Re: A/C accumulated time?

Date:         16 Aug 99 22:28:16 
From:         Pete Mellor <>
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Stefano Pagiola writes:-
> Anyway, there's no particular "procedure" or typical time for an
> aircraft to be scrapped. As it gets older, maintenance becomes more
> expensive. At some point, parting out becomes more attractive than
> continued operation. Where that point is depends on a wide variety of
> factors -- operating costs (eg fuel prices, salaries, etc), market
> conditions for new and used aircraft, traffic, and so on.

As Oliver Hunkin said in his excellent television programme on
reliability, the ideal machine has a defined life-time after which all
of its parts wear out simultaneously. He pointed out that the examples
of Victorian steam engines which are still in working order in museums
are there because they were grossly over-engineered.

This discussion reminds me of the story about Henry Ford sending two
reesarchers around all the scrap-yards in America to report back on
which part had failed and so caused the vehicle to be scrapped. When
they produced their report, Ford asked if there was any part which they
had found to be still intact on all of the scrapped vehicles. "Yes."
they said. "The transmission spline interconnection key." (or some
such obscure part). "Right!" said Ford. "We gotta find a cheaper way to
make that damn key!"

(An apocryphal story, I'm sure, but the philosophy it expresses has some
logic behind it.)

Pete Mellor, CSR, City University.