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How old is too old.


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Just off the east coast, about level with Nottingham, the USAF has an airborn tanker flying around in circles, presumably hanging around waiting to refuel something.

The plane is question is a Boeing KC-135 stratotanker and this particular example first flew on the 6th January 1961- this means that it is over 59 years old and it is still in service.

https://planefinder.net/flight/QID21

I am not sure I would want to be flying over the sea in something that old.

How old is too old ? :Old:

 

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5 minutes ago, Bornagain said:

Just off the east coast, about level with Nottingham, the USAF has an airborn tanker flying around in circles, presumably hanging around waiting to refuel something.

The plane is question is a Boeing KC-135 stratotanker and this particular example first flew on the 6th January 1961- this means that it is over 59 years old and it is still in service.

https://planefinder.net/flight/QID21

I am not sure I would want to be flying over the sea in something that old.

How old is too old ? :Old:

 

Summat to do with.....?

https://www.fatec-engineering.com/2018/02/20/description-of-a-s-n-curve/

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2 minutes ago, Knickerless Turgid said:

I opened this thread imagining it to be about deluded scrapper birds!

In which case 61 would definitely be too old - unless it's Susanna Hoffs. 

Might be ok for a walk and a beer over a game of Scrabble though. :P

 

8 minutes ago, Bornagain said:

Just off the east coast, about level with Nottingham, the USAF has an airborn tanker flying around in circles, presumably hanging around waiting to refuel something.

The plane is question is a Boeing KC-135 stratotanker and this particular example first flew on the 6th January 1961- this means that it is over 59 years old and it is still in service.

https://planefinder.net/flight/QID21

I am not sure I would want to be flying over the sea in something that old.

How old is too old ? :Old:

 

I assume the plane is old in the same way that Terry Pratchett's dwarf family's axe is old.....

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/217710-this-milord-is-my-family-s-axe-we-have-owned-it

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8 minutes ago, Knickerless Turgid said:

I opened this thread imagining it to be about deluded scrapper birds!

Same, my opinion for the record though is Kylie (52) definitely, Susanna Hoffs (61), yes after a shandy or 2, Linda Lusardi (also 61), put em away luv.

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2 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

In which case 61 would definitely be too old - unless it's Susanna Hoffs. 

Might be ok for a walk and a beer over a game of Scrabble though. :P

 

I assume the plane is old in the same way that Terry Pratchett's dwarf family's axe is old.....

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/217710-this-milord-is-my-family-s-axe-we-have-owned-it

Ha, great minds eh SDFA!

21BE818F-7117-4D4D-A1BD-D5177E5CB23C.jpeg

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Just now, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

I assume the plane is old in the same way that Terry Pratchett's dwarf family's axe is old.....

Wikipedia says that they stopped making these planes in 1965.

I suppose it a Triggers broom kind of thing, but presumably over that timescale the actual airframe would have that many cycles that it would be knackered.

At what point is it just cheaper and safer to buy a new one than replace the skeleton of an aircraft, and in fact is it possible to replace an airframe, or do they design it with such low stress that it effectively lasts forever ?

But then there is corrosion to take into account.

Somebody on DOSBODS must know the answer these questions...

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Simplicity and robustness of design. Back then, they were hand built of aluminium ribs, spars and sheets riveted together. Anything dodgy could be cut out and replaced. If you recall, Nimrod was based on the DeHaviland Comet for the same reasons and the B52 is of the same era. Modern composites don't lend themselves to repair so when it's done it's done.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, NTB said:

Simplicity and robustness of design. Back then, they were hand built of aluminium ribs, spars and sheets riveted together. Anything dodgy could be cut out and replaced. If you recall, Nimrod was based on the DeHaviland Comet for the same reasons and the B52 is of the same era. Modern composites don't lend themselves to repair so when it's done it's done.

So can the same be said of commercial jets, and if so, when did it change ?

Edited by Bornagain
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Just now, Bornagain said:

So can the same be said of commercial jets, and if so, when did it change ?

I'm no expert but I think the life cycle of commercial jets is much more driven by fuel economy and operating costs. More modern designs drive out the older ones based on economics, quite possibly before they reach the end of their service life. This is not an issue for the military.

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1 hour ago, Bornagain said:

I've not looked for a few years, but the old underground trains used to have a plate in the doorways that gave the date of construction, used to be some really old ones, presumably all gone now ?

Yes, I remember the 1938 stock on the Northern Line. It made me want to smoke a pipe.

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2 hours ago, Dave Bloke said:

B52s are scheduled to fly to 100 years old. That would be like fighting WW3 with a Sopwith Camel!

The Spitfire went into service only 30 years before Concorde did.

Aircraft engineering advanced rapidly after the war.

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KC-X is the United States Air Force (USAF) program to procure its next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft to replace some of the older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. The contest was for a production contract for 179 new tankers with estimated value of US$35 billion. The two contenders to replace the KC-135 aircraft were Boeing and EADS, following the elimination of US Aerospace, Inc.[1]

The current KC-X program follows earlier attempts by the USAF to procure a new tanker. A 2002 plan had the USAF leasing Boeing KC-767 tankers, followed by a 2003 modification where the USAF would buy most of the KC-767 aircraft and lease several more of them. Corruption investigations revealed wrongdoing in the award of the contract and the contract was canceled in 2005, setting the stage for the KC-X program.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KC-X

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