Re: Aircraft Service Life

Date:         13 Oct 98 02:48:27 
From: (STeveC01e)
Organization: AOL
References:   1
Followups:    1
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>I am assuming that when aircraft are sold to airlines there is an expected
>service life figure.
>I would be
>interested in knowing which aircraft, on average have been retired 'early'

   True, each a/c model has a different life expectency.  This could be based
simply on how much structural testing was performed by the manufacturer.
   I don't have historical data about how well a/c are meeting these
predictions, but I think the life can range from 70,000 flight hours for DC10
to 25,000 flight hours for a Bell helicopter.

    BELL realized that they were exposing themselves to law suites by not
limiting the life of their models.  They simply could not guarantee they would
last indefinate like the old Model 47.   So, in the 70's, they published a
service life for all new manufactured helicopters.   This is probably true
about other manufacturers.
   Now, most modern a/c have life limits on major structure as a result of
Fatigue Test results of full scale test articles.  And it  is not cost
effective to continue to operate a fuselage by changing out the wing box.

Steve Cole