However, the term is usually applied to the issues which can begin to arise as the time-since-new becomes significant - and greater than the average age of similar-class aircraft.
Aging Aircraft and Coming Regulations Political and media pressure have encouraged the FAA to expand its pursuit of real and perceived problems of older aircraft and their systems.
Tripp Dassault Falcon 50 vintage For most operators, the answer to the question of when is an airplane or helicopter too old is straightforward: In the real world, that answer is not so simple. Given the wide variety of applications, geographic areas, regulatory oversight and economic drivers, aircraft once thought to be candidates for the wrecker's yard by one group are considered very useful by another.
The FAA has been taking a different approach to determining useful life. Its interest was given impetus by the Aloha Airlines accident, in which the airplane had a structural failure and attendant explosive decompression. The proximate cause was traced to corrosion and debonding of skin lap joints in the upper forward fuselage.
It is worth noting that operators and manufacturers already had become concerned with airplanes that were reaching or had passed their design life variously measured in terms of years in service, hours flown or cycles accumulated. The accident accelerated attention to the characteristics and causes of structural aging.
Cessna Citation, A Tangled Web While that accident was the catalyst, other factors were involved. Changing certification philosophies have played a role.
Several recent accidents in which systems and component failures are considered primary causes have led to much more aggressive FAA action to attempt to identify and avoid potential failures in primary structures and systems.
On the research side, FAA efforts have resulted in some of the most productive work associated with the agency. On the regulatory side, the government efforts are less clear.
This is in part because the agency is still reacting. In this case, it is to media and congressional criticism. Most of the attention has been focused on airplanes used in scheduled passenger operations.
It already is clear that regulatory initiatives are trickling down through operating categories. If the past is any guide, the FAA is likely to broaden its efforts to encompass more types of aircraft and operators. As the community has already experienced with such efforts as reduced vertical separation minimums RVSMflight recorders and ground proximity warning systems, the cost to retrofit certain older designs hastens the end of their useful economic life.
Regulation writers also are broadly interpreting congressional and international treaty mandates as applying to more operating categories than were originally intended. Changing Certification Philosophies, Changing Competence The burdens are being compounded by the current regulatory notion that the current state of the art must be applied to all aircraft, regardless of the original certification basis.
Broadly stated, the U. Does the design have sufficient structural strength to tolerate known, anticipated flight loads? There was no fatigue criteria applied. In the early s, knowledge about fatigue was accumulating.AGING AIRCRAFT AND FATIGUE FAILURE P.F.
PACKMAN* I. INTRODUCTION ALL AIRCRAFT are subjected to loads and environ- ments that will reduce the structural strength of criti-cal components of the airframe and engine over time. The maintenance issues which have particularly arisen with aging aircraft structural failure have generally been seen as arising from fatigue or corrosion, with corrosion sometimes initiating fatigue effects.
structural failures of civil aircraft. As a result, the attack on the fatigue problem has had the greatest effect on changes in structural design concepts, substantiating tests and operational maintenance and. Structural Failure of an Aging Aircraft The age of the United States' commercial aircraft fleet is a serious problem.
The average age of commercial airline fleets is continuing to increase. As of year , more than 2, commercial aircraft in the United States were flying beyond their original design lives. Definition.
An aircraft begins to ‘age’ as soon as it first flies and various effects of aging begin to occur almost immediately. However, the term is usually applied to the issues which can begin to arise as the time-since-new becomes significant - and greater than the average age of similar-class aircraft.
Aging Aircraft and Structural Failures Aloha Airlines Flight Structural Failure of an Aging Aircraft Safety aloha Airlines Flight Structural Failure of an Aging Aircraft The age of the United States’ commercial aircraft fleet is a serious problem.