Title: Time to retire: indicators for aircraft fleets

Authors: Jeffrey Newcamp; W.J.C. Verhagen; Richard Curran

Addresses: Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands ' Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands ' Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands

Abstract: It is well known that aircraft fleets are aging alongside rising operations and support costs. Logisticians and fleet managers who better understand the milestones and timeline of an aging fleet can recognise potential savings. This paper outlines generalised milestones germane to military aircraft fleets and then discusses the causes that lead to retirement motivations. Then this paper develops a utility per cost metric for aging aircraft fleet comparison as a means for determining when to retire a fleet. It is shown that utility per cost is a pragmatic metric for gauging the desirability of an existing fleet because of naturally occurring zones. Historical data from the US Air Force's fleet are used to validate the existence of these zones. Lastly, this work highlights the need for increased vigilance during the waning years of a fleet's lifecycle and discusses the intricacies of asset divestment planning.

Keywords: aircraft retirement; available aircraft; fleet viability; retirement indicators; aging process.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAM.2016.088057

International Journal of Aviation Management, 2016 Vol.3 No.4, pp.221 - 233

Received: 10 Nov 2016
Accepted: 07 Mar 2017

Published online: 14 Nov 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article