Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

preserving Retired Airliners in Flying Condition.

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

preserving Retired Airliners in Flying Condition.

Old 7th Aug 2014, 09:14
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Oz
Posts: 239
preserving Retired Airliners in Flying Condition.

Talking with some friends the other day how we are lucky that some aircraft from wayback have been preserved from way back, so the young people of today can appreciate aviation history. I love to see the look on non-aviation peoples faces when I show them a DC3, a Spitfire, Mustang etc. what's even better is when they can see one in the flesh, touch and climb in, or best of all have a ride.

So how much would it cost to maintain an airliner that is about to be headed for the boneyard,such as a 747, 707, 727, L1011, DC-9. Keep them airworthy for public display. Kids in 50 years time wont know what it's like to have a 727 depart overhead with the engines at crackle power. The Comet is gone, only a few DC4/6's left, no DC7's are flyable now and only a couple of Conies. It also amazes the new generation of students the notion that the early jets (707/727) were flown around with only VOR/DME and ADF and in some cases a navigator with a sextant. Kids these days can't fathom life without GPS, mobile phones and the internet.

Is there any maintenance system that could support these types, but flying only 50 hrs a year. I understand the standard maintenance system is for airline ops ,high utilisation so it has a calendar time as well as TIS component. Do these types develop problems from low utilisation alone (fuel microbes for one).

For the sake of the argument assume a full D check/ engine overhaul is done as part of the preservation process. Does anyone have an idea of the cost of a D check for the various aircraft and they will be housed in a dry air-conditioned hanger.
Guptar is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 10:02
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Paradise
Age: 60
Posts: 1,323
A great idea............but unfortunately beyond the bounds of possibility on economic grounds.

Airliners on low utilisation maintenance programs typically require more maintenance than those still out earning their keep.

Consider also that, unlike a DC-3, a jet can only use certain airports, and those airports are nowadays operated by avaricious banks and the like. Parking fees alone may cost several thousand dollars a week; most operators of large airports have no sense of history, or generosity, so will likely not be keen to waive parking fees. To be fair, a jet typically takes up a fair amount of tarmac space too.

Then there is the matter of stage 3 noise compliance.........

The other impediment to operation of something larger than a DC-3 is that a fair amount of GSE and support equipment is required. That also requires maintenance/fuel/somewhere to store it.

These are just the starting points; who would be keen to insure a jet flown by pilots who only do 50 hours a year? Where might they find an available B727 simulator? The closest one is probably in the US, and unlikely to be free.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see (and hear) a B727 gracing our skies, but sadly it won't happen.
chimbu warrior is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 11:41
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Perth
Posts: 134
Needs a Twiggy Forrest who is happy to fund an airstrip and create tarmac for miles to park it all.

Unfortunately not within any cooee of any major city.
FokkerInYour12 is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 12:13
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arsetrailer
Posts: 265
There is a beautiful DC-7 in Eastern airlines colours in Florida, Lufthansa is restoring a Starliner Constellation. Redbull has a DC-6
Lots of enthusiasm for big pistons which is understandable.
Buckets of money and that enthusiasm will keep them going hopefully.
Fred Gassit is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 12:19
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: YLIL
Posts: 240
Originally Posted by chimbu warrior View Post
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see (and hear) a B727 gracing our skies, but sadly it won't happen.
Few weeks ago, was at a night market next to Vancouver International, when amongst all the other take-offs heard a loud distinctive roar - turned my head and there was a 727 leaving a trail of dark black smoke in its wake!

Reminded me of my childhood days living next to YMEN.
triton140 is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 13:25
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 203
A freight 727 landed in POM mid last year...no idea where from.
Unusual-Attitude is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 16:56
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Down there
Posts: 287
The former Labor minister for bad teeth and transport introduced legislation banning the B727 from Australian skies. What a fool.
Jenna Talia is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 21:10
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 484
I know it just can't happen, but, imagine getting an Ansett Sandringham Flying Boat back in the air. Just joyflights, I'd reckon people would pay any amount and every seat would be full. It would even draw aviation nerds from all over the world.
Aye Ess is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2014, 22:23
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: On the equator
Posts: 1,295
A couple of airlines in Indonesia still operate B737-200s and Airfast, a charter airline operates 3 MD82s on a regular basis. I had a ride in an ex Lufthansa 737-200 2 years ago whilst dead heading in Indonesia.
training wheels is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2014, 00:47
  #10 (permalink)  

Victim of a bored god

Join Date: Jan 1996
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,322
Aye Ess.

Kermit Weeks has an ex Sandringham at his Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida. It was a RNZAF Sunderland NZ4108 before local conversion to passenger configuration for Airlines of New South Wales, later Ansett, as VH-BRF Islander.

It was serviceable but now needs major very expensive maintenance.
tail wheel is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2014, 03:08
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: International
Age: 72
Posts: 1,162
There are quite a few Stage 3 compliant B727's still flying. There is a 200 Series Super 27 for sale in immaculate condition, with less than 6,000 hours and fitted with 11,665 USG of fuel capacity.
B772 is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2014, 08:29
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: australia
Posts: 1,185
Convair 240 for Sale

Recently saw where an airliner mob in the US had a Convair with the pax seats, for sale 100K fly away.

Always fancied such a machine for as a TAA flying museum. Had a few trips Adelaide to Sydney and elsewhere as a kid.

The costs to just get it here, and ongoing maint., storage etc would make it prohibitive. And the "rules" etc would prevent paying pax as well, no doubt.

Alas I havent got to my first million yet.

No Kermit Weeks equivalent in Oz, unfortunately.

Ahh the sounds of yeasterday..
aroa is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2014, 09:51
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,864
Lufthansa is restoring a Starliner Constellation
I think this is the second of only two 1649 Connies ( QF had 049/749/1049G) remaining, SAA has the other on long term rebuild.
There are still quite a few big pistons lurking around N/S American continent, including Canada, which has a very sensible approach to keeping these aircraft flying.
Tootle pip!!
LeadSled is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2014, 10:57
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: somewhere in Oz
Age: 49
Posts: 911
Put an F27 on the list too! Shouldn't cost a bomb to keep running.
Andy_RR is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2014, 20:16
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
. . . .imagine getting an Ansett Sandringham Flying Boat back in the air. Just joyflights, I'd reckon people would pay any amount and every seat would be full. It would even draw aviation nerds from all over the world.

Not a single one of any variety remaining in Australia, despite their enormous significance historically. The PG Taylor Sandringham, VH-APG, 'Frigate Bird 111' , now in the Musée de L'Air in Paris, we missed out on.
Could so easily have been secured. The late Harold Thomas (Camden then Narellan) did his best.

The money is there in many coffers to bring back a Shorts. First step is to attempt to get through to the seriously rich that this is a heritage project deserving of a little philanthropy, and well worth the outlay.

Whether any museum anywhere in the world would part with one is a moot point. Motat in Auckland have two. . a Solent and a Sunderland . . . they might be open to suggestions.

The TAA Beaver men on the Derwent in Hobart talk about having a full scale replica of a Qantas Short Empire C-Class boat built and put on permanent static display. Geoff Reichelt does a good facsimile.
Fantome is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2014, 21:47
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 484
Yes, Tailwheel, I would love to go over and see it. But imagine if one was airworthy, operating from Rose Bay on scenic flights now !!!

I just finished this painting ...


And for aroa...my painting of the TAA Convair 240, complete with ventral stair

Aye Ess is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2014, 09:25
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: AU
Posts: 7
HARS near Wollongong has an operational Connie (amongst a collection of interesting aircraft) - see 'CONNIE' Super Constellation Archives - HARS.
IceKitty is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2014, 18:27
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: FL290
Posts: 737
It would be nice just to have even a static display of unairworthy retired airliners in Australia
1a sound asleep is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2014, 19:11
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
Without going deep sea diving, VH-BRE you will not see, for she was scuttled off Lord Howe Island after severe storm damage while moored there overnight.

BRC of course resides in the museum at Southampton, with dummy
ANSETT engineers in attendance, wearing late issue overalls with
the large lettered blue ANSETT on the back.

Whereas the authentic overall had A.F.B.S. in four inch embroidered
red letters.


Who wants to save and preserve a former Qantas DC-3? She sits today at Bankstown as VH-CWS, formerly VH-EAM. CWS is for sale for a fraction of what she owes her owner. She is in good nick with a highly presentable, well appointed 28 seat interior. The LAME who keeps an eye on her and runs the engines says that to issue a ferry permit is no big deal. There are two experienced endorsed pilots available to ferry her wherever a purchaser wants her taken. Along with a LAME flight engineer if required.

Volunteers all, of course.

Fantome is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2014, 00:05
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 3
One of the few regrets I had from my time at Aviation Australia is that we did not recognise the opportunity to keep VH-TBS (ex VH-RMS) airworthy.

In 2004 National Jet Systems donated TBS to AA as a technical training aid, and at the time funding for AA was very tight so every donation was very valuable. Unfortunately one of the conditions of the donation was that the aircraft would not fly again (TBS had excellent hours remaining, full cargo fitout and 'grandfather rights' on the Australian register, so could have been a potential competitor to Australian Air Express).

In order to render the airframe unserviceable we originally agreed to drill the wing spars, but because these could have been easily repaired the fuselage centre barrel frames instead were drilled.

It is a shame because AA had (and still has) the engineering expertise and labour to have kept her flying, ideally in the Ansett delta scheme.

TBS is in remarkably good condition, with excellent times remaining. And the few times we ground ran the engines, the sound of the JT8s on a BNE winter morning certainly got the juices flowing for our young students (not to mention a few crusty instructors as well).

When I left AA in 2010 her last tech log entry was framed in the Corporate Centre: "nil defects, farewell to a grand old lady".

Although it would be a big job, it is still technically possible this old girl could be made airworthy.



Last edited by PaulBredereck; 10th Aug 2014 at 21:42. Reason: Added links
PaulBredereck is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.