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IFlyVeryLittle
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Parting out retired aircraft

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:21 pm

Was just reading an interesting article from the UK on retired BA 747s that left me with a question. Are there parts from, say a 15-year-old 747 that might be useful in other, more modern airframes, similar to the way car parts often span a range of years, makes and models? Is would everything from a 747 either be too old or irrelevant for further use. Thanks.
 
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Starlionblue
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Parting out retired aircraft

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:33 pm

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
Was just reading an interesting article from the UK on retired BA 747s that left me with a question. Are there parts from, say a 15-year-old 747 that might be useful in other, more modern airframes, similar to the way car parts often span a range of years, makes and models? Is would everything from a 747 either be too old or irrelevant for further use. Thanks.


If a non-leased aircraft is retired, there's a tendency to replace expensive bits and pieces on it like engines and instruments with the oldest such examples in the fleet. Don't want the old frame to fly off with any newer hardware than necessary. ;)
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
filipinoavgeek
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Re: Parting out retired aircraft

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:48 pm

Don't know where else to ask this question and I don't want to bump any old threads, so I just wanted to ask why the A380s that have been scrapped so far have all been painted all-white before their destruction. Apparently it has to do with leasing agreements, but there have been plenty of examples of planes being scrapped in their full liveries (though sometimes with the airline labels removed, though usually with the tails intact). Is it really a leased aircraft thing or is it more specifically about the A380 itself?
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unimproved
Posts: 258
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Re: Parting out retired aircraft

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:37 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
Don't know where else to ask this question and I don't want to bump any old threads, so I just wanted to ask why the A380s that have been scrapped so far have all been painted all-white before their destruction. Apparently it has to do with leasing agreements, but there have been plenty of examples of planes being scrapped in their full liveries (though sometimes with the airline labels removed, though usually with the tails intact). Is it really a leased aircraft thing or is it more specifically about the A380 itself?

Scrapping vs returned lease. Lease agreement says to return in all white, and that's all the airline does. The lessor then decides to scrap it.

Usually scrapped planes are owned because lease contracts end before the serviceable life is over.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Parting out retired aircraft

Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:19 pm

Does anyone know what the metal value of say a 744 is after all the useful parts and non-recyclable material are removed? Somewhere I read that aircraft aluminum is not used in beer cans nor razor blades (which are stainless steel). Wonder where it all ends up - window frames and screen doors?
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    Tristarsteve
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    Re: Parting out retired aircraft

    Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:27 pm

    25 years ago Nordic East Airline scrapped a Tristar at ARN. They needed the spares, especially the engines, so they stripped it. When they had finished, the airport was getting upset about this hulk parked on their ramp so they had to remove it,.
    They found a firm that could dismantle the aircraft and when the owner asked them for a price they quoted about 100000 USD.
    He thought that sounded expensive until they explained that they would pay him the money, and make their money on the scrap metal.
    We had a good Christmas party that year!!
     
    Thrusty69
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    Re: Parting out retired aircraft

    Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:02 pm

    45¢/lb in my neck of the United States for good clean 7075 aluminum. 747 weighs around 400,000lb minus components, gear, avionics, wiring, interior etc... maybe 200,000lb clean aluminum left over? Just a guess. I’ve seen that joint down in Marana cut one up faster than you would think they could if you knew nothing about it...
     
    MohawkWeekend
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    Re: Parting out retired aircraft

    Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:53 am

    I wonder if it being zinc chromated (they still do that?) or some kind of corrosion coating reduces it's value. I've searched YouTube video's for information. Plenty show the stripping and the tearino apart. They just don't show the next step of being gathered and sent to a smelter.
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      Thrusty69
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      Re: Parting out retired aircraft

      Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:02 am

      Zinc chromate (ya they still do it), CIC (corrosion inhibiting compound), paint, etc... Its good “clean” aluminum. As long as the aluminum isn’t all mixed up with the next lower valued metal you’ll generally get the top dollar. That’s my limited experience over the years... The scrapper doesn’t care if that aluminum came from serial number 001 P-51 mustang or some camping tent frame.
       
      extender
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      Re: Parting out retired aircraft

      Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:49 am

      I haven't seen Zinc Chromate on anything built after the early 70's. The green primer Boeing uses, BMS10-11 is a Fluid Resistant Epoxy Primer. High in chromates for corrosion prevention, but now that has gone the way of the Dodo with the chromate-free primers.

      What sells on a 747 carcass? The engines obviously, even if they are going to be parted out. Spoilers, and other things that get dinged. Inlets, Thrust Reveresers.
       
      mxaxai
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      Re: Parting out retired aircraft

      Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:50 am

      Thrusty69 wrote:
      Zinc chromate (ya they still do it), CIC (corrosion inhibiting compound), paint, etc... Its good “clean” aluminum. As long as the aluminum isn’t all mixed up with the next lower valued metal you’ll generally get the top dollar. That’s my limited experience over the years... The scrapper doesn’t care if that aluminum came from serial number 001 P-51 mustang or some camping tent frame.

      Does recycled aluminum sell for less than freshly mined aluminum? I would expect recycled aluminum to be contaminated with other metals which would be difficult to separate, since there are so many different alloys.
       
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      Francoflier
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      Re: Parting out retired aircraft

      Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:11 am

      mxaxai wrote:
      Thrusty69 wrote:
      Zinc chromate (ya they still do it), CIC (corrosion inhibiting compound), paint, etc... Its good “clean” aluminum. As long as the aluminum isn’t all mixed up with the next lower valued metal you’ll generally get the top dollar. That’s my limited experience over the years... The scrapper doesn’t care if that aluminum came from serial number 001 P-51 mustang or some camping tent frame.

      Does recycled aluminum sell for less than freshly mined aluminum? I would expect recycled aluminum to be contaminated with other metals which would be difficult to separate, since there are so many different alloys.


      Not an expert, but I believe that it's much easier to get pure aluminium from an airplane carcass, even if it's been contaminated by other metals, than extracting it from bauxite ore.
      You're starting with a metal that's already 99% the final product, not a piece of rock that contains traces of the stuff embedded in countless undesirable foreign elements. I'm assuming that allows skipping a lot of steps...
      I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
       
      extender
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      Re: Parting out retired aircraft

      Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:24 pm

      Recyclers pay very little for aircraft aluminum. On a fuse3lage skin, the larges piece you are going to get is maybe 17" X 5," and that will require a lot of additional labor/time to do. They aren't trying to recover their investment by selling the scrap. One more thing whether it is the sawing method or jaws method, the aluminum is contaminated with Steel or titanium Hi-Loks, plastics from cable runs.
       
      MohawkWeekend
      Posts: 461
      Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

      Re: Parting out retired aircraft

      Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:47 pm

      Now I know why the Aussie's buried their F-111's instead of scrapping them.

      Going forward, I imagine the greater use of composites will further complicate recycling.
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        extender
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        Re: Parting out retired aircraft

        Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:50 pm

        MohawkWeekend wrote:
        Going forward, I imagine the greater use of composites will further complicate recycling.


        Composites are horrible for recycling. We have several inlets that we scrapped, but cannot just smash and throw in the dumpster. I am curious to see what "Green" recyclers like Tarmac do.

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