Monthly Archives: July 2021

How Long Do Airplanes Last?–Factors Affecting Their Lifespan

Conventional wisdom says that, on average, airplanes are operable for 30 years before they lose their airworthiness. But the truth is, there are no clear-cut answers because their lifespan depends on a myriad of factors, including their maintenance, their intrinsic design, and how they are being used.   Are Older Planes Less Safe?  Contrary to popular belief, the aircraft's chronological age is not the most important factor determining its lifespan. Instead, the airline industry uses "pressurization cycles" to establish its airworthiness.  Pressurization cycles refer to the amount of time that a plane is kept under pressure during flight, which over time ...

Self-Flying Cessna Plane Could Be the Future of Cargo Carriers

In February 2021, a self-flying Cessna completed a fully automated gate-to-gate flight at an airport in Concord, California, just outside San Francisco. While there was a pilot inside the utility aircraft, he didn't touch even a single control and only watched over the systems and talked with the air traffic controller.  Start-up company Xwing has retrofitted a Cessna Grand Caravan 208B with a program that allows it to fly autonomously, with a remote operator monitoring the flight and only taking control if needed.  During the flight test, Xwing's control center closely watched critical data, ranging from the plane's altitude, speed, location, ...

Want to Buy a Used Airplane?–Things to Keep in Mind

Before buying a used aircraft, make sure that you conduct a stringent inspection of the mechanical parts and the plane's aesthetic condition. Also, scrutinize the paperwork, especially the logbook, title, and certifications.  Buyers of used airplanes tend to overlook the supplemental type certificate or STC, which is a document showing that there is an FAA approval to modify an aeronautical vehicle from its original design.  Another documentation that you have to scrutinize is the aircraft title. If you fail to practice due diligence, you may end up buying a used airplane with an undisclosed lien.    Resale value: what to ...

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