Re: Northwest's DC-10's

Date:         01 Jul 98 02:42:23 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>I seriously doubt NW will keep the DC-9s for
>another 15 years (i.e., I think NW is bluffing).

Regardless of whether or not they were bluffing, it appears that most of
them will be retired in less than 15 years.  There's an article about
the program in AW&ST (p. 48, June 22, 1998), which says that the plan
was for the DC-9s to fly up to 104,000 cycles, but NW recently reduced
that to 100,000 cycles.  The reason for the reduction is that the rear
pressure bulkhead should (must?) be replaced at 100,000 cycles, and
one done recently as an experiment turned out to be "an invasive,
wide-ranging job" according to a NW spokesman.

The article claims an average of 69,000 cycles for the planes at present
with 2,000 cycles being added per year.  That still works out to more
than 15 years until retirement for the average aircraft, even with the
limit dropped from 104,000 to 100,000 cycles, but there presumably are
some high-cycle aircraft which will have to be retired early.

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