Are you looking for an airplane fuselage for sale? The airplane fuselage is one of the major components of the typical airplane, and no, this is not the part responsible for storing fuel. Rather, the term fuselage comes from the French word “fusele,” which means spindle-shaped, so these parts have a long and vertical spindle-shaped form.
This is the large outer shell or airframe encompassing the plane’s main body, featuring a hollow interior that various equipment, including seats, is housed in. Basically, this is the outer shell of the plane’s main body.
And just like any other piece of equipment, this outer shell will be exposed to a lot of stress and, even with proper care and maintenance, it requires replacement and will be scrapped. What’s awesome is that people can purchase salvage airplane fuselage for sale for their own consumption!
But what exactly do you need to know about airplane fuselage for sale before investing in one for yourself? Read on!
Where are Planes Scrapped?
There isn’t any set industry rule or standard when it comes to the exact time an airplane reaches the end of its lifespan. However, most commercial airliners reach their end of life in around 25 years.
But the aircraft’s age isn’t measured only in years, but by other factors as well, such as pressurization cycles that cause stress on its fuselage and wings. It also depends on other factors, like fuel prices and efficiency, the evolving aviation regulations, operational costs, technical obsolescence, as well as depreciation.
When airplanes retire from service, they will then be stored in what we call “airplane boneyards” or graveyards, where they are dismantled and scrapped.
These airplane boneyards are usually located in the deserts of the United States, as well as in other countries such as Australia, UK, France, Spain, and more locales. Such areas providing various services, including:
- Temporary storage, as some airplanes may return to service, though a pending case. Some surplus aircraft are stored here, too
- Maintenance and overhaul
- Parts reclamation and/or part-out
- Scrapping and aircraft recycling
The Airplane Dismantling and Scrapping Process
What is it like to dismantle and scrap a retired aircraft that’s out of service?
Airplane Recycling involves the process of harvesting airplane parts and materials, which is eco-friendly and a way to cut costs for any airline. The recyclers would remove different components and materials, like its fuselage, including glass and carbon fiber, aluminum, textiles, aluminum, wires, landing gears, electronics, engines, titanium and steel, foam, and more!
The aircraft recycling process will begin with a non-destructive dismantling activity. First, the hazardous, toxic, and any radioactive materials will be removed like the fuel, oils, hydraulic fluids, batteries, among others, to follow strict environmental procedures and regulations.
Then, other valuable aircraft parts will be removed, such as the engines, landing gear, flight controls, and other parts that may be refurbished and resold for active aircraft to use. After, precious metals like copper, steel, titanium, aluminum, and more are removed.
When all the reusable aircraft parts are reclaimed, any remaining fuselage and wings will be crushed to further recycle.
There are different metals to dismantle, scrap, and recycle, which is why it goes through a sorting process. There will be a powerful magnet to separate materials, then there will be a final manual check to sort all materials.
What to Do with Airplane Fuselage?
While some airplane fuselages would be sold to other airlines, there are others worth more if they were broken down for spare parts. Those parts with accurate and detailed service records are usually worth more compared to those with lost or mismanaged records.
When airplane fuselages are removed from service permanently and dismantled and/or recycled, they can be sold to businesses or the typical person, if they can afford it. These spare parts can find a new home, or even be made into one!
Businesses can use the fuselage as part of their décor for airplane-themed cafes, restaurants, or other attractions. Other times, people invest in an airplane fuselage and make it into their homes. That’s why you may have seen people owning an airplane fuselage house before, as they invest in these parts to convert into their own home.
Making the airplane fuselage into a cool home is an awesome idea for those who don’t require a lot of space and love airplanes! They are similar to mobile homes but have the design of an actual airplane, as well as the strong materials made to last and withstand weather conditions. It’s beneficial because of its well-insulated materials as well, besides its less expensive costs.
What’s the Cheapest Plane to Buy?
Ever wondered about the cheapest plane you can invest in?
The cheapest one is most likely the Cessna 150, which was introduced back in the late 1950s, a revolutionary plane during those times. It has a tricycle gear with a side-by-side two-seater design, which is easy to fly and made for two lean people. You can find a lot of Cessna 150s available today, which uses a Continental O-200 engine, which is relatively affordable to overhaul with readily available parts.
Plus, the early Cessna 150s had the cool straight tail and fastback upper fuselage style, which many people think look awesome!
If you’re planning to get this cheapest plane, you get it in good value with its modest capability, as it costs only $15,000, more or less.
How Much Does a Decommissioned 747 Cost?
The overall cost of a decommissioned Boeing Business Jet 747 depends on what part you are purchasing and its condition. But expect to pay huge bucks for it!
The estimated cost of the Boeing 747 is between $10-100 million. Scrap alone can cost up to $55,000 or more, with the shell costing $100,000 in the early 2000s. That doesn’t include logistic cost, which can go over $100,000.
You can purchase old shells and fuselage of a Boeing 747 for cheap (nearing six figures), though consider the logistics, transportation costs, as well as your city’s zoning limits and requirements.
Can I Visit an Aircraft Boneyard?
Some people would like to visit aircraft boneyards to see the majestic planes, just like in museums and airfields. But is it permitted to visit?
It depends on the aircraft boneyard you plan to go to.
Some airport boneyards do not permit visitors and tourists, with the areas having controlled access. Other times, visitors are permitted to go in and visit, but only via organized bus tours, where you can’t leave the bus. Some areas hold monthly events and invite visits.
It’s best to check with the airport and airplane boneyard before planning a visit.
Where is the Largest Aircraft Boneyard?
You’ll find a lot of aircraft boneyards and graveyards worldwide. If you’re wondering what the biggest aircraft boneyard is, it is the Davis-Monthan, which is located near Arizona City in Tucson.
This is an aircraft boneyard that stores around 4,400 aircraft, which are arranged in a land of 2,600 acres (or 10.5 square kilometers) big. Facility workers simply call this the “Boneyard.”
This location is run by the 209 AMARG, or the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. It shelters all kinds of airplanes, from broken or retired plane bombers, Superfortress, Skytrains, Boeing 727s, and a lot more commercial aircraft and the like! But most of the preserved aircraft here belong to military aviation.
The next two largest aircraft boneyards are located in Southern California and Phoenix, both in the United States. However, Spain and Russia are home to one of the largest airplane boneyards as well, with Tarmac Aircraft Boneyard being the biggest in Europe and the Khodynka Field being the most popular in Russia.
Where Do Old Planes Go to Die?
Just like where airplanes are scrapped, old planes usually go to airplane graveyards. Some parts may be removed for reuse or resale then scrapped, while others are kept for storage with a bit of maintenance. It depends on the airlines’ discretion, as well as the planes’ conditions when it was brought to the graveyard after retirement.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the planes’ roads and that they are simply left to die! Other than being recycled for future use or selling, other planes would be reincarnated as cargo units. Some planes have a career to conduct cargo service, which is becoming popular now since there is more focus on shipping operations.
But for planes that continue to stay in retirement, they are in storage facilities of graveyards, waiting until new buyers invest in them or their parts. For planes that are considered as historical models, they would most likely be retired and preserved for exhibitions in airfields and museums!
Wrapping It Up
Finding junk airplane fuselage for sale isn’t like purchasing groceries from your local store. There are many factors to consider and learn about beforehand, so you know exactly what you’re getting and where to get them. Now that you know more about airplane fuselage for sale, check out reputable areas that sell them so you can set a budget!
Good luck with your finds and hopefully, you get to make great use out of the fuselage, just as it had in its colorful past.