Accession Number:



Aging Aircraft Fleets: Structural and Other Subsystem Aspects (le Vieillissement des flottes d'avions militaires : aspects structures et autres sous-systemes)

Descriptive Note:

Lecture series 218 bis, Proceedings

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Aging aircraft concerns have dramatically escalated in the military community during the past decade. The percentage of aircraft, operated beyond their original design life both in terms of flight hours andor calendar years is steadily increasing. Some models, which have already been in service for more than 30 years, will need to be retained for another two decades or longer, often serving in roles and in theaters very different from what was envisioned when they were originally designed. Aging aircraft has several connotations. Among them a technological obsolescence, b the need for system upgrading, c changing mission requirements, d the specter of runaway maintenance costs, e concern about safety, f impairment of fleet readiness and g possible unavailability of home depot facilities. However, if there is one thread that runs through the above list, it is the adverse impact on sustainment of the fleet. There are other considerations when dealing with the Aging aircraft issue for example, availability of spare parts, processes and tooling may no longer be available, logistic procedures may have changed and suppliers may be out of the business. Budgetary limitations and higher fleet utilization will increase the demand to cope with aging aspects for the structure and major subsystems like engines and avionics. Awareness in the user community about typical challenges and technical solutions can ameliorate some of the concerns. New technologies are now available for dealing with many of the aging aircraft concerns. They relate to inspection, repair and corrosion-resistant materials, structural modeling and more sophisticated maintenance scheduling.

Subject Categories:

  • Aircraft
  • Structural Engineering and Building Technology
  • Mechanics
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

Distribution Statement: