Re: Are cargo planes generally old ?

Date:         12 May 99 02:49:05 
From:         Martijn <martijnk@casema.net>
Organization: Casema Internet
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Frank Muenker schreef:
> I recently noticed on various trips that cargo planes seem to be generally
> very old.
> I've seen lots of 727, DC10-30, 747-100 and even DC-8/707, but hardly ever
> any new aircrafts.

Here at Amsterdam Airport schiphol they tend to be a mix of
old and new, for example SIA and Asiana are using B747-400F,
KLM uses it's B747-300SF's (the only two in the world), at
least one of those being a B747-206 with added Side Cargo
Door / Stretched Upper Deck, making it a B747-306. Martinair
uses one B747-200F (one of the last two "classic freighters"
to roll off the production line), as well as two MD-11F's.
In addition to those three, as the need arises, complemented
by 2 B747-200C's and 4 MD-11CF's. Then we have - of course -
ElAl with their old B747-100F's, these days complemented by
Polar/Atlas B747-100/200/400's.

> Shouldn't cargo airplanes have the same problems/calculations concerning
> fuel consumption, maintenance costs, etc. ?
> This observation might be wrong, but if not: is there any logical
> explanation ?

One explanation could be that for most (passenger oriented)
airlines cargo is still something that isn't considered
much. Most of the time they use their bellyspace or use a
combi. When such an airline considers buying a fullfreighter
they tend to use old(er) aircraft just because this "little
cargo operation" shouldn't cost too much... :-( So they buy
a surplus a/c, if it's not already a freighter (or convert
a/c from the passenger fleet when they are replaced by new
a/c, see above KLM example), have it converted and go
flyin'...

HTH,

Rgds Martijn