Re: Aircraft Service Life

Date:         26 Oct 98 02:59:23 
From:         dickfish2000@my-dejanews.com
Organization: Deja News - The Leader in Internet Discussion
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In article <airliners.1998.1533@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
  "Tom Furnivall" <tom.furnivall@dial.pipex.com> wrote:
> I am assuming that when aircraft are sold to airlines there is an expected
> service life figure.  If any of these figures are known I would be
> interested in knowing which aircraft, on average have been retired 'early'
> ie. before the number of cycles, flying hours, or years quoted by the
> manufacturer was reached.  And which have been retired 'late'.
>
> What are any of these figures (in cycles, flying hours, or years) for
> aircraft currently in service or production.
>
> One I think I know of for the retired late list - DC-3's!

Service life figures can be quoted in cycles, hours, or years/months. Often
the figure is simply a value quoted by the manfacturer for commercial reasons
as opposed to a true design based figure. As an aircraft matures and more
data from heavy maintenance is gathered that value can be increased. Sirvice
life can be a large factor in an aircraft purchase, and is used when
calculating lease rates and risudual values.  For example, a Dash 8 has a
crack free life of 80,000 cycles with major inspection at 40,000. An EMB-120
is rated for something like 60,000 cycles, (I can't remember the exact
figure)this can make a big difference.	Much like buying a Honda over a Yugo,
they both will get you to work but for how long. Major airframe components
can have a service life, such as landing gears, normanly controlled by
cycles. These are often esclated as the early gear sets go in for overehaul,
often being put 'on condtion' that is with no hard time for removal.  In my
experence this can be false economy, as gears are only removed from aircraft
when they are no longer serviceable. The repair/recertification costs can get
huge for a complete gear OH when two half life shop visit could have been
much less. Dick

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