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Dear Wayne

What is the life of a commercial aircraft?.


There is no life limit on an aircraft.
It basically becomes a question of how much money do you want to put into a 25 to 30 plus year old airframe to keep it airworthy.
After Aloha Airlines blew the top of the 737, the FAA and Manufacturer established a lot of requirement for high cycle aircraft, (50,000 Cycles) to ensure they remain airworthy.
Large airplanes especially the intercontinental flying will be very high hour and low cycles.
Example if an aircraft is only flown from the US to Hawaii it is 5 hours in flight and only 1 takeoff and landing. The Airbus 380 is probably only use on long flights of 8 or more hours.
Also technology will advance to where it is not economical to keep repairing an airframe that is not worth what you put into it.
FAA AD Notes and various other regulations get added to older airframes, which again it becomes uneconomical to keep putting money into the aircraft.
One of the biggest cost is fuel and newer aircraft are more fuel efficient than older airplanes, because of engine design, weight of components and better aerodynamics.
The major checks where the aircraft goes in the maintenance facility for 3 weeks or more will cost over $1,000,000.
In short - they just become uneconomical to keep repairing.


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wayne johnson


Most questions about aircraft maintenance regulations and acquiring mechanics license, pilots license. Federal Aviation Maintenance Regulations for Part 91, 121 and 135 Maintenance Regulations. Aviation Maintenance Schools, (in general). FAA MSG-2 and MSG-3, Maintenance Programs. Do not ask questions about Instrument Procedures.


I have 40 plus years of aviation experience: 4 years US Navy, 3 years teaching at a Community College, 8 years as Director of Maintenance FAR Part 135 Airline. 20 years as a Maintenance Program Technical Writer for a Part 121 Air Carrier. Maintenance of Cessna Aircraft - 172 thru Cessna 402C aircraft.

FAA Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics License. FAA Commercial, Instrument, Multi-Engine Rating FAA Advanced Ground Instructor Rating.

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