Category Archives: Aviation Facts & Questions

Aircraft Boneyard: Where “Dead” US Military Planes Get a Second Life

When US military and government planes have served their purpose, they are brought to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group or 309 AMARG, which earned the moniker the "Boneyard." The aircraft boneyard is located in Tucson, Arizona, specifically in the Sonoran Desert, a perfect storage facility with low humidity (only 10%-20%), meager rainfall, and relatively high altitude that prevent or at least postpone metal corrosion.  The Sonoran Desert also has a hard alkaline soil, so there is no need to pave the surface to store and move around the aircraft.    The Fate of the Airplanes As of this writing, ...

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 ...

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 ...

Corrosion Inspection and Maintenance for Your Aircraft

Like anything made of metal, an aircraft is prone to corrosion that often happens when an alloy reacts with other chemical elements or compounds such as oxygen, hydrogen, and battery acids. Other things that can corrode an airplane include cleaning solutions, dirt, grease, water, and dust.  Certain environments can also predispose your aircraft to corrosion. For example, coastal areas can accelerate the corrosion rate of metals because of the high humidity and salt accumulation on the surface. This is why aircraft buyers generally stay away from planes that have spent much time along the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Coast.  ...

Feasible Ways for the Aviation Industry to Cut Back Emissions

While the aviation carbon emissions only account for about 1.7% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, there is a growing clamor for carbon-neutral flying among consumers, especially the millennials and Gen Z.  In a recent survey released by the McKinsey & Company, about one-third of respondents said they were willing to pay more for carbon-neutral tickets, adding that they were even planning to reduce their travel due to climate concerns.    The Paris Agreement: Background  In December 2015, hundreds of countries signed the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately limit global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial ...

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