractable gear.

Still, it's fun to discuss.
 
WIederling
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 6:14 am

What about the AN-2? 1947 - 2001 or today depending on how closely you define "AN-2". turboprop engine, license production ...
( WP::EN says end:2001, WP:DE says still in production.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-2
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonow_An-2
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77west
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 7:25 am

Funny to think of the "modern" A320 being one of the oldest in-production frames. It has been in production only 8 months less than I have been alive.

Now I feel old... :?
77West - AW109S - BE90 - JS31 - B1900 - Q300 - ATR72 - DC9-30 - MD80 - B733 - A320 - B738 - A300-B4 - B773 - B77W
 
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tomflyBRQ
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 8:40 am

L410 E version first flight 1984, production started in 1985. Still being produced (about dozen a year), although new generation will replace it soon.
 
Wayfarer515
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Re: Oldest aircraft variant still in production today

Wed May 10, 2017 1:50 pm

The An-2 is pretty much in production still, nobody can beat a biplane so stop looking further,

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