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Why Do Modern Planes End Up in Boneyards?


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Why Do Modern Planes End Up in Boneyards?

Old 11-27-2015, 01:27 PM
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A Rare Glimpse of NASA's Prettiest Research Airplanes Flying Together


Attila Nagy
Filed to: IMAGE CACHE
11/25/15 8:00am

Last week, residents of the Houston area had a rare opportunity to watch a historic aviation event: the formation flight of three WB-57 research aircraft. Why historic? Well, November 19th was the first time that all three of NASA’s WB-57s have been aloft simultaneously since the early 1970s.

The WB-57 was developed from the Martin B-57 Canberra USAF jet bomber in order to fly research missions. NASA explains:
These fully operational WB-57 aircraft are based near NASA’s Johnson Space Center at Ellington Field, home of the NASA WB-57 High Altitude Research Program, which provides unique, high-altitude airborne platforms to support scientific research and advanced technology development and testing. Mission examples include atmospheric and earth science, ground mapping, cosmic dust collection, rocket launch support, and testbed operations for future airborne or spaceborne systems.
The B-57 bombers were retired in 1983, only three flightworthy WB-57Fs remained. Below are a few more photos of the event.











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Old 11-27-2015, 01:27 PM
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:31 AM
  #23  
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The cost and availability of spare parts are a real issue. Airlines can't afford to have planes broke down everywhere waiting on parts. Component manufacturers discontinue support for such items as starters, CSDs, instruments, etc - so when there are no more serviceable parts or they are so costly - that's the end of the program.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:16 AM
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Lot's of factors go into it....

- Age & Mx costs
- Dispatch Reliability
- Fuel economy
- Safety
- Suitability, ie is the plane a good fit for profitable routes. If not, even a newer, efficient plane might go bye-bye. Airlines don't like to fly half-empty planes anymore.

Once retired from pax service, some airplanes may end doing cargo. A cargo operator who only flies one leg a day (or one leg per week) can't afford a new airplane, but the fuel efficiency is not that big a deal if the plane doesn't fly much. Better to pay for more gas when you do fly than constantly pay a high mortgage when the plane is sitting around.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by JamesAA
The boneyards in our SW deserts are home to planes still in use: F/A-18s, 737s, etc. Why did some of these types of aircraft have the unfortunate fate of ending up in the boneyards?

I could only speculate that perhaps the metal fatigue was an issue. Possibly too many T/O and Landings?

Another reason I thought was that particular airlines or the military were scaling back on a type of aircraft, thus having more, say F/A-18s than they need?

I'm curious as to know why.

Thanks in advanced
The FA18's you see in the desert are almost all A models. They are vastly different from the C and later models. Fighters also have a fatigue life.bwhen they reach it they have to be parked or so through a service life extension. Not going to happen with A models for reasons that can't be discussed here. The F16A has the same issue.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:12 AM
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Check out what became of one of my old steeds........


Project Freedom
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by WhatNow
The FA18's you see in the desert are almost all A models. They are vastly different from the C and later models. Fighters also have a fatigue life.bwhen they reach it they have to be parked or so through a service life extension. Not going to happen with A models for reasons that can't be discussed here. The F16A has the same issue.
Lots of interesting fighter (F-16) information here: https://www.yahoo.com/news/fly-f-16n...163000300.html
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JamesAA
The boneyards in our SW deserts are home to planes still in use: F/A-18s, 737s, etc. Why did some of these types of aircraft have the unfortunate fate of ending up in the boneyards?

I could only speculate that perhaps the metal fatigue was an issue. Possibly too many T/O and Landings?

Another reason I thought was that particular airlines or the military were scaling back on a type of aircraft, thus having more, say F/A-18s than they need?

I'm curious as to know why.

Thanks in advanced
Airplanes aren't much different than cars (or boats!) in that regard. They get old, they start breaking down, it becomes too expensive to fix them, and harder to find parts. It's just cheaper to buy a new one (and get new, more efficient engines/wings) and then write off the depreciation if you are running a for profit business such as an airline.

The military has other reasons for parking their 'old' airplanes (F18/14's), such as future budget funding, drones replacing fighters/bombers, etc.

The 757 is probably one of the best airline type airplanes ever built, but even those are being parked now, and Boeing shut down the production line, because the customers were buying the 'old' 737's, stretched to infinity and beyond, to save fuel and mx costs!

Delta flew DC9's from the 1960's for many years past what anyone thought they should go, but even they finally parked them a few years ago.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:01 PM
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Isn't it amazing how many airforces in the world can keep their F16 up in the air but we have to spend billions on new Raptors every year?

It's like Harry Potter magic that an airliner can have 100,000 hours on it, but they will park a military aircraft with 2000 hours.

I'm curious when tax payers will get tired of this, but alas, chewing their cuds, happy to to just not say anything, what are the chances people will wake up to the waste in govt.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Aesops
Isn't it amazing how many airforces in the world can keep their F16 up in the air but we have to spend billions on new Raptors every year?

It's like Harry Potter magic that an airliner can have 100,000 hours on it, but they will park a military aircraft with 2000 hours.

I'm curious when tax payers will get tired of this, but alas, chewing their cuds, happy to to just not say anything, what are the chances people will wake up to the waste in govt.
Like Deep Throat said many years ago, "Follow the money".

There's lots of money flying around in DC with 45,000 registered lobbyists handing out campaign contributions to whom ever they need to vote YES for their corporate sponsor's next boondoggle.
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