I've been an aviation enthusiast since I was a kid, and since then I was always facinated by aircraft graveyards in various deserts. I have always been curious what it would take to get one of them flying again. And would it be cheap to buy a desert graveyard plane? I've seen the process F4 Phantoms have gone through to become target drones for various studies, they go through an incredible restoration process by many expert techs, then they go and blow them outta the sky, darn!
Regarding civilian jets in the graveyards, I understand that some of them are simply parked there as they are not in use. They get flown in and parked as far as I know while not in use by the leasing company or airline. What do you think a 747 like that might cost? Wonder what it would cost to get it operational? Would a graveyard Learjet or Gulfstream jet be anywhere near flyable? King Air's?
Zero and low bypass jet engines can be shockingly expensive to operate, in the Learjet class as much as four times more expensive because of the huge amount of fuel they consume versus more fuel efficient high bypass jet engines. Much more efficient are turboprops, even more efficient are piston aircraft however they need more frequent engine overhauls and are less reliable. Hypethetically, if you have an older 747 with less efficient lower bypass engines and they need an overhaul, how would the cost of replacing the engines with high bypass GE engines compare for example? I understand that China routinely overhauls GE jet engines, would there be a considerable savings getting used overhauled engines?
Just continuing the long term daydream. Anyone have any comments?