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PacoMartin
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Re: A first Airbus A320 broke through the 30-year into service mark

Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:33 am

tnair1974 wrote:
It may not be surprising if DL's current oldest A320s retire due to rising maintenance costs rather than cycles/hours. And even that could still be years from now.


I was under the impression that aircraft that were otherwise performing efficiently were typically retired when they were scheduled for a D check, or a "heavy maintenance visit" (HMV) and the cost of the HMV check was higher than the residual value of the aircraft. I thought that was typically the third D check. The aircraft was usually sold in the third world.

I thought that maximum cycles or flight hours were almost never reached.

But that view of the world is decades old. Now the Mexican airlines are all flying much newer equipment than the USA airlines. Aeromexico, which is 49% owned by Delta has retired all their B767s and B777s and now has a widebody fleet of 18 Dreamliners that are 6.5 years or younger and average less than 4 years old on average.

Delta has a fleet of 154 widebodies that average 16.2 years old.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:44 am

tnair1974 wrote:

Since new build A320s are already in effect built to ESG 1 hours/cycles, I wonder if new builds today will able to be upgraded to ESG II standards years from now (as pointed out earlier, today's oldest A320s have been unable to be upgraded to ESG II).

The A320 life is impressive, but what ESG II? Testing was started, issues were found, and no further information.

There are rumors the A320 could serve longer, but how many more cycles and how many more hours? All we know is the original goal of 90,000 FC and 180,000 FH was more than the airframe could take. I've heard rumors the issue was cycles (which wear gear, wing/body join, pressure bulkheads, and numerous attachment points near the ends of the aircraft not hours (wears wing spar, wing control surfaces, horizontal stabilizer, sometimes vertical stabilizer).

I think Airbus will one day extend the A320 life, but the original ESG II has been sidelined.

That said, the fact the earliest retirements, excluding a few scrapped early, is at 26 years speaks well for the type. Anything beyond 20 years doesn't matter at initial purchase (future value is too low to include in the purchase price decision).

Lightsaber
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sciing
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:32 pm

D-AIPC is now also out of service.
https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/d-aipc
28 Oct 2019 Munich (MUC) Castellon (CDT) LH9922 1:57 11:30 11:53 13:45 Landed 13:51


https://www.skyliner-aviation.de/regdb.main?LC=nav4
Airbus A320 -211 71 D-AIPC Lufthansa ferried 28oct19 MUC-CDT, for part-out & scrap ex F-WWIG
 
tnair1974
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Re: A first Airbus A320 broke through the 30-year into service mark

Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:08 am

PacoMartin wrote:
tnair1974 wrote:
It may not be surprising if DL's current oldest A320s retire due to rising maintenance costs rather than cycles/hours. And even that could still be years from now.

I was under the impression that aircraft that were otherwise performing efficiently were typically retired when they were scheduled for a D check, or a "heavy maintenance visit" (HMV) and the cost of the HMV check was higher than the residual value of the aircraft. I thought that was typically the third D check. The aircraft was usually sold in the third world.

I'm no expert, but this may be largely true. However, seems I recall at least some DL MD-88s have been retired even though they could have received at least one more C-check. The MD-88 that was struck by the tug at ATL earlier this year was declared a WO and later scrapped at Atlanta (it was suppose to be one of the last 88s to retire and may have already had ADS-B installed). A second MD-88s that was about to be retired was instead given a C-check to take the place of the other 88.

Is there a suttle difference between a D-check and a HMV? Do different aircraft have different time gaps between HMVs?


I thought that maximum cycles or flight hours were almost never reached.

Of course, the likes of DC-8s and 707s in decades past had relatively short careers (even if the UPS DC-8s were roughly 40 years old when finally retired).

Even today, planes seem to not come overly close to running out of cycles/hours. True, the AF A320-100s cycled out relatively quickly, or at least came close. The -100s only went to 40K cycles and unlike the -200s could not receive the life extension (EFG).

LH has now retired three of their more elderly A320-200s, including two just in the last week or so. The first plane had just shy of 57K cycles and hypothetically could have received one more heavy check and flown the relatively short time to the EFG established limit of 60K cycles. But as Lightsaber touched on earlier, the economics of such a move would probably not be justified. AF and LH running out of cycles (but not hours) is interesting but also indicative of the many shorter routes their A320s flew. This contrasts with DL/NW; had Delta's oldest A320s not received EFG years ago, they would have run out of hours (but not cycles).

Not picking on the A320. It's actually one of my favorite airliners. But until the life extensions arrived, the A320 trailed the 737s and especially the MD-80s in cycles/hours by a good margin.
 
tnair1974
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:26 am

lightsaber wrote:
tnair1974 wrote:

Since new build A320s are already in effect built to ESG 1 hours/cycles, I wonder if new builds today will able to be upgraded to ESG II standards years from now (as pointed out earlier, today's oldest A320s have been unable to be upgraded to ESG II).

The A320 life is impressive, but what ESG II? Testing was started, issues were found, and no further information.

There are rumors the A320 could serve longer, but how many more cycles and how many more hours? All we know is the original goal of 90,000 FC and 180,000 FH was more than the airframe could take. I've heard rumors the issue was cycles (which wear gear, wing/body join, pressure bulkheads, and numerous attachment points near the ends of the aircraft not hours (wears wing spar, wing control surfaces, horizontal stabilizer, sometimes vertical stabilizer).

I think Airbus will one day extend the A320 life, but the original ESG II has been sidelined.

That said, the fact the earliest retirements, excluding a few scrapped early, is at 26 years speaks well for the type. Anything beyond 20 years doesn't matter at initial purchase (future value is too low to include in the purchase price decision).

Lightsaber

Thanks for clearing up my somewhat clumsy insight on the A320 life extension.

Your further explanations on the different stresses put on pressurized aircraft by cycles vs hours are very interesting and enlightening. I'm somewhat familiar with heavy maintenance for the likes of small Cessnas and Pipers (including engine overhauls/TBOs). Some of my older relatives are/were private pilots and I have assisted in financial issues regarding their small unpressurized aircraft. But my knowledge of maintenance for pressurized planes (even of pressurized versions of smaller General Aviation aircraft like the Beechcraft Baron and the single engine Cessna 210, much less a 757) have left much be desired.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: A first Airbus A320 broke through the 30-year into service mark

Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:55 am

tnair1974 wrote:
Even today, planes seem to not come overly close to running out of cycles/hours.


This is true in most cases but there are occasional exceptions, such as Delta 757s that got within a HMV of the 50,000 cycle limit, and JAL short-range 777s that approached the cycle limit as well. We've also seen a few 747s, 767s, and A330s start to approach the hours limit for those types (which is more common with widebodies than approaching cycle limits).
 
timh4000
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:45 am

Over the last decade or so, A320's has been the a/c I'm most likely to fly. Just returned from another florida trip (cruise) and typically found a good deal on jet blue. Although I've flown the 320 on other carriers even a transcon on virgin American. I realise that I'm likely getting on a plane that might be 20 years old, but it doesn't bother me a bit. It's not my favorite plane, but I never mind flying on one.
 
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:24 pm

Is there any ESG planned for the A330? The LOV for flight hours is 100,000, which is pretty low for a widebody. Delta's first A330s, delivered in 2003, are already close to 75,000 hours. The've flown 767s to nearly 140,000 hours. Seems like they, at least, could benefit from a life extension.
 
sf260
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:46 am

seabosdca wrote:
Is there any ESG planned for the A330?

It's already available, some operators have already done it. For early A330's, there is an ISG which raises the limit to 33000FC/100000FH, then an ESG to 40000FC/130000FH (126000FH for -200). Currently available.
For later built A330's, DSG is immedately at 33000FC/100000FH, no ISG. No aircraft is even close to this limit and that's why Arbus hasn't developed it yet.
 
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Faro
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Re: A first Airbus A320 broke through the 30-year into service mark

Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:39 am

longhauler wrote:
I am old enough to remember when A320s started replacing 727-200s. The feeling among "experts" (like us) was that this "disposable French airplane would never last as long as a Boeing".

Air Canada's first A320 will hit 30 years old at the end of this year ... the 727-200s it replaced lasted roughly half that at Air Canada!



Amazing...at a legacy carrier too...it is still used 'normally' or on a more forgiving kind of 'lite' flight schedule?...


Faro
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AirlineCritic
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:32 am

Great milestone, congrats to the operators and the manufacturer! And the countless mechanics...

I was very surprised to learn about LH's old birds. Kinda amazing. But almost a question mark -- for such a well-financed and run airline, wouldn't replacing with newer builds have provided some savings (like fuel with better engines)? Or they already have relative recent engines (of CEO variant, obviously)?

Finally, and this is what I confess I mostly think when I see the MD-90 or old 320/737 threads... how dirty they must be. What about the garbage and dirt that gathers on every crack in the floor, between panels and galley structures, in the cockpit panels... I realise of course that the planes are probably well cleaned at some point and there's heavy maintenance. But does the cabin flooring cover come off for instance in a D-check? Do instrument panels get emptied of instruments and cabling and vacuumed?
 
a2b7
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Re: A first Airbus A320 broke through the 30-year into service mark

Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:36 pm

Faro wrote:
longhauler wrote:
I am old enough to remember when A320s started replacing 727-200s. The feeling among "experts" (like us) was that this "disposable French airplane would never last as long as a Boeing".

Air Canada's first A320 will hit 30 years old at the end of this year ... the 727-200s it replaced lasted roughly half that at Air Canada!



Amazing...at a legacy carrier too...it is still used 'normally' or on a more forgiving kind of 'lite' flight schedule?...


Faro

You might want to have a look at #71 in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1412813&start=50#p21420461) and the corresponding discussion starting around #63 (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1412813&start=50#p21420315)

AirlineCritic wrote:
Great milestone, congrats to the operators and the manufacturer! And the countless mechanics...

I was very surprised to learn about LH's old birds. Kinda amazing. But almost a question mark -- for such a well-financed and run airline, wouldn't replacing with newer builds have provided some savings (like fuel with better engines)? Or they already have relative recent engines (of CEO variant, obviously)?

Finally, and this is what I confess I mostly think when I see the MD-90 or old 320/737 threads... how dirty they must be. What about the garbage and dirt that gathers on every crack in the floor, between panels and galley structures, in the cockpit panels... I realise of course that the planes are probably well cleaned at some point and there's heavy maintenance. But does the cabin flooring cover come off for instance in a D-check? Do instrument panels get emptied of instruments and cabling and vacuumed?

You might want to have a look at the discussion starting at #56 (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1412813&start=50#p21011779).
I think replacing the old LH A320s by A320neos takes more time than LH expected - due to delivery delays and P&W engine issues - so LH ended up ordering more end-of-the line A320ceos.
These A320s reaching 30 years are powered by older engine versions, the CFM56-5A (Jordan Aviation, Lufthansa, Air Canada) and the V2500-A1 (Global Aviation).
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: The first Airbus A320 to break the 30-year in service mark

Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:44 am

blacksoviet wrote:
I once read that the A320 is what forced Boeing to develop the 73G and the 738. United was not impressed with the 734 and refused to order it.

I think that anecdote is certainly true. The only variants not ordered by United were the 737-100, 737-400, and 737-600

The 734 was first delivered 24 weeks after the first A320 delivered on 28 March 1988 and still had 10 tonnes less MTOW.
The 738 with the same MTOW as the A320 was first delivered a decade later on 22. Apr. 1998 after 76 321s were delivered 1994-1997.

======================================================
Background
======================================================
731 - 50.0 tonne MTOW
732 - 58.1 tonne MTOW
..
733 - 62.8 tonne MTOW - first delivery 3 yrs, 4 months before A320 initial delivery
320 - 78.0 tonne MTOW first model to be delivered in 28 March 1988
734 - 68.0 tonne MTOW - first delivery 24 weeks after A320 initial delivery
735 - 60.6 tonne MTOW
..
736 - 65.5 tonne MTOW
73G - 70.1 tonne MTOW
738 - 79.0 tonne MTOW

318 - 68.0 tonne MTOW
319 - 75.5 tonne MTOW
321-100 - 83.0 tonne MTOW
321-200 - 93.5 tonne MTOW

752 - 115.7 tonne MTOW
753 - 123.8 tonne MTOW
========================

A310 312 Airbus A310-200
A310 313 Airbus A310-300
A318 318 Airbus A318
A318 32C Airbus A318 (sharklets)
A319 319 Airbus A319
A319 32D Airbus A319 (sharklets)
A320 320 Airbus A320
A320 32A Airbus A320 (sharklets)
A321 321 Airbus A321
A321 32B Airbus A321 (sharklets)

B732 732 Boeing 737-200
B733 733 Boeing 737-300
B734 734 Boeing 737-400
B735 735 Boeing 737-500
B736 736 Boeing 737-600
B737 73G Boeing 737-700
B738 738 Boeing 737-800
B739 739 Boeing 737-900
 
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zeke
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Re: A first Airbus A320 broke through the 30-year into service mark

Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:24 am

PacoMartin wrote:
I was under the impression that aircraft that were otherwise performing efficiently were typically retired when they were scheduled for a D check, or a "heavy maintenance visit" (HMV) and the cost of the HMV check was higher than the residual value of the aircraft. I thought that was typically the third D check. The aircraft was usually sold in the third world.


None of the FBW Airbus aircraft have D checks, they were from outset designed to the newer MSG goals, they have smaller A/B/C checks over a 6 year cycle and designed to be damage tolerant, that is different to earlier aircraft.

An aircraft that is 30 years old has gone through 5 cycles.
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