TDA is tearing down this Airbus A320 that is only 12 years old. It was manufactured in October 2003 and logged about 40,000 hr. and 20,000 cycles.
Lessor BBAM owned the A320, MSN 2137, that was last operated by AirAsia Zest. British Airways, GB Airways and EasyJet also operated this narrowbody.
TDA is tearing down the aircraft at eCube Solutions in Cardiff, Wales. The teardown will take about 4 weeks. The company expects to complete 6-8 teardowns this year—mainly focused on A320 and Boeing 737NG families.
Fluid draining (pictured) is an important step for safety and environmental reasons.
“With this current A320, TDA will be able to supply its customers with the latest-generation A320 material, opposed to the flooded market of vintage A320 components,” says Julian Marcus, TDA’s managing director. Cabin parts are pictured here.
The avionics removed from the A320 cockpit.
TDA is seeing “a great interest in larger batches of spares due to the high configuration of the aircraft,” says Julian Marcus. “The fastest movers are wheels, brakes, APU, landing gear and nacelles—and considering the age of this aircraft and the recent maintenance, these are hard to find on the surplus market,” he says.
An A320 auxiliary power unit removed from MSN 2137.
Brake fan motors, pressure regulator valves and tachometers removed from the A320 in “as removed” condition.
The belly of the aircraft—minus the landing gear.
The front of the A320, without the radome.
Large A320 structures such as wings and flaps.
TDA acquired a 12-year-old Airbus A320 from BBAM Aircraft Leasing and Management and is tearing it down. See the process in action and the resulting parts that will be sold.
What reason of tearing down?
I would guess air frame age ( flight hours ) / cycle-age...
I work on 50 year old business jets that will be around another 12 years hopefully. It's laughable people saying these aircraft are old and out of fatigue life.
A family member finances large aircraft sales, many of these are unfinanceable once they come off their leases and are worth more in spare parts.
I'd think it is the high price/demand for spares. 20k cycles is not yet half of the expected lifetime of the airframe.
It depends, often time owners will determine that, either due to damage or wear and tear, an aircraft is worth more to tear down for parts than it is to refurb and keep in service.
I suspect this aircraft was pretty well run out and needed a heavy check and overhauled engines to be airworthy again. The airframe was certainly young enough to fly for another D check cycle, but presumably the demand for parts was such that it was worth more in pieces than to invest in the required maintenance. Also possible that there was some damage that would make the airframe maintenance especially expensive.
During my A&P days I worked on this sort of project as the airframe was used up. Did this on a couple of A319s. Know that non-aviation folks don't understand this but Service Life Extension Programs (SLEP) are expensive and, if memory serves, are mostly done on military aircraft. Good explanation by you on this subject.
Unnecessary comment. Both Boeing and Airbus make good planes.
Typical Trump supporter?
Opinions are like a$$hole$ everyboby has one!
Maybe it suffered a severe wing corrosion problem unsolvable by airbus. These aircraft are notorious for wing corrosion something which you cannot do much about. It's almost impossible to change the skin and putting doublers repairs may have a catastrophic affect on the airflow.
Airbus must be charging a small fortune for spares if this is cost effective.
I seem to remember seeing not long ago that a brand new 777 was dismantled for spares, to relieve a spares shortage (which in itself has made 777 spares very expensive). High cost of spares not unique to Airbus.
Incomplete Article! What is the reason this A320 is being dismantled for parts? A followup article is requested.
Quite simple really, spare parts are in demand.
Will TDA make money by selling spares?
Silly question, or did you mean, 'huge amounts of money?
TDA is a non-profit.....
Perhaps, one day, someone should produce a time-lapse video.
Spot on! I wonder what components were not or could not be recycled.
Keep in mind this aircraft was probably approaching as 12-year heavy check, which can influence the decision to lease an aircraft again or sell it for parts. And if a company has good documentation, including back-to-birth traceability, shop visit records, logbooks and hours/cycles, the spares will be worth more than without.
I concede there are myriad reasons to take a commercial aircraft apart. The perceived expediency to keep other aircraft in revenue is one reason frequently cited. OK. That is a good reason.
However, I suggest to all persons who think 'there is money in this' - to rethink it. There are so few (less than 5%) of all teardowns which result in actually 'clearing' more money than it cost to do it.
The number of companies who claim they do this kind of work - are also engaged in a number of other related and unrelated activity - to enhance their revenue stream.
Obviously, there must be a process to eliminate old airframes - rather than just keep increasing their numbers in a desert bone yard.
Getting paid to take them apart or scrap them is one thing - but the hard cost to completely 'vaporize' a commercial jet aircraft; inventory, preserve, label, warehouse and market all the parts, pieces and rotables is much more than MOST people ever anticipate.
Using real world financials - ANY commercial jet aircraft taken out of service - permanently - prior to the calculated 'end of useful service' - is a net loss of money. The numbers do not lie or mislead - the highest and best use of aircraft is to keep them in revenue service as long as humanly possible.
The overwhelming percentage of arguments to the contrary are rooted in emotional expediency to address other financially 'urgent' issues which may NOT be financially important issues.
I am not condemning or criricizing the practice - what I am stating is that MOST aircraft salvage or 'part out' efforts is going to cost 'somebody' more money - than will be generated in that effort.
Now that makes sense...thanks for the comment!
What new information do you provide other than "it costs a lot to do this"? So how do you explain this activity if someone's loosing money? did air asia zest get hosed on the deal? I believe others are also parting out airplanes. Who is getting shafted to produce these deals?
There is money to be made doing this it just depends on your approach to the job. Firstly, I would agree that someone has to pay especially if it has to be parted out under FAA or EASA certification requirements.
The next question is whether the engines are included or not as that is where ongoing values are determined as to whether the engines can be sold on as they have life or they are going to be salvaged.
When all the numbers are crunched there is the stripped airframe to consider. This, I contend, is where there is money to be made and the amount depends on how you go about the job. If you know what you are doing, you should know that the approach should be different as to whether its a Boeing or an Airbus you are reducing into little pieces. Get this aspect right then the whole process will be profitable if you gone about it in both the best commercial and technical way.
Just wait until 787s need to be scrapped, anyone worked out what to do with thousands of tons of carbon fibre yet?
Fly fishing rods? Tennis rackets?
My goodness, B-52 still flying (grand pa, pa and the newby have flown the same bird), DC3 and so on and so on this is a joke. I guess that AF 28 and 29000 have more fly hours than this young bird!!!
Anyway everything is going south in this industry!!!
The B-52H models in the system have been practically rebuilt many times over since their construction in 1962. When the Douglas engineers designed the DC-3 in the mid-'30s they didn't have the sophisticated modeling and computational tools we now have. The -3 was thus way over-designed as a result and there are less than 1,000 left worldwide of the over 10,000 built.
I am unclear also why such a young Aircraft should be dismantled for Spares ? unless there is any reason we do not know about. There are many Narrow Body 737 s and Airbus A.320 older than this Aircraft in regular everyday use ?
Many good points, but the focus only on recycling in the aviation market blurs the picture. In the real-life world that most of us exist in, an analogy has to be junk yards for cars. I think we can agree that parting out a three-year old car for parts just isn't worth it. The manufacturers (and others) have shelves stacked with parts, and only a low-budget "shade tree" mechanic is likely to go searching for a three-year old transmission for a Ford. Old, rusty but still drivable cars go to salvage yards where they are triaged: some high-value parts that are easily accessible are removed, and the remainder are sorted for by type of material. Ultimately, the salvage operator has a super-sized bin of a specific sort of metal which is then squashed up in a bale and shipped to China or some other low-labor cost country. A lot of work for not much money.
It's also fair to say that the majority or salvage yards exist on low-value property, and generally don't seem to be thriving businesses. Very few of us have dreams of our kid becoming a salvage yard manager.
Some cars are indeed parted out -- but here we're talking expensive rarities Ike Bugattis, Maseratis and big-name luxo-cars from the 1960s and earlier. Many of these are collectors items, and the deep-pocket owners will do anything (including having parts machined from scratch) to keep their pride-and-joys on the road. The same is true of historic aircraft.
It isn't clear where an A320 fits into this continuum, but I'd have to go Alan Grech's observation, or at least the thinking behind it (not being an expert on aviation corrosion): very simply, there must be something desperately wrong with the airframe or some major system that renders repairs financially unacceptable -- from an economic perspective -- as opposed to parting out. A smart financial manager may understand that they won't make money on the parting out, but they lose less than writing the aircraft off and pushing the whole thing into a trash pile somewhere -- I mean, you have to do SOMETHING with it, particularly if it is unflyable. We've all seen photos of the great sweeps of desert in the American southwest where you can see thousands of old aircraft sitting there. They'll never fly again, but who really wants parts from a DC-8 or a Convair 880? The fact is that it is often cheaper to keep the planes sitting there than it is to put any effort into junking them. Or perhaps the last owners have vanished in a cloud of paper, and the derelict plane is a total orphan.
The take-away: it would be very useful for readers to know why this specific aircraft was disassembled so everyone would have that as a useful datapoint in evaluating the real value of a 12-year old airliner.
Maybe it just spent too much time in the sun?
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