Aircraft nowadays cost a mind boggling amount of money to purchase and maintain, so airlines really have to think about it before leasing or purchasing one. Not exactly something you’d do without careful thought unless of course spending 446 Million USD on an A380 or 130 Million USD is just peanuts for you!
However, sometimes even manufacturers send their aircraft, usually awaiting a buyer, to these graveyards due to the excellent storing conditions of their locations. So at the graveyard, it’s not just about destroying aircraft but also about storing them as some of the aircraft still have to be able to be brought back to service when needed, so it takes a lot of space and money to run such graveyards.
So what happens to these aircraft when they reach their end date??
The most profitable option for an airline looking to retire some of its fleet is selling the aircraft to another airline where maintenance regulations aren’t too strict. When the decision is taken that an aircraft won’t be flying again, it is, first of all, stripped bare of any valuable components at an aircraft graveyard/boneyard, so they still have their uses even at the end of their lives.
Especially for newer aircraft there is a healthy demand for recycled parts. At least 1,200 parts are removed from such an aircraft, where 80%-90% of the sale comes from the engines.
An Airplane Graveyard
Source : newsbreak.com
Sometimes part of an aircraft can be cut and sent to use a training facility for crew or at training institutes.
Scrapped aircraft can resurface in consumer goods such as cell phones and computers, or even as recycled metals for use in new aircraft, which is why Airbus does partly own an airplane graveyard in France.
Aircraft can actually be bought by entrepreneurs or businesses which are then converted to hotels, restaurants, lodges or even as tourist attractions.
An Airplane Graveyard in Bangkok visited by Tourists
To find out more about the airplane boneyards around the world, check this site out and get a glimpse of what’s out there – https://www.airplaneboneyards.com/map-of-airplane-boneyards-around-the-world.htm
As an avid traveller since the day I was born, I’ve always been intrigued about these 30+ Tonne massive machines that simply take off into the wind without much hassle. And so I ventured into the world of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering. Currently training at Srilankan Airlines, the flagship career of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, it’s amazing to see how much work goes on behind the scenes, things you would never get to see as a passenger or a pilot for that matter. Do feel free to check out my Instagram Page @lankanaviator