PDA

View Full Version : Highest time airframe ever


Gilles Hudicourt
20th Apr 2019, 19:20
Anyone know which aircraft has the world record total time on its airframe ?

lapp
20th Apr 2019, 19:23
What this question has to do with "Flight Deck Rumors and News" ?

KiloB
20th Apr 2019, 19:51
Surely it would have to be a Dak?

Jonty
20th Apr 2019, 19:57
One of the B-52s?

Kerosene Kraut
20th Apr 2019, 20:08
Some KLM 747-400 (PH-BFB) reached 134.000 hours and 36.000 cycles. Pretty impressive. LH had some very high time 747s as well. They fly way more than B-52s.

Banana Joe
20th Apr 2019, 20:16
Probably some converted freighter like B727, 737-200/Classic and 767-200. Many are enjoying a second life as a freighter and they fly lots of cycles, with an average of 4 sectors per day for the 737.

ivor toolbox
20th Apr 2019, 20:19
I seem to recall it's a Boeing 707,origially built for civilian market, then taken back and converted to a EC-135/KC-135, then taken back a second time for engines to be swapped out for latest fan versions.

Ttfn

inducedrag
20th Apr 2019, 20:24
Iranian airliners

20driver
20th Apr 2019, 20:36
At least on the Boeing side I'll bet tdracer has the answer. I seem to remember he posted once about some converted 747 with a lot of hours.
Plenty of DC-3's still flogging in up north and in the islands butI'm guessing their hours are lower.

20driver

treadigraph
20th Apr 2019, 21:12
Surely it would have to be a Dak?
In the 1980s, Provincetown Boston Airlines' N136PB was the highest time airliner flying with around 85000 hours. It's still airworthy in the US but accruing hours rather more slowly as befits an octogenarian; currently around 91500...

tubby linton
20th Apr 2019, 21:16
B757 G-MONB now N935FD has over 100000hours on the clock

tdracer
20th Apr 2019, 22:14
At least on the Boeing side I'll bet tdracer has the answer. I seem to remember he posted once about some converted 747 with a lot of hours.
Plenty of DC-3's still flogging in up north and in the islands butI'm guessing their hours are lower.

20driver

Unfortunately I'm out of the loop now days (retired). I know there are a bunch of 747s out there that are well north of 100,000 hours, as well as a number of 767s. But I have no information on what the current high number is. I'd put serious money on it being a 747 though - 747s are mainly used for long haul flights, meaning relatively low cycles but high hours. Cycles are the real killer - they wear out the airframe much faster than hours at cruise, so the high timer would almost certainly be a long-haul aircraft. Before I retired (about 30 months ago now) I heard that some freight operators were buying old 747-400s with over 100,000 hours and converting them to freighters - given the cost of conversion they would have to be planning to fly them for several more years (at 3000-4000 hours/year).

I would be very, very surprised if it's DC-3 (or any other piston engined aircraft) because they require so much maintenance per flight hour - and even turbine conversions get shaken badly by prop vibrations - plus it's a low altitude aircraft which means it gets beat up by turbulence much more than jets.
I'd also be very surprised by a military aircraft - they simply don't get the usage that commercial aircraft do. 1,000 hours/year is a lot for a military aircraft (even the tankers), where 3,000-4,000 hours/year is not only common but typical for commercial aircraft.

oliver2002
20th Apr 2019, 23:11
Lufthansa's A320 delivered in 1989 are still in service. LH Technik has an ESG package that allows ops until 120 000 hours.

racedo
21st Apr 2019, 00:00
I'd also be very surprised by a military aircraft - they simply don't get the usage that commercial aircraft do. 1,000 hours/year is a lot for a military aircraft (even the tankers), where 3,000-4,000 hours/year is not only common but typical for commercial aircraft.

Bearing in mind some of the publicly info available for maintenance per hr of flight for Military aircraft (assumming there has been some disclosure hold back) then would agree it is likely to be a Civilian one.

Wondered whether Air NZ or Qantas would be one as Qantas has a 26 yr old 747-400 ......................

krismiler
21st Apr 2019, 00:53
100 000 hours is around what 5 pilots can expect to log in their entire careers and is quite an achievement for a piece of machinery. I look at an old airframe and think what it must have gone through in it's life, how many Captains got their first command on it, how many F/Os did their first line flight on it. The places it's been, the passengers it's carried, the emergencies it's survived.

If only they could talk.

Bend alot
21st Apr 2019, 01:29
100 000 hours is around what 5 pilots can expect to log in their entire careers and is quite an achievement for a piece of machinery. I look at an old airframe and think what it must have gone through in it's life, how many Captains got their first command on it, how many F/Os did their first line flight on it. The places it's been, the passengers it's carried, the emergencies it's survived.

If only they could talk.

Or for something like a 747 with 100,000 hours.

1,500,000,000 litres of fuel used

EDLB
21st Apr 2019, 02:05
Or for something like a 747 with 100,000 hours.

150,000,000 litres of fuel used

you missed a zero.

1.500.000.000 litres Or about 1.000.000 tonnes or 5 Suezmax tankers full of Jet A-1

Bend alot
21st Apr 2019, 02:27
you missed a zero.

1.500.000.000 litres Or about 1.000.000 tonnes or 5 Suezmax tankers full of Jet A-1


Thanks but only from the calculator to the post - will correct.

Big Pistons Forever
21st Apr 2019, 03:14
I flew a Convair 580 that had 96,000 hrs and 157,000 cycles 6 years ago.

Dannyboy39
21st Apr 2019, 05:04
Iíve just looked at G-INFO. The oldest BA 747 still in service which is now pushing 30 years old (G-BNLN) had TAH 119294 on the clock as of Jun 2018. So Iím going to estimate that will have around 122000 hours now. And itís still going.

Safe-T
21st Apr 2019, 07:33
The oldest airframes involved in accidents, based on the aviation-safety.net database are:
Boeing 767-375ER C-GHOZ of Air Canada: on 12 Sep 2017 it had 120692 hours and was subsequently repaired
Boeing 747-436 G-BNLL (BA) had 110578 hours on 22 Dec 2013 when it ran into a building at FAOR; broken up after that
Boeing 747-209F N704CK of Kalitta overran runway at Brussels on 25 May 2008 at 108560 hours

Two airframes in the ASN database had over 100.000 cycles:
DHC-6 9M-MDM of MASwings: 108882 cycles in 30 years in service
DC-9-14 XA-BCS of Aero California: 102000 cycles in 37 years in service

Ancient Mariner
21st Apr 2019, 07:44
To give som perspective, the Coastal Express MV Lofoten, trading with pax and goods up and down the coast of Norway, had 300.000 hours logged in 2015, on the original main engine. She's still running strong.
Per

OldLurker
21st Apr 2019, 07:48
Perhaps noteworthy that of the three accidents cited by Safe-T, none were due to failure of the airframe.

Blues&twos
21st Apr 2019, 08:38
Per, arrived back from Norway yesterday, having passed a recently refurbished 1956 Hurtigruten ship just before we docked at Bergen.
Didn't catch her name though, but don't think it was the Lofoten.
Edit: it was the MS NORDSTJERNEN, but no info on hours!

Bergerie1
21st Apr 2019, 09:03
Per,

We had an excellent voyage on MV Lofoten in March 2014 from Bergen to Kirkenes. A beautiful little shipshaped ship.

a330jockey
21st Apr 2019, 09:43
What about Aer Lingus? When I was there we used to have to fly Dub - Snn - USA -Snn - Dub every time. So probably very high cycles on the B707s and B747s. Not sure about hours, though. We also had a A330 (EI - SHN) that, apparently, had the highest cycles (or hours) I can't remember, in the world. I think it ended up in Portugal. Now scrapped.

Webby737
21st Apr 2019, 16:21
I think Brussels Airlines had the highest hour & cycle A330, OO-SFM, MSN 30.
Like EIN their A330 fleet would average 3-4 cycles per day.

Old Boeing Driver
22nd Apr 2019, 01:58
The highest time pilot was Ed Long, who flew over 65,000 hours on powerline patrol...most of it under 200'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Long_(aviator)

Lord Farringdon
22nd Apr 2019, 02:28
Well, the MD-11 that bought my on line car parts to Auckland yesterday must have had some hours on her. 26 years old according to Flightradar and she didn't get a lot of ground time as FDX 75.

I know the record is presumed to be a B747 (long sectors,lower cycles etc) but could a UPS or Fedex DC-10/MD-11 be up for the challenge?

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/872x330/flightrsradar_73d65baf29d4b526874fb8f916708012867e7eef.jpg

krismiler
22nd Apr 2019, 05:08
Freighters tend to fly less than pax aircraft, generally working at night and parking up during the day. This makes operating older aircraft economical as their higher fuel consumption is offset by flying less hours and there is plenty of time to do the increased maintenance required during the day when the engineers aren’t on overtime rates of pay.

Micky
22nd Apr 2019, 06:34
Freighters tend to fly less than pax aircraft, generally working at night and parking up during the day. This makes operating older aircraft economical as their higher fuel consumption is offset by flying less hours and there is plenty of time to do the increased maintenance required during the day when the engineers arenít on overtime rates of pay.

Our MD11ís are operating on average 16hours per day....

PoppaJo
22nd Apr 2019, 06:44
This ex Ansett A320 is still going strong.

https://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-a320-29.htm

VORDME2
22nd Apr 2019, 08:14
We have a B777-200ER ,just 22 years old with 99000hrs maintenance is perfect, flying 450hrs per month smoothly.

Lord Farringdon
22nd Apr 2019, 09:59
Our MD11ís are operating on average 16hours per day....
Even if we said that's about 3500 hours per annum when maintenance and other down time is taken into account (including major checks, modifications etc) then this Fedex DC 10-10 has possibly done about 166,000 hours in her nearly almost 48 years of service...and still going!

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/887x234/fleet_age3_dcb3654e7b4ce918c868edc13011271c7439353f.jpg
N368FE Active as at 19 April 2019. Source Flightradar24


https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/611x353/fleet_age2_a9dd1edef3db83aec375d6d1a5c5aee78ebc4b6d.jpg
N368FE is 47.7 years old. Source Planespotters.net


https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1190x341/fleet_age4_b13d1a7ac697db26efa4d8d6651b09aff8d7aa6f.jpg
N368FE served in UA before being delivered to Fedex. Source Planespotters.net

bhunt95
22nd Apr 2019, 23:44
How about one of those EC-135 built for operation Looking Glass? 17 were built. One or more was constantly in the air 24 hours a day from 1961 to 1990. And in the air or on ground running till 1998.

Bend alot
23rd Apr 2019, 11:12
How about one of those EC-135 built for operation Looking Glass? 17 were built. One or more was constantly in the air 24 hours a day from 1961 to 1990. And in the air or on ground running till 1998.
The two highest contenders with access to some check able data put the flight time to on ground time just in the flight time favour over around 29 years - it is just over 12 hours flying on average in 24 hours for the full 29 years.

But clearly it is possible a aircraft has done more than that, but not many.

racedo
23rd Apr 2019, 15:01
The two highest contenders with access to some check able data put the flight time to on ground time just in the flight time favour over around 29 years - it is just over 12 hours flying on average in 24 hours for the full 29 years.

But clearly it is possible a aircraft has done more than that, but not many.

I'm with you on that as would mean zero down time and new equipment updates etc

Would be suprised if any of them has more than 40-50,000 hrs

CargoOne
23rd Apr 2019, 16:05
Freighters tend to fly less than pax aircraft, generally working at night and parking up during the day.

It is true only for the feeder aircraft like 737/757 and large part of 767/A300 fleet which are mostly oriented for overnight feeding in and out of hub. Longhaul freighters are typically flying round the clock, I believe CargoLux had one of the highest average utilisations in the industry ca 17 hours per day.

CargoOne
23rd Apr 2019, 16:15
Even if we said that's about 3500 hours per annum when maintenance and other down time is taken into account (including major checks, modifications etc) then this Fedex DC 10-10 has possibly done about 166,000 hours in her nearly almost 48 years of service...and still going!
N368FE Active as at 19 April 2019. Source Flightradar24


DC/MD10-10 is not a long haul aircraft, it is doing between 1 and 4 sectors a day, 1 to 2 hours each and weekend stop. Back in 2006 this airframe was reported at 73k FH and 30k FC. I would be surprised if she is doing more than 1500 FH per annum these days.

Non-Driver
24th Apr 2019, 09:24
Iíve just looked at G-INFO. The oldest BA 747 still in service which is now pushing 30 years old (G-BNLN) had TAH 119294 on the clock as of Jun 2018. So Iím going to estimate that will have around 122000 hours now. And itís still going.
Per the same source G-BNLP was at 120,443 on 5/9/18. It was parked up in December, presumably retired. NLN still pounding around 15hrs/day when not on maintenance so has probably caught up and overtaken NLP by now. NLK was over 120k this time last year and only retired in January so that could also be a contender.

Some of the MK Airlines 747's were pretty leggy too but not quite as high as the BA ones.

cooperplace
24th Apr 2019, 11:19
I flew a Convair 580 that had 96,000 hrs and 157,000 cycles 6 years ago.

what was it like? I mean, condition for hours?

Smythe
24th Apr 2019, 14:24
Is Jetstar still flying those old Luft A320's?

DaveReidUK
24th Apr 2019, 15:16
Is Jetstar still flying those old Luft A320's?

I don't know about Jetstar, but Lufthansa itself is flying some pretty ancient A320s, some approaching 30 years old.

That said, I don't see a shorthaul narrow-body qualifying as the highest-time airframe. If a winner is ever conclusively established, I'll be very surprised if it isn't a 747.

racedo
24th Apr 2019, 21:18
That said, I don't see a shorthaul narrow-body qualifying as the highest-time airframe. If a winner is ever conclusively established, I'll be very surprised if it isn't a 747.

Wouldn't be so convinced on that on a longer term basis given Ryanair utilisation of some of their aircraft.

They have a few that are close to 17 years old and utilisation likely to be huge.

Average utilisation is circa 9 hrs per day per aircraft with some doing a lot more

Wonder what EI-DAC has done.

Doubt they have anything about 50,000 yet but the will be close with some.

Big Pistons Forever
25th Apr 2019, 03:06
Codperplace

The Convair had been very well looked after by the previous airline who had run it for over 25 yrs. I found it flew better then some others with considerably less time and was very reliable.

45989
25th Apr 2019, 04:19
Wouldn't be so convinced on that on a longer term basis given Ryanair utilisation of some of their aircraft.

They have a few that are close to 17 years old and utilisation likely to be huge.

Average utilisation is circa 9 hrs per day per aircraft with some doing a lot more

Wonder what EI-DAC has done.

Doubt they have anything about 50,000 yet but the will be close with some.
Doubtful.. Short sectors and high cycles,. Most older ryr {mostly leased} aircraft have gone to Korea. Jeju, T'Way etc

Bend alot
25th Apr 2019, 04:30
Wouldn't be so convinced on that on a longer term basis given Ryanair utilisation of some of their aircraft.

They have a few that are close to 17 years old and utilisation likely to be huge.

Average utilisation is circa 9 hrs per day per aircraft with some doing a lot more

Wonder what EI-DAC has done.

Doubt they have anything about 50,000 yet but the will be close with some.


To be in the race you need more than 12 hrs per day - averaged over around 30 years.

At only 9 hrs a day you are way behind the 8 ball.

cooperplace
25th Apr 2019, 04:32
Codperplace

The Convair had been very well looked after by the previous airline who had run it for over 25 yrs. I found it flew better then some others with considerably less time and was very reliable.
good to hear, thanks

Huck
25th Apr 2019, 06:03
Well, the MD-11 that bought my on line car parts to Auckland yesterday must have had some hours on her. 26 years old according to Flightradar and she didn't get a lot of ground time as FDX 75.

I know the record is presumed to be a B747 (long sectors,lower cycles etc) but could a UPS or Fedex DC-10/MD-11 be up for the challenge?

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/872x330/flightrsradar_73d65baf29d4b526874fb8f916708012867e7eef.jpg

I flew 605 into SYD a few days before that. as I recall, about 90,000 total time on the maintenance log. I'm guessing it was the fifth freighter made, as 601 was the first (and I believe the first MD11 delivered).

Mariner
25th Apr 2019, 07:11
I flew a ex-KLM B747-200 SUD Freighter with MPH for a few years between 2003-2006. Built in 1975, it was then supposed to be the highest time airframe in the world. The HMV we did at around 125.000 hrs included a LOV (Limit of Validity Inspection), basically meaning that Boeing didn't design the airplane to be flown that many hrs, and extra inspections were needed to ensure its structural integrity.
We sold it to Southern Air in 2006, which were supposed to part it out but somehow decided to fly it some more.

It was retired in 2011, and subsequently stored or scrapped in MHV. Assuming Southern flew it for another 5000 hrs that adds up to some 130.000 hrs.

Apart from a rather quirky autopilot system, it flew just fine :cool:

wortelkwadraat
25th Apr 2019, 09:01
KLM PH-BFC City of Calgary; 141.938 flying hours and 17.271 cycles. Last flight march 12 2018

28.5 years with some substantial volcanic ash damage when 6 months old.

Now stored at Teruel? (some of the KLM 747's stored there were scrapped)

Lord Farringdon
25th Apr 2019, 10:14
I flew 605 into SYD a few days before that. as I recall, about 90,000 total time on the maintenance log. I'm guessing it was the fifth freighter made, as 601 was the first (and I believe the first MD11 delivered).

Hi Huck. May i say it is a pleasure to hear from a guy who flies these beauties to NZ on the FDX 75 schedule. My wife and I do 'occasional' on line shopping and whenever I get the opportunity, I use Fedex because the service is just so great. I mean, I can order a part in Auckland and it wouldn't get to me before the part I ordered from east coast US, flown by Fedex! And your tracking system and delivery updates are just spot on. I know I sound like like a walking advertisement but i don't apologize. You guys and gals do a great job! I'm impressed! It's nice to be able to tell that to someone from Fedex.

Anyway back on topic! Thanks for the information about 605. Perhaps you may know somebody who knows somebody who could provide a verified record holder in this thread? :)

I suggested 47 year old 10-10 N365FE but other's suggest she's being almost semi retired and while still flying, is only doing short sector domestic work.

racedo
25th Apr 2019, 10:22
Doubtful.. Short sectors and high cycles,. Most older ryr {mostly leased} aircraft have gone to Korea. Jeju, T'Way etc

All the aircraft were bought as owned aircraft, they then sold on to Lease co in a Sale and Leaseback deal. So buying a 738 for say Ä25 M, sell to lease co for Ä35 M, lease for 7 years, lease co sell on at a profit. Everybody makes money as Ryanair realise benefit of purchasing at low cost.

racedo
25th Apr 2019, 10:24
To be in the race you need more than 12 hrs per day - averaged over around 30 years.

At only 9 hrs a day you are way behind the 8 ball.

Average includes those that sit on ground doing nothing as spare aircraft. There are many doing way more than 9 hrs a day

Bend alot
25th Apr 2019, 10:37
Average includes those that sit on ground doing nothing as spare aircraft. There are many doing way more than 9 hrs a day
Love to hear this explanation.

racedo
25th Apr 2019, 13:02
Love to hear this explanation.

Pretty easy, during winter they have airframes sitting around, also during summer at key bases so they may need to slot aircraft in when something goes tech. High hours older soon to be out of fleet will get more usage than newer frames. Selling a 738 in October 15 yrs old for $5m, you will not have it sitting on ground as a spare, you will be maxing hours because still going to get $5 million for it whether you add another 1000 plus hours or not.

CargoOne
25th Apr 2019, 14:21
I suggested 47 year old 10-10 N365FE but other's suggest she's being almost semi retired and while still flying, is only doing short sector domestic work.

It is not semi-retired, it is what it is with all other 10-10s - it is not a longhaul aircraft due to 1) payload range 2) fuel burn 3) maintenance costs. They all do short sectors providing volume for zero capital cost, possibly some Canada and upper part of Latin America. It only takes around 60t of cargo and it will take it 4 tech stops to reach SYD or AKL.

bhunt95
25th Apr 2019, 20:47
MD-11, Lufthansa Cargo, S/N 48413, L/N 488, D-ALCO, 139.224h 25.272cyc (31.12.2010)
)

tdracer
25th Apr 2019, 22:28
KLM PH-BFC City of Calgary; 141.938 flying hours and 17.271 cycles. Last flight march 12 2018

28.5 years with some substantial volcanic ash damage when 6 months old.

Now stored at Teruel? (some of the KLM 747's stored there were scrapped)

Just shy of 142k hours would definitely put it in the running for high time - that's ~13.6 hours/day, every day, for 28.5 years.
Part of me thinks it would be somehow fitting that the high time aircraft would be the 747-400 that was nearly lost in a volcanic ash encounter when new.

Perhaps, someday, the high time aircraft will be one of those new-fangled carbon fiber 787s or A350s - carbon fiber doesn't fatigue the way aluminum does. But it'll be a couple decades before that can possibly happen.

Smythe
25th Apr 2019, 23:14
I don't know about Jetstar, but Lufthansa itself is flying some pretty ancient A320s, some approaching 30 years old.

Went from MEL to OOL, Exit signs in German with English under them.

ashtrays in seatbacks.
Seem to remember JS not Tiger...

ShyTorque
26th Apr 2019, 08:45
The ISS isn't technically an "airframe" but it's a manned craft in our skies and must have surely clocked up the most hours, having initially been launched on Nov 20th 1998 and hasn't landed yet.

601
26th Apr 2019, 14:06
The ISS isn't technically an "airframe" but it's a manned craft in our skies and must have surely clocked up the most hours, having initially been launched on Nov 20th 1998 and hasn't landed yet.

Not only out of left field, but out of this world!!

Flightmech
26th Apr 2019, 14:17
B757 G-MONB now N935FD has over 100000hours on the clock

Not quite. As of today 98981:32 FH and 35991 FC.

Flightmech
26th Apr 2019, 14:23
I flew 605 into SYD a few days before that. as I recall, about 90,000 total time on the maintenance log. I'm guessing it was the fifth freighter made, as 601 was the first (and I believe the first MD11 delivered).

605 is a youngster! 82,729 FH and 19893 FH. 624 & 631 are the high timers with 100K +. Interestingly 601 is only at 82737.

Supermattt
26th Apr 2019, 22:27
I flew on DC-3 N136PB between Key West and Marathon Key Florida in the 1980s as a kid. Just me, my brother, the pilot, co-pilot and one air stewardess on board. We sat in the cockpit as they started up and were allowed to sit anywhere we liked for the flight. It's one of my best memories ever. The pilots were aware the it was the highest time airframe and delighted us with the notion that it broke a new record every time it flew (and so we broke a record!).

Magic!

bhunt95
26th Apr 2019, 22:37
I flew on DC-3 N136PB between Key West and Marathon Key Florida in the 1980s as a kid. Just me, my brother, the pilot, co-pilot and one air stewardess on board. We sat in the cockpit as they started up and were allowed to sit anywhere we liked for the flight. It's one of my best memories ever. The pilots were aware the it was the highest time airframe and delighted us with the notion that it broke a new record every time it flew (and so we broke a record!).

Magic!

As of 2013 it had 91,320. Pretty impressive for a DC-3.

stilton
27th Apr 2019, 05:38
Just shy of 142k hours would definitely put it in the running for high time - that's ~13.6 hours/day, every day, for 28.5 years.
Part of me thinks it would be somehow fitting that the high time aircraft would be the 747-400 that was nearly lost in a volcanic ash encounter when new.

Perhaps, someday, the high time aircraft will be one of those new-fangled carbon fiber 787s or A350s - carbon fiber doesn't fatigue the way aluminum does. But it'll be a couple decades before that can possibly happen.


142 thousand hours is the highest Iíve heard, impressive, if I remember correctly after that volcanic ash encounter that aircraft required significant repairs, rework and general ĎTLCí to restore it to flight status


Perhaps that was a factor in its longevity, being brought back to a fairly new standard ?


Curious to know about the highest time DC8ís as well, the re-engined CFM airframes went on a long, long time

oliver2002
27th Apr 2019, 07:45
Upon some research I found out that one of the first A320 to fly (since 1989, still in service with Lufthansa) only has ~71000 h and ~57000 cycles. Amazing that a short haul aircraft doesn't rack up more hours.

CargoOne
27th Apr 2019, 08:47
Upon some research I found out that one of the first A320 to fly (since 1989, still in service with Lufthansa) only has ~71000 h and ~57000 cycles. Amazing that a short haul aircraft doesn't rack up more hours.

Lufti's batch of MSN 006x, 007x and 008x are fleet leaders by flight cycles but they are not even close to AirCanada early MSNs of 1989/90/91 YOM in term of flight hours - AC has a dozen of aircraft which hit or just about to hit 90.000 FH (and 37-38k FC).

What is kind of surprising on Airbus widebody side, the fleet leaders are 4x A340-300 of TAP Portugal with 110k FH each (CS-TOA/B/C/D). And one-off AirTransat A310 which made a bit more that that.

twochai
27th Apr 2019, 09:08
Wideroe's are currently updating their Dash 8-200 fleet to run them out to 120,000 cycles - this in an environment of 20-30 minute legs with frequent moderate to severe turbulence in the lower levels. These a/c fly the public service routes connecting the STOL ports along the rocky Norwegian coast!

https://www.bombardier.com/en/media/newsList/details.20190405Wideroe.bombardiercom.html?filter-bu=commercial-aircraft&f-year=all&f-month=all&f-type=all&show-by-page=50&page=1&f-min-year=2002 (https://www.bombardier.com/en/media/newsList/details.20190405Wideroe.bombardiercom.html?filter-bu=commercial-aircraft&f-year=all&f-month=all&f-type=all&show-by-page=50&page=1&f-min-year=2002)

Bend alot
27th Apr 2019, 09:30
Personally I would love to know the best guess of the highest R22 flight hours - real flight hours.

WHBM
27th Apr 2019, 09:37
Perhaps, someday, the high time aircraft will be one of those new-fangled carbon fiber 787s or A350s - carbon fiber doesn't fatigue the way aluminum does. But it'll be a couple decades before that can possibly happen.
My understanding is that it's not the airframe itself that is the principal reason for retirement (and it not having any operational secondhand value), but all the fittings, the wiring especially, the control runs, the need for cabin refreshes, the IFE becoming outmoded, etc. This becomes cumulative over many of these items as time passes, and progressively impacts on dispatch reliability. It particularly applies where some of the hundreds of initial suppliers of these smaller components have gone out of business over the years, and spares and support for them becomes increasingly expensive or difficult.

Dairyground
27th Apr 2019, 16:24
I seem to recall from around 30 years ago that a Braniff 747 was reported as clocking up flight hours faster than any other airframe, possibly around 20 hours per day, six days per week. Is my memory correct and does anyone recall what happened to it?

ShyTorque
27th Apr 2019, 17:09
I doubt it will ever 'land'. More like burning up in the atmosphere. At least most parts.

Yes, obviously. :rolleyes:

treadigraph
27th Apr 2019, 18:13
I seem to recall from around 30 years ago that a Braniff 747 was reported as clocking up flight hours faster than any other airframe, possibly around 20 hours per day, six days per week. Is my memory correct and does anyone recall what happened to it?
Think that was l/n 100, N601BN which was last operated by Tower Air and scrapped in '93.

Info about its daily utilisation on this site (http://g-alyp.********.com/2010/06/braniff-international-airways-boeing.html).

Old Boeing Driver
27th Apr 2019, 18:34
In 2016, KLM's PH-BFD 135,900 hours Taken out of service in 2017 747-400

DaveReidUK
27th Apr 2019, 19:33
In 2016, KLM's PH-BFD 135,900 hours Taken out of service in 2017 747-400

See post #52.

snooky
27th Apr 2019, 20:32
ISS will be around 180000 hours now, young compared to Voyager 1 at about 360000 hours.

Old Boeing Driver
27th Apr 2019, 22:34
See post #52.

I missed that one. I sit corrected.

have a great weekend.

bhunt95
27th Apr 2019, 22:43
142 thousand hours is the highest Iíve heard, impressive, if I remember correctly after that volcanic ash encounter that aircraft required significant repairs, rework and general ĎTLCí to restore it to flight status


Perhaps that was a factor in its longevity, being brought back to a fairly new standard ?


Curious to know about the highest time DC8ís as well, the re-engined CFM airframes went on a long, long time

Like a car in a wreck it loses value. My guess after insurance paid to repair they "ran it till the wheels (wings) fell off" because it lost its value to be resold.

421dog
27th Apr 2019, 23:51
ISS will be around 180000 hours now, young compared to Voyager 1 at about 360000 hours.
Yeah, but itís the cycles that really count.
When either of those craft reach ďoneĒ, theyíre out of the running

tdracer
28th Apr 2019, 00:01
My understanding is that it's not the airframe itself that is the principal reason for retirement (and it not having any operational secondhand value), but all the fittings, the wiring especially, the control runs, the need for cabin refreshes, the IFE becoming outmoded, etc. This becomes cumulative over many of these items as time passes, and progressively impacts on dispatch reliability. It particularly applies where some of the hundreds of initial suppliers of these smaller components have gone out of business over the years, and spares and support for them becomes increasingly expensive or difficult.

Short answer, it's everything. Back in the 707 days, aircraft were designed for about 20 years, 60,000 hrs (if you do the math that's about 8 hours/day average utilization). Some of the European authorities certified to something called 'Safe Life' - basically when the airframe reached that number of hours or cycles, it was effectively grounded. Eventually though, some operators wanted to keep flying high time aircraft past those limits, despite some crashes due to fatigue related structural failures, The FAA and other authorities, with the cooperation of the airframers, looked at what it would take to keep an aircraft flying safely past it's 'design lifetime'. Eventually the idea of 'design lifetime' and 'safe life' were discarded - the position now days is that you can keep flying an airframe indefinitely - IF it's properly inspected and maintained - and enhanced inspection and maintenance procedures were developed and published to support the operation of very high hour/cycle aircraft.
Obviously these maintenance and inspection requirements go far beyond primary structure. While this part didn't get much press, TWA 800 was (at the time) one of the highest time aircraft ever - over 100,000 hours - which no doubt contributed to the wiring issues that are believed to have causing the fuel tank explosion.
At some point, the additional costs related to the extra maintenance and higher fuel burn make it uneconomical to keep flying an old aircraft instead of investing in something newer. OTOH, lots of seriously old DC-3s, 727s, 737-100/200, DC-10s, and 747-100/200/SP are still plying the skies - either in specialized roles (I was just in Las Vegas, there is a 747SP parked there that is apparently used by one of the big casinos to ferry in some of the high roller types), or operating in areas where the labor costs are low and regulatory oversight is rather lax...

treadigraph
28th Apr 2019, 00:16
I got the impression that DC-3 was rather overbuilt which has contributed to its longevity - still a few in commercial operation at, what, 85 years since first flight? Most remaining airframes must be circa 80 years old, albeit the commercially operated may be Basler conversions. Think I noted an R-1830 powered survey DC-3 transiting through UK on FR24 earlier this year.

krismiler
28th Apr 2019, 06:50
The DC3 was very over built because back in those days aircraft designers didn't know how cheap they could go and still be safe. By the 1960s more was known about stress and fatigue in metals which enabled newer designs to be made lighter and to cost less while still meeting requirements.

Old airframes are often suitable for low utilisation specialised roles such as water bombing, oil slick dispersal, engine test platforms etc. The capital cost is very low, spares are usually still cheaply available, lots of down time is available for the increased maintenance and with low hours being flown, the higher fuel consumption isn't significant.

The January issue of "Airliner World" had a story about a B737-200 being operated in the freight role in the Philippines, it only operated between Cebu and the capital Manila with a round trip time of under three hours, most of the day was spent on the ground where maintenance was available and the basic analogue flight deck was perfectly up to the task.

WHBM
28th Apr 2019, 09:23
I got the impression that DC-3 was rather overbuilt which has contributed to its longevity - still a few in commercial operation at, what, 85 years since first flight? Most remaining airframes must be circa 80 years old, albeit the commercially operated may be Basler conversions. Think I noted an R-1830 powered survey DC-3 transiting through UK on FR24 earlier this year.
Only peripheral to what we are discussing, but hopefully of interest to our audience, is that a huge get-together of DC-3s is coming in Europe soon as part of the 75th D-Day celebrations, gathering and setting off from Duxford in the days leading up to 5 June there, and subsequently in France. I believe there is an escorted group of participants coming over the Atlantic from the US and Canada.

https://www.daksovernormandy.com/home/

ehwatezedoing
28th Apr 2019, 09:56
I got the impression that DC-3 was rather overbuilt which has contributed to its longevity - still a few in commercial operation at, what, 85 years since first flight? Most remaining airframes must be circa 80 years old, albeit the commercially operated may be Basler conversions. Think I noted an R-1830 powered survey DC-3 transiting through UK on FR24 earlier this year.
I am not aware of any R-1830 powered DC-3 doing survey.
A Basler conversion with PT-6s?

treadigraph
28th Apr 2019, 10:14
You may be right - looking through a list of surviving airframes, C-FTGI rings a bell. It's not listed as a Basler conversion but photos show that it is! Page is 5 years out of date though.

DaveReidUK
28th Apr 2019, 10:32
You may be right - looking through a list of surviving airframes, C-FTGI rings a bell. It's not listed as a Basler conversion but photos show that it is! Page is 5 years out of date though.

Yes, the Transport Canada register lists it with turboprops. It was the 51st Basler conversion, done in 2008.

Matvey
28th Apr 2019, 17:42
Flybe have some Dash 8s with 30k+ cycles on them at around 14-15 years old. Hours not that high but 6-10 sectors a day is hard on any airframe.
Air Canada have some 1987/88-vintage Dash-8s that have flown ~6-sector days for over 30 years now.

BluSdUp
28th Apr 2019, 19:03
The International Space Station.
Umpteen hours.
Slightly under powered, borderline glider
No slot restrictions.
Still going strong!

regards
Cpt B
Space Cadet at Large

tdracer
28th Apr 2019, 19:21
BluSd
The question is highest time "airframe" - the ISS can't be considered an 'airframe' because it's not capable of operating in the atmosphere - and would in fact fail catastrophically if it did. The ISS isn't even the highest time 'spaceframe' as there are numerous other spacecraft that have more hours.
The ISS can lay claim to being the highest time continuously occupied spacecraft.

BluSdUp
28th Apr 2019, 22:27
Right You are.
I was just in a silly mood.
On another slight drift, I was interested to know how many engines a say 110 000 hrs aircraft like a Jumbo or any twin would have used in such a lifetime.
Or how long does a basic engine last.
I see some of our 737-800s with say 20 000 hrs pop up with a new one ever so often, but our Teck Log does not have specific airframe time or engine time recorded for us drivers.
Regards
Cpt B

PS
An old one here is ca 13 years old,

krismiler
29th Apr 2019, 01:18
Some airlines like to part company with their aircraft whilst they’re still fairly young figuring that the increased passenger appeal, greater efficiency, reduced maintenance and higher dispatch reliability will offset the higher price of a new aircraft.

However an airline in a third world country may be unable to afford to buy new, passengers are very price sensitive and local labour for maintenance is cheap, in which case buying second hand makes sense.

Back in the old days when engineering was cheap in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific could buy a used aircraft and overhaul it to as good as new standard at a considerable saving versus buying new.

Iran is under sanctions but has plenty of oil so buying older types which no one else wants because of the fuel consumption, such as the A340 is worthwhile.

tdracer
29th Apr 2019, 01:37
On another slight drift, I was interested to know how many engines a say 110 000 hrs aircraft like a Jumbo or any twin would have used in such a lifetime.
Or how long does a basic engine last.

Engines last at long longer than you might think - obviously overhauled multiple times.
"First Run" engines generally go between 10,000 and 20,000 hours before getting overhauled the first time (assuming they don't get lots of short cycles - cycles are even harder an engines than they are on airframes). Some real long haul engines can go 30,000 hours first run, due to the low cycle counts. Overhauled engines don't get that close to 'zero time', so their time on wing before the next overhaul is considerably shorter than first run engines - often as little as half as long. Obviously the burner and high turbine take the brunt of the abuse, but compressor blades wear and abrade and even fan blades benefit from the occasional TLC. I recall seeing engines that were well over 60,000 hours since new, obviously overhauled several times. At some point, it becomes a question of what constitutes the original engine - rotating components are often life-limited parts, and must be replaced (and the original scrapped) after so many cycles. Further, components get swapped between engines - particularly some of the newer modular designs, where instead of rebuilding the engine, they simply swap out a module - for example a turbine - with one that's been overhauled and return the engine to service. After a while it becomes like that old farmer's axe - the handle has been replaced 4 times, and the axe head five times, but it's still the old farmer's axe :}

86583
29th Apr 2019, 03:41
3C engine in service with Malev has just established a new all-time world record for initial time on wing. Earlier this month, the engine reached 40, 538 hours and 17,405 cycles without a single shop visit, surpassing the previous record of 40,531 hours set in 2000.

CFM56-3 engines are part of the best-selling CFM56 engine family, which is produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) and General Electric Company.

The engine was part of the original installation on a new Boeing 737-500 delivered to Hapag-Lloyd in December 1990; Malev has been leasing the aircraft since 1999. During its in-service life, the engine has undergone routine inspections but has remained trouble free. Malev plans to remove the engine for overhaul in September, so the ultimate record will be established at that time.

4runner
29th Apr 2019, 04:11
I heard that DC-8ís arenít life limited. There are some CRJ-200ís that must be approaching 150,000. Bombardier builds a rugged, economical and reliable machine. Just kidding...

hans brinker
29th Apr 2019, 04:16
Engines last at long longer than you might think - obviously overhauled multiple times.
"First Run" engines generally go between 10,000 and 20,000 hours before getting overhauled the first time (assuming they don't get lots of short cycles - cycles are even harder an engines than they are on airframes). Some real long haul engines can go 30,000 hours first run, due to the low cycle counts. Overhauled engines don't get that close to 'zero time', so their time on wing before the next overhaul is considerably shorter than first run engines - often as little as half as long. Obviously the burner and high turbine take the brunt of the abuse, but compressor blades wear and abrade and even fan blades benefit from the occasional TLC. I recall seeing engines that were well over 60,000 hours since new, obviously overhauled several times. At some point, it becomes a question of what constitutes the original engine - rotating components are often life-limited parts, and must be replaced (and the original scrapped) after so many cycles. Further, components get swapped between engines - particularly some of the newer modular designs, where instead of rebuilding the engine, they simply swap out a module - for example a turbine - with one that's been overhauled and return the engine to service. After a while it becomes like that old farmer's axe - the handle has been replaced 4 times, and the axe head five times, but it's still the old farmer's axe :}

even more off topic:
my older brother bought a motorcycle when he was 16, and I got it when he left the house at 18, modified it a bit, and passed it onto my little brother 2 years later. He modified it more, drove it for another few years, I crashed and repaired it, and when he sold it we found out the only original parts were the fuel tank and the front fender....

BluSdUp
29th Apr 2019, 20:16
That Malev record is quite something.
No doubt the CFM engines are the best and most successful Turbo Fan engines ever.
No doubt due to the fact that GE and SNECMA had a damd good starting point,AND I am sure they had a sort of internal competitive quality assurance:
If a Yankee and a Frenchman can agree on something it is most probably a good product! No offence, I hope.

tdracer
29th Apr 2019, 22:01
3C engine in service with Malev has just established a new all-time world record for initial time on wing. Earlier this month, the engine reached 40, 538 hours and 17,405 cycles without a single shop visit, surpassing the previous record of 40,531 hours set in 2000.

CFM56-3 engines are part of the best-selling CFM56 engine family, which is produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) and General Electric Company.

The engine was part of the original installation on a new Boeing 737-500 delivered to Hapag-Lloyd in December 1990; Malev has been leasing the aircraft since 1999. During its in-service life, the engine has undergone routine inspections but has remained trouble free. Malev plans to remove the engine for overhaul in September, so the ultimate record will be established at that time.

That is definitely impressive, but no doubt it had a big assist from the rather sizeable derate the CFM56-3 got when installed on a 737-500. IIRC Max takeoff on the 737-500 was less than max climb on a -400.

CargoOne
29th Apr 2019, 22:53
That is definitely impressive, but no doubt it had a big assist from the rather sizeable derate the CFM56-3 got when installed on a 737-500. IIRC Max takeoff on the 737-500 was less than max climb on a -400.

I've seen a number of CFM56-5B3 (33k rating) on A321 with 40k+ FH, some even close to 45k - first run without shop visits.

pennypitstop22
30th Apr 2019, 08:35
Didnít Malev stop flying in 2012?

Lew747
30th Apr 2019, 09:02
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/665x960/73513f22_c39c_4ba2_9ed3_4a1a67a9c7ff_aa784a8dd675b3b39b10a67 588cb4db1b62f5545.jpeg
Thought this was impressive for an A320

DaveReidUK
30th Apr 2019, 11:38
Didnít Malev stop flying in 2012?

Yes. It's actually a quote from a 2003 CFM press release: https://www.cfmaeroengines.com/press-articles/cfm56-3-now-holds-world-record-for-longest-time-on-wing/

News takes a long time to reach the West Coast. :O

Slow and curious
1st May 2019, 16:05
Highest time airframe ever?

The flying Dutchman.:ok:

nonsense
2nd May 2019, 03:47
I flew on DC-3 N136PB between Key West and Marathon Key Florida in the 1980s as a kid. Just me, my brother, the pilot, co-pilot and one air stewardess on board. We sat in the cockpit as they started up and were allowed to sit anywhere we liked for the flight. It's one of my best memories ever. The pilots were aware the it was the highest time airframe and delighted us with the notion that it broke a new record every time it flew (and so we broke a record!).

Magic!
https://www.nytimes.com/1982/08/22/us/longest-flying-dc-3-keeps-breaking-records.html

Douglas DC3, Dakota, C47, R4D, DC1, DC2 A/C Capt.Allen Campbell (http://www.dc3history.org/featurearticles/breakingrecords.html)