What Happens to Retired Planes?

All those aircrafts you see sitting in aircraft graveyards rusting away hold more value than the average individual would think.  The moment an aircraft reaches the end of its life cycle it instantly becomes a treasure to several different parties. The decision to retire an aircraft is based upon airplane parts cost versus airplane flight cost. Once a planes’ parts have become of more value than the plane flying, the aircraft is deemed “retired”. In most cases, it takes an aircraft close to two decades to even be considered for retirement, although some could be retired before reaching half a decade.

Once an aircraft is retired the most valuable components are stripped and reused. The aircraft frame is then cut and taken to training facilities for educational institutions, firefighters or flight crews. Once the aircraft is deregistered, the parts will be sold for scrap. Breaking down an aircraft requires special skills and knowledge of specific technology to determine which parts hold value and which parts are trash. When an aircraft is not de-registered it cannot be scraped and is ultimately left to rust, which is why aircraft graveyards exist.

The value that scrap parts can potentially hold has drawn extreme attention from hedge funds and investment firms. Although most of the value is held in the engines, the spares market is growing rapidly. The scramble to get into this market is huge; therefore, driving up the overall value of aircrafts.  Although aircraft parts are highly regulated, about 2% of the market is still counterfeit. This is a huge issue for the market, making it important to correctly inspect and test all parts before being installed on an aircraft. 

Aerospace Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your hard to find and urgent aircraft needs. Aerospace Unlimited is the premier supplier of delta aircraft parts, whether new, old or hard to find, they can help you locate it. Aerospace Unlimited has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff, so you can always find what you’re looking for, at all hours of the day. If you’re interested in obtaining a quote, contact the sales department at www.aerospaceunlimited.com or call +1-412-212-0606

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