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lightsaber
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What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:03 pm

I'm very curious as to the durability of aircraft. So I ask what is the highest flight cycle and hour for the narrowbody fleet?

I found a 2016 reference noting 226 A320s had exceeded the old limit of 60,000 flight hours (FH).
Back then MSN0069 has the highest cycles (over 51,000) while MSN0068 had the most hours (over 81,000).

http://www.mromanagement.com/feature/in ... asda76ofv3

It is my understanding that ESG2 (ultimate life to 90,000 cycles, 180,000 FH) was cancelled.
The first A320s to reach the ESG1 limits were expected a year ago to next year (depends on which source, I believe the above link is more accurate).


I found a presentation that gives details of the A320 life:
First airframe hit 60,000 FH in 2007
http://travelsdocbox.com/Air_Travel/662 ... pdate.html

What is the 737 fleet leader?
We've had topics before on longest life.
HA N669HA DC-9 95k,132 cycles. :)
viewtopic.php?t=748823

Highest usage 737 I could find was N694SW, a 1985 737-300 that WN retired in June 2016, which might have the cycle record.

In February 2016, it had 97,811 hours and 67,813 cycles.
Note, per this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=1348429

To my knowledge, the 85,000 cycles of a 737 that requires a major repair (LOV 100k cycles) has never been exceeded. I'm looking for evidence any plane reached 85,000 cycles limit (or better, exceeded).

I found a bunch of DL MD-80s with 80k hours and 60k cycles by putting in registrations in here: http://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx (don't put in the N, for N registered aircraft only) e.g., 906DL for N906DL.
FWIW, I found DL MD-90s with less than 25k cycles!
Lots of DL 717s at 30k cycles in DLs fleet and 50k hours...

Alas, I do not know how to find data on scrapped frames. I tried looking up scrapped WN 737s and the data base was blank (as it should be).

Lightsaber
 
wrongwayup
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:27 pm

In-service 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 81,097 FH. Magnicharters 737-200 MSN 22652 XA-MAD
737 cycles leader: 76,906 FC. Air North 737-200 MSN 23122 C-GANV

All-time 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 102,227 FH. WestJet 737-200 MSN 20807 C-GUWJ
737 cycles leader: 97,326 FC. WestJet 737-200 MSN 21117 C-GWJU

In-service A320 fleet leaders (both are still in service):
A320 hours leader: 87,011 FH. Air Canada A320 MSN 68 C-FDQV
A320 cycles leader: 53,997 FC. Lufthansa A320 MSN 72 D-AIPD

Seems the Canadians know a thing or two about keeping high utilization airplanes in the air. All data from Ascend.
 
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Slash787
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Any Idea which B737-800 has the highest flight hours/cycle?
 
MaxTrimm
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:05 pm

I'd imagine the old Lufthansa, Air Canada, and United A320's have some of the highest hours. Delta has quite a few early ones, as well.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:30 pm

wrongwayup wrote:
In-service 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 81,097 FH. Magnicharters 737-200 MSN 22652 XA-MAD
737 cycles leader: 76,906 FC. Air North 737-200 MSN 23122 C-GANV

All-time 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 102,227 FH. WestJet 737-200 MSN 20807 C-GUWJ
737 cycles leader: 97,326 FC. WestJet 737-200 MSN 21117 C-GWJU

In-service A320 fleet leaders (both are still in service):
A320 hours leader: 87,011 FH. Air Canada A320 MSN 68 C-FDQV
A320 cycles leader: 53,997 FC. Lufthansa A320 MSN 72 D-AIPD

Seems the Canadians know a thing or two about keeping high utilization airplanes in the air. All data from Ascend.

I had no idea a 737 broke 85,000 cycles! Thank you. Hmmm... Old enough to miss the repair? ;). Ok, I'm being snarky. Was the bulkhead behind the cockpit worked on? Getting that close to the 100k cycle limit is impressive. In fact, it is now the highest cycle aircraft I'm aware of.

The Air Canada has plenty of life left on it. If at 120k (ish) hours it is done, cno one should complain. The LH with 54k cycles is in its sunset years. I won't be surprised when it is replaced.

Lightsaber
 
1989worstyear
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:08 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I'm very curious as to the durability of aircraft. So I ask what is the highest flight cycle and hour for the narrowbody fleet?

I found a 2016 reference noting 226 A320s had exceeded the old limit of 60,000 flight hours (FH).
Back then MSN0069 has the highest cycles (over 51,000) while MSN0068 had the most hours (over 81,000).

http://www.mromanagement.com/feature/in ... asda76ofv3

It is my understanding that ESG2 (ultimate life to 90,000 cycles, 180,000 FH) was cancelled.
The first A320s to reach the ESG1 limits were expected a year ago to next year (depends on which source, I believe the above link is more accurate).


I found a presentation that gives details of the A320 life:
First airframe hit 60,000 FH in 2007
http://travelsdocbox.com/Air_Travel/662 ... pdate.html

What is the 737 fleet leader?
We've had topics before on longest life.
HA N669HA DC-9 95k,132 cycles. :)
viewtopic.php?t=748823

Highest usage 737 I could find was N694SW, a 1985 737-300 that WN retired in June 2016, which might have the cycle record.

In February 2016, it had 97,811 hours and 67,813 cycles.
Note, per this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=1348429

To my knowledge, the 85,000 cycles of a 737 that requires a major repair (LOV 100k cycles) has never been exceeded. I'm looking for evidence any plane reached 85,000 cycles limit (or better, exceeded).

I found a bunch of DL MD-80s with 80k hours and 60k cycles by putting in registrations in here: http://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx (don't put in the N, for N registered aircraft only) e.g., 906DL for N906DL.
FWIW, I found DL MD-90s with less than 25k cycles!
Lots of DL 717s at 30k cycles in DLs fleet and 50k hours...

Alas, I do not know how to find data on scrapped frames. I tried looking up scrapped WN 737s and the data base was blank (as it should be).

Lightsaber


Sure blows a hole (no pun intended) in that stupid notion from some that the A320 is somehow "flimsy".

At the same time, it proves how awful the 90s and 2000's were for commercial aviation, when a 29 year old aircraft is economically competitive with one rolling off the line today.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:28 am

I’d think WN would have the record. Those planes don’t sit on the ground long before they’re off again.
 
HI442ct
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:33 am

1989worstyear wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I'm very curious as to the durability of aircraft. So I ask what is the highest flight cycle and hour for the narrowbody fleet?

I found a 2016 reference noting 226 A320s had exceeded the old limit of 60,000 flight hours (FH).
Back then MSN0069 has the highest cycles (over 51,000) while MSN0068 had the most hours (over 81,000).

http://www.mromanagement.com/feature/in ... asda76ofv3

It is my understanding that ESG2 (ultimate life to 90,000 cycles, 180,000 FH) was cancelled.
The first A320s to reach the ESG1 limits were expected a year ago to next year (depends on which source, I believe the above link is more accurate).


I found a presentation that gives details of the A320 life:
First airframe hit 60,000 FH in 2007
http://travelsdocbox.com/Air_Travel/662 ... pdate.html

What is the 737 fleet leader?
We've had topics before on longest life.
HA N669HA DC-9 95k,132 cycles. :)
viewtopic.php?t=748823

Highest usage 737 I could find was N694SW, a 1985 737-300 that WN retired in June 2016, which might have the cycle record.

In February 2016, it had 97,811 hours and 67,813 cycles.
Note, per this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=1348429

To my knowledge, the 85,000 cycles of a 737 that requires a major repair (LOV 100k cycles) has never been exceeded. I'm looking for evidence any plane reached 85,000 cycles limit (or better, exceeded).

I found a bunch of DL MD-80s with 80k hours and 60k cycles by putting in registrations in here: http://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx (don't put in the N, for N registered aircraft only) e.g., 906DL for N906DL.
FWIW, I found DL MD-90s with less than 25k cycles!
Lots of DL 717s at 30k cycles in DLs fleet and 50k hours...

Alas, I do not know how to find data on scrapped frames. I tried looking up scrapped WN 737s and the data base was blank (as it should be).

Lightsaber


Sure blows a hole (no pun intended) in that stupid notion from some that the A320 is somehow "flimsy".

At the same time, it proves how awful the 90s and 2000's were for commercial aviation, when a 29 year old aircraft is economically competitive with one rolling off the line today.



They don't make planes like they used to. Actually says a lot about how older planes were built, if they are still flying economically and safely today.
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:35 am

lavalampluva wrote:
I’d think WN would have the record. Those planes don’t sit on the ground long before they’re off again.

Please see above. WestJet beat them. Probably the lack of WN back of the clock flying?
 
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Spacepope
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:16 am

lightsaber wrote:
lavalampluva wrote:
I’d think WN would have the record. Those planes don’t sit on the ground long before they’re off again.

Please see above. WestJet beat them. Probably the lack of WN back of the clock flying?

A totally silly question now a sign they have all been scrapped, but was the life extension mod available to the A320-100?

Please do more threads like this!
 
1989worstyear
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:53 am

Spacepope wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
lavalampluva wrote:
I’d think WN would have the record. Those planes don’t sit on the ground long before they’re off again.

Please see above. WestJet beat them. Probably the lack of WN back of the clock flying?

A totally silly question now a sign they have all been scrapped, but was the life extension mod available to the A320-100?

Please do more threads like this!


The ESG is only applicable for the -200 with the normal (single) main gear.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2011-06-19/paris-2011-long-live-a320
 
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monomojo
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:14 am

HI442ct wrote:

They don't make planes like they used to. Actually says a lot about how older planes were built, if they are still flying economically and safely today.


Per the Boeing article lightsaber posted in an earlier thread, Boeing is setting the 787 limit at 66,000 cycles and 200,000(!) hours. That's a 45 year service life at 12 hours per day.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/2012_q4/pdfs/AERO_2012q4_article2.pdf
 
qblue
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:22 am

Boeing 737 - MSN 20807 - C-GUWJ It was not just WestJet Airlines that racked up the cycles in her 28 year service. They had her for only 3 years. She was with Britannia for for 20 with lots of short hops in Europe. Sabre which became XL had her for 2.

15/02/1974 Britannia Airways G-BAZH
27/03/1994 Ambassador G-BAZH
15/12/1994 Sabre Airways G-SBEB
31/01/1997 Peach Air G-SBEB
16/11/1998 FSB N107TR
04/06/1999 WestJet Airlines C-GUWJ
19/03/2002 WestJet Airlines C-GUWJ
 
oldannyboy
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:20 am

qblue wrote:
Boeing 737 - MSN 20807 - C-GUWJ It was not just WestJet Airlines that racked up the cycles in her 28 year service. They had her for only 3 years. She was with Britannia for for 20 with lots of short hops in Europe. Sabre which became XL had her for 2.

15/02/1974 Britannia Airways G-BAZH
27/03/1994 Ambassador G-BAZH
15/12/1994 Sabre Airways G-SBEB
31/01/1997 Peach Air G-SBEB
16/11/1998 FSB N107TR
04/06/1999 WestJet Airlines C-GUWJ
19/03/2002 WestJet Airlines C-GUWJ


Indeed. Well spotted!

Also, people way want to be aware that Britannia Airways was the world market leaders in 737 high utilization in the '70s and '80s. Some were flying 18hrs 'days' for part of the week at some stage!
 
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Spacepope
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:07 pm

1989worstyear wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I'm very curious as to the durability of aircraft. So I ask what is the highest flight cycle and hour for the narrowbody fleet?

I found a 2016 reference noting 226 A320s had exceeded the old limit of 60,000 flight hours (FH).
Back then MSN0069 has the highest cycles (over 51,000) while MSN0068 had the most hours (over 81,000).

http://www.mromanagement.com/feature/in ... asda76ofv3

It is my understanding that ESG2 (ultimate life to 90,000 cycles, 180,000 FH) was cancelled.
The first A320s to reach the ESG1 limits were expected a year ago to next year (depends on which source, I believe the above link is more accurate).


I found a presentation that gives details of the A320 life:
First airframe hit 60,000 FH in 2007
http://travelsdocbox.com/Air_Travel/662 ... pdate.html

What is the 737 fleet leader?
We've had topics before on longest life.
HA N669HA DC-9 95k,132 cycles. :)
viewtopic.php?t=748823

Highest usage 737 I could find was N694SW, a 1985 737-300 that WN retired in June 2016, which might have the cycle record.

In February 2016, it had 97,811 hours and 67,813 cycles.
Note, per this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=1348429

To my knowledge, the 85,000 cycles of a 737 that requires a major repair (LOV 100k cycles) has never been exceeded. I'm looking for evidence any plane reached 85,000 cycles limit (or better, exceeded).

I found a bunch of DL MD-80s with 80k hours and 60k cycles by putting in registrations in here: http://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx (don't put in the N, for N registered aircraft only) e.g., 906DL for N906DL.
FWIW, I found DL MD-90s with less than 25k cycles!
Lots of DL 717s at 30k cycles in DLs fleet and 50k hours...

Alas, I do not know how to find data on scrapped frames. I tried looking up scrapped WN 737s and the data base was blank (as it should be).

Lightsaber


Sure blows a hole (no pun intended) in that stupid notion from some that the A320 is somehow "flimsy".

At the same time, it proves how awful the 90s and 2000's were for commercial aviation, when a 29 year old aircraft is economically competitive with one rolling off the line today.

Other factors here at play. Up till the AirBerlin implosion, any A320 below CN 500 that came up on Skyliner was going for scrap or to an airline in Iran. Then once Lufthansa/Germanwings were desperate for lift you suddenly saw sub-200 Line Numbers getting pulled out of storage to get overhauled in Bulgaria and pressed into service asap. Don't get me wrong I'm happy to see these old birds back in service chewing through hours/cycles/spare parts, but I agree it also will pad the stats. No one is claiming the 320 is as fragile as, say, Fedex complains the A300 is.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:59 pm

MSN 55 (N624AW, ex-N904BN) was retired at about 88,000 hours by American Airlines. This was the last ex-Braniff-II A320 in service.

As for the Dreamliner's limit of validity...well, that's what having a carbon composite frame will do.
 
airnorth
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:13 pm

wrongwayup wrote:
In-service 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 81,097 FH. Magnicharters 737-200 MSN 22652 XA-MAD
737 cycles leader: 76,906 FC. Air North 737-200 MSN 23122 C-GANV

All-time 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 102,227 FH. WestJet 737-200 MSN 20807 C-GUWJ
737 cycles leader: 97,326 FC. WestJet 737-200 MSN 21117 C-GWJU

In-service A320 fleet leaders (both are still in service):
A320 hours leader: 87,011 FH. Air Canada A320 MSN 68 C-FDQV
A320 cycles leader: 53,997 FC. Lufthansa A320 MSN 72 D-AIPD

Seems the Canadians know a thing or two about keeping high utilization airplanes in the air. All data from Ascend.


I don't think that C-GANV will be timing out due to flight cycles anytime soon! It does get used a bit in the summer flying between Dawson and Fairbanks, plus charter work, and the odd sub in when others are in for maintenance. Since it has the gravel kit, it will probably stay active for a long time...fingers crossed.
Cool to see that GANV has the distinction of being the current class leader though, thanks for the info!
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:25 pm

Spacepope wrote:
A totally silly question now a sign they have all been scrapped, but was the life extension mod available to the A320-100?

Please do more threads like this!

Thank you. I dislike A vs. B threads for there are actual reasons do discuss. Talking to numbers is interesting instead of the usual 'mine is better.'


The A320-100 couldn't be extended the same reason the 737-100 couldn't be, structural differences that resulted in different aging of the airframe. Much of the difference is due to a Douglas patent expiring on rivit style. It was timing and realization of how much that Douglas patent really extended airframe life. The technique is part of what made the A320-200.

The A320 was designed for (then) 25 year service life with 48k FC/60k FH. 60k FC/120k FH is very impressive. Today's money is expensive, tomorrow's is cheap. The present value of a little more life after 25 years of service isn't much.

A link on the ESG1/2 goals (below). Main takeaways, the actual flight time is 1.82 hours.
Extensive fatigue testing was required to extend the life.

and "We will continue the fatigue tests and we expect the stopping point will be when a major modification is required that would be economically unviable to perform," says Vieillard. "We'll carry on testing and mending until we find a snag that stops us," adds Mann.

I believe the above is what halted ESG2 testing. I cannot prove it, but if the airframe fatigued too much, LOV testing becomes uneconomical by burdening operators to maintain to a higher standard than is wise. Recall, operators have to inspect at 1/3rd the interval of the issue found under aviation certification rules. So if an issue was found that added more cost to A320 operators flying to 60k FC/120k FH than it benefitted going beyond... scrap the testing and keep with what they have.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ly-220962/

Most operators will retire on hours and the delta is tiny.

oldannyboy wrote:
Also, people way want to be aware that Britannia Airways was the world market leaders in 737 high utilization in the '70s and '80s. Some were flying 18hrs 'days' for part of the week at some stage!

Whoa! That is utilization. OK, I don't mind being corrected as to why those 737s had so much use.
 
bigjku
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:30 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
MSN 55 (N624AW, ex-N904BN) was retired at about 88,000 hours by American Airlines. This was the last ex-Braniff-II A320 in service.

As for the Dreamliner's limit of validity...well, that's what having a carbon composite frame will do.


Curious how that compares to other widebody aircraft?

Also anyone want to take a flyer on what it might mean if you do a CFRP airframe for a narrowbody market? Could you reasonably see double the lifespan of an A320 or 737 or do you build for same cycles but build the frame lighter? I would think to go much further you would have to figure out how to do an on frame engine type swap at some point in life to keep it competitive.

Wonder if you could sell anyone on buying planes good for twice as long on the basis that the engines can be swapped later.
 
HHScot
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:38 pm

Spacepope wrote:

Please do more threads like this!


Couldn't agree more!

This type of topic is infinitely more interesting than another endless cry-fest because an airline has decided to change its livery without first asking a group of plane spotters if they approve of having less than 5 colours on show!
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:42 pm

I also have to ask another question---why aren't older A320s and A321-200s now seen as candidates for freighter conversions, which would likely bump up values, especially those below 40,000 FCs/60,000 FHs? (When FedEx went about chasing down 757s for freighter conversions, they were paying a premium to whoever was selling.)The Boeing 737-800BCF program has already had deliveries, why no A320/321 P2F yet? Does the ability to accept a ULD make these frames too valuable for passenger service?

Another interesting observation might be older A320s of North American operators like Air Canada and to a lesser extent, JetBlue. Air Canada has some A320s that are pushing 30 years old, and JetBlue has been buying its A320s as leases expire...could JetBlue especially be inclined to sell its older, paid-off A320s to a freight forwarder for freighter conversion with A321s as replacements?
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:06 pm

For the B777F, the FH are the same, but just 37,500 FCs is the limit. Delta is pushing some 767s to the limit with some near 130,000 hours.
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:12 pm

bigjku wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
MSN 55 (N624AW, ex-N904BN) was retired at about 88,000 hours by American Airlines. This was the last ex-Braniff-II A320 in service.

As for the Dreamliner's limit of validity...well, that's what having a carbon composite frame will do.


Curious how that compares to other widebody aircraft?

Also anyone want to take a flyer on what it might mean if you do a CFRP airframe for a narrowbody market?


Here is the Boeing LOV for passenger frames (freighters often are good for fewer cycles):
DC-10 160k FH, 60k FC
744: 165k FH, 35k FC
MD-11: 150k FH, 40k FC
767: 150k FH, 60k FC
777: 160k FH, 60k FC

vs. 787: 200k FH, 66k FC

So the 787 is good for 25% more flight hours (FH), but only 10% more flight cycles (FC).

For a narrowbody, one would expect similar.

At this time, Bombardier claims 8,500 hours for C-checks. so 25,500 for heavy maintenance intervals or 76,500 FH design life.
I fully expect that to be increased:
https://commercialaircraft.bombardier.c ... omics.html

Just to be clear, aircraft certification requires a fully heavy maintenance interval every 1/3rd of design life and a C-check at 1/9th design life.
So while this is OK flight hours for CFRP wing, I won't say I'm impressed.

Lightsaber
 
Jetsouth
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:18 pm

And those that question the safety of such old jets, to the best of my knowledge, there never has been a breakup in flight of any of these old/high use planes simply because of their age or heavy use, at least in North America and Europe.
 
bigjku
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:25 pm

lightsaber wrote:
bigjku wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
MSN 55 (N624AW, ex-N904BN) was retired at about 88,000 hours by American Airlines. This was the last ex-Braniff-II A320 in service.

As for the Dreamliner's limit of validity...well, that's what having a carbon composite frame will do.


Curious how that compares to other widebody aircraft?

Also anyone want to take a flyer on what it might mean if you do a CFRP airframe for a narrowbody market?


Here is the Boeing LOV for passenger frames (freighters often are good for fewer cycles):
DC-10 160k FH, 60k FC
744: 165k FH, 35k FC
MD-11: 150k FH, 40k FC
767: 150k FH, 60k FC
777: 160k FH, 60k FC

vs. 787: 200k FH, 66k FC

So the 787 is good for 25% more flight hours (FH), but only 10% more flight cycles (FC).

For a narrowbody, one would expect similar.

At this time, Bombardier claims 8,500 hours for C-checks. so 25,500 for heavy maintenance intervals or 76,500 FH design life.
I fully expect that to be increased:
https://commercialaircraft.bombardier.c ... omics.html

Just to be clear, aircraft certification requires a fully heavy maintenance interval every 1/3rd of design life and a C-check at 1/9th design life.
So while this is OK flight hours for CFRP wing, I won't say I'm impressed.

Lightsaber


My assumption on smaller planes is you would try to shift that ratio of cycles to hours. Not being a structural guy both seem to be a function of strength overall but I assume different strengths drive the different numbers? Would it be broadly accurate that flight hours are determined by the strength of the wing and FC are determined by the strength of the pressurized hull so they largely vary independently of one another?

It would seem that one could build a 200,000 hour wing in that case but on a short haul aircraft you would cycle out long before you ran out of hours unless you drove the cycles up to something like 100-150k?

Seems like it would be interesting to look at the weight tradeoff to have what might amount to a double life cycle plane. My guess is that that rather than increase life they will cut weight. But it seems like an interesting question to ask at least.
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:04 pm

Jetsouth wrote:
And those that question the safety of such old jets, to the best of my knowledge, there never has been a breakup in flight of any of these old/high use planes simply because of their age or heavy use, at least in North America and Europe.


Actually, the reason for such a rule now is because of Aloha Airlines Flight 243...it had 35,496 hours on the frame, but had racked up 89,680 flight cycles as an island-hopper prior to its explosive decompression in-flight (killing a flight attendant). Might this be the record? The design limit for the B731/B732, line 291 and before was eventually established at 34,000 FC/34,000 FH, while it's 75,000 FC/100,000 FH for 292 and higher. (The Aloha B732 incident aircraft was line number 152.)

An airline whose aircraft would be interesting on the secondhand market down the line would be Copa, especially its B738s, given that CM has unusually long 737 flights that can be 6 hours or more, as those would be extremely low-cycle aircraft.
Last edited by aemoreira1981 on Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:13 pm

Jetsouth wrote:
And those that question the safety of such old jets, to the best of my knowledge, there never has been a breakup in flight of any of these old/high use planes simply because of their age or heavy use, at least in North America and Europe.


What would you call what happened to Aloha Airlines Flight 243, Boeing 737-200? Or Southwest 737-300 fuselage rupture in 2011?
 
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Spacepope
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:35 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
I also have to ask another question---why aren't older A320s and A321-200s now seen as candidates for freighter conversions, which would likely bump up values, especially those below 40,000 FCs/60,000 FHs? (When FedEx went about chasing down 757s for freighter conversions, they were paying a premium to whoever was selling.)The Boeing 737-800BCF program has already had deliveries, why no A320/321 P2F yet? Does the ability to accept a ULD make these frames too valuable for passenger service?

Another interesting observation might be older A320s of North American operators like Air Canada and to a lesser extent, JetBlue. Air Canada has some A320s that are pushing 30 years old, and JetBlue has been buying its A320s as leases expire...could JetBlue especially be inclined to sell its older, paid-off A320s to a freight forwarder for freighter conversion with A321s as replacements?


The first metal is being cut on the A321P2F prototype as we speak and there are 2 conversion houses working on their own programs. Once the 321 is in service a 320 conversion is being planned. Part of the issue is the scrapping of 321s below LN 1000-1200 when they came up for a heavy check as the lack of conversion program coupled with high demand for parts and the relatively low capabilities of these early model 321s moved the second hand market decision from "resell" to "scrap". The start of the freighter program has actually shifted that to the A319 fleet instead, though UA, G4 and the rumored AA purchases of large amounts of middle aged A319s is affecting that short-term.

This is similar to the 737NG P2F program just starting now because of several issues: Suitable 734 conversion stock is all spoken for and exhausted, 3 conversion lines now or soon to be in operation, and most importantly WN is done buying up huge amounts of second hand 73Gs (which was especially hitting the engine market hard) so the value of frames is dropping again, making 73Gs good parts candidates and making the -800 used fleet affordable for conversion.
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Does anybody know the design service goals for the A321LR? Was there a need to trade flight cycles for the higher 97 tons MTOW (compared to the ESG1/2 of the A320)? If not, and provided that it would be constantly operated on fairly long flights (>5 hours on average), an A321LR could have an operational life of 40 years, if not more. This could be quite disruptive for its future replacement market or for its economic value.

About the ESG2 testing, I've found a document from 2017 stating the following:
"Airbus said last year that no ESG2 was expected, but if it was, threshold targets would be closer to 75,000 FC/150,000 FH than to 90,000 FC/180,000 FH for economic, not technical, reasons: "The amount and cost of structural modifications required does not make sense with the revenues obtained for the life extension.""

See top of page 16:
https://www.ajw-group.com/storage/downl ... gement.pdf

Another presentation worth reading (although older):
http://awin.aviationweek.com/portals/aw ... 1%20v3.pdf
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:35 pm

wrongwayup wrote:
In-service 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 81,097 FH. Magnicharters 737-200 MSN 22652 XA-MAD
737 cycles leader: 76,906 FC. Air North 737-200 MSN 23122 C-GANV

All-time 737 fleet leaders:
737 hours leader: 102,227 FH. WestJet 737-200 MSN 20807 C-GUWJ
737 cycles leader: 97,326 FC. WestJet 737-200 MSN 21117 C-GWJU

In-service A320 fleet leaders (both are still in service):
A320 hours leader: 87,011 FH. Air Canada A320 MSN 68 C-FDQV
A320 cycles leader: 53,997 FC. Lufthansa A320 MSN 72 D-AIPD

Seems the Canadians know a thing or two about keeping high utilization airplanes in the air. All data from Ascend.


It looks like the 737 cycle leader C-GWJU was donated to the Art Smith Aero Centre for Training and Technology at YYC after 30 years of flying for Southwest and WestJet and is still around.
 
tomcat
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:39 pm

More about ESG1/ESG2:
"ESG1 approval provides approximately an extra six years’ operation"

"What approvals are needed for A320 Family aircraft reaching ESG1 thresholds? “Basically the same process as was done for ESG1 will be followed,” says Roeger. “To operate beyond 60,000 FC/120,000 FH, the maintenance programme needs to be revisited. Additional tasks can be expected, but there will also be additional modifications. Operators will be informed about activities once they are launched.”"

"Additional airframe structural testing has provided the basis for a potential ESG2 ‘ultimate limit’ approval. Four 180,000 FC/360,000 FH fatigue tests (covering forward fuselage, pylon, centre fuselage and wings, plus rear fuselage) have demonstrated “the need for several new inspections and the updating of some existing ones, as well as around 10 structural modifications to allow operations above 48,000 FC/96,000 FH”, according to Airbus. “For the time being, no ESG2 is expected, and if it were developed the target would be lower – closer to 75,000 FC/150,000 FH – not for technical reasons, but for economical ones. The amount and cost of structural modifications required does not make sense with the revenues obtained for life extension,” concludes Roeger.

Would aircraft need to be retired when approaching ESG2 values because they are at their airworthiness-certification limit of validity? “Not the DSG, nor ISG, nor ESG1, nor ESG2 represent any limitation to the capability of the aircraft structure,” assures Roeger. “The aircraft is able to operate until reaching these values, provided the relevant maintenance actions (inspection and structural modifications) are performed and modifications are embodied.” He says Airbus is always communicating with operators to understand their expectations and needs."

http://www.mromanagement.com/feature/in ... jbucu5egp7
 
Planesmart
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:11 pm

monomojo wrote:
Per the Boeing article lightsaber posted in an earlier thread, Boeing is setting the 787 limit at 66,000 cycles and 200,000(!) hours. That's a 45 year service life at 12 hours per day.

Other than certain US-based airlines with in-house resources and expertise to fly older aircraft, no 787 operators will get anywhere near those numbers.

For most, software, software support and engine maintenance will make obsolete and uneconomic earlier.
 
jimbo737
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:13 pm

I'm pretty sure the WS 737-200 came from Southwest with about 70,000 cycles, (N24, 26 or 27?).
 
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Re: What is the highest cycle and hour A320 and 737?

Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:16 pm

tomcat wrote:
“For the time being, no ESG2 is expected, and if it were developed the target would be lower – closer to 75,000 FC/150,000 FH – not for technical reasons, but for economical ones. The amount and cost of structural modifications required does not make sense with the revenues obtained for life extension,” concludes Roeger.

http://www.mromanagement.com/feature/in ... jbucu5egp7


Ummm... that link is my first link. ;) As I noted ESG2 is currently postponed.

As far as cycles, I expect the first few to hit the 60k limit will be scrapped or possibly stored for a hope that ESG2 happens. Most of DL's remaining MD-80s will be retired just beyond 60k cycles and we're talking 1987 builds! :)

The high cycle A320 is a D-AIPD which is a 1989 build or 28 years old with a 53,997 cycles per earlier post in this thread. Or 6,000 cycles to the current 60k LOV limit. Perhaps 2 years or 3 years to end of life. With 51 NEOs on order for LH, I have trouble being concerned about an airframe that looks to be recycled at say 31 years of age plus or minus to be replaced by another A320.

ESG1 added 12k FC while adding 60k FH. If ESG 2 happens, it will add 15k more FC and 30k FH per the link. Hmmm.... if ESG1's 60k is 30 years (approximately), so ESG2 would be a 37 or 38 year life if it happens.

But as our link notes, ESG2 hasn't been committed to (75k FC/150k FH) as issues were found going to 90k FC/180 FH. Testing was done and it isn't economic for Airbus to submit the original ESG2 data. What and how things failed determined on the value of submitting data.

Airbus will have to balance the benefit to customers with older aircraft who wish to extend their life and will be willing to pay a reasonable fee to do so.

Airbus will have to be certain that the testing doesn't show the need for expensive retrofits to other A320 family customers to extend the life for the few examples reaching end of life. For recall work must be done at a third of the proven issue. I'm quite certain this is why ESG2 data is buried. For if something was found at say 80k cycles, that means at 26.6k cycles the fix would be required throughout the fleet.

For there must be a reason 75k cycles/150k hours is the proposed new goal instead of submitting prior data that was expensive to acquire.

Just as Boeing found issues that must be addressed in the 737.
I simply write more about the A320 as the possible expansion is far more interesting than an airframe that Boeing has decided to not fund beyond 100k FC 125k FH is the limit.

Old threads on LOV are facinating:
viewtopic.php?t=549437

That old thread ended on a fine point, any customer may pay either Boeing or Airbus to extend an LOV. However, both airframers must consider the cost on other airlines (is it worth the LOV extension?).

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