Re: Boeing cancels 747-500X/600X?

Date:         16 Apr 97 01:55:57 
From: (McLELLAN Alexander, DED/1)
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Malc wrote:

>Not expand, but retire.

>In 2005, the "entire" fleet will all be well over 30 years old, and will
>all have significantly exceeded the original design life (which is where
>some of the aircraft stand right now, hence the current "relife" program
>by BAe at Bristol).  Parts are a problem even now (I think two items,
>one BA, one AF, are effectively grounded for cannibalization).

>That said, BA/BAe may find ways to extend the fleet's life still further
>so that in 2005 they are still flying; but the original article was
>talking about current expectations (three years ago it was generally
>considered unlikely that Concorde would fly past 2000).

Flight magazine, in Feb 1996, had a short article about Concorde. Based on
that article,  I don't think any of the aircraft have reached their original
design life yet. Flight quotes the figure of 6700 reference flights as the
current airframe life, with BA's lead aircraft at 5900 flights, and Air
France not expecting its lead aircraft to reach 6700 till 2005.

Where does 6700 come from? Flight says: "The original design life was 24000
flights." I believe the figure of 6700 is based on dividing the number of
test cycles on the fatigue rig (20000)  by a 'safety factor' of 3, and is
not related directly to the design life.

In the article, Air France were quoted as saying they will keep Concorde in
service for another 20 years. The article comments that the CAA and DGAC had
approved, in principle, an increase in the life of Concordes to 8500
reference flights, which will be sufficient to keep BAs youngest Concorde in
service till around 2014.

I'll probably retire before it does!


Alex (NOT speaking for Eurocontrol)