Longest serving aircraft

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posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 11:37 AM
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As so many of these threads do the mention of the B-52 led me to wondering what is the longest serving aircraft type.

The B-52 flew in 1952 and is still in service 53 years later, at 56 years old the Canberra beats it but as the cranberry is retired this year the B-52 will pass that in a few years.

Older still than the Canberra is the Antonov An-2 which first appeared in 1947.

However the oldest aircraft still in service today is, I think, the Douglas DC-3/C-47/Dakota which is still in operational service in a few countries and, having flown in 1935, is 70 years old. I also have an aircraft book from the 1960's in which the DC-3 is named as the most numorous airliner in service in the world, remarkable in the days of the 707, 727 etc! any more?

[edit on 24-11-2005 by waynos]




posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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What about the Tigermoth? Some might use that as a basic trainer still?



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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RAF still have chipmunks?



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 12:11 PM
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Military wise, the Canberra and Martin B-57, one of the longest serving military aircraft of all time, at least according to the book.

ENGLISH ELECTRIC CANBERRA and MARTIN B-57: Crowood Aviation Series






seekerof



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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Isnt the B-52 estimated to still be in service with upgrades till 2040-2050?



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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Im wondering, how many flight hours total for either airframe. Im guessing the b-52 has much more, but thats just a guess.

Anybody know which plane has the most total flight hours of all airframes of a certain type combined?

Train



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Isnt the B-52 estimated to still be in service with upgrades till 2040-2050?


Boy, you just opened a huge can of worms.
Do you know how many aircraft that would now come into play if we went by projected end service dates, etc?






seekerof



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 12:43 PM
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I agree, I don't think we should be thinknig in terms of what 'will be' the longest serving, but what actually is now the longest serving.

Big trains question of most overall flying hours by type is a good one though, anyone have a resource for this?



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 01:24 PM
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For a fighter , The MDD(now Boeing) F-4 Phantom, The earlier Mig series including the 21s, Old Sukhois, maybe F-5s and Skyhawks and the Vought Crusader/Corsairs. Skyhawks and Corsairs are ATTACKERS NOT FIGHTERS so these should be on a different thread.

The Curtiss Wright C-46 Commando probably is still used somewhere in the world. I like that one, it is similar to the Dakota/Skytrain but with better high altitude capability.

www.air-and-space.com...
www.highgallery.com...

www.futura-dtp.dk...

The C-123 Provider is still used in south east asia and some latin american countries.

Bell 47 choppers still used as crop sprayers, The AB-47 is an Italian version with a built up structure.

airpower.callihan.cc...

There are more old aircraft than you think that are still flying today.

Here is a forgotten US Army transport chopper, The CH-37/S-36 Mojave. I quite like this beast, it would be better if they were exported.

www.akinsworld.com...
www.b-domke.de...
www.eichhorn.ws...






[edit on 24-11-2005 by Browno]



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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I am proud to say that I fly one of the oldest "serving" aircraft: The KC-135. We have airframes from the mid-fifties and the Air Force has plans to continue using them until 2040; though I don't think they'll last that long. A typical flight hour total averages 18,000 hours. By contrast, an aircraft used by the airlines when it's retired has over 100,000 hours. What also matters is the number of cycles (takeoffs/landings, power changes etc) and military aircraft typically have more cycles than airliners despite having fewer hours.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Isnt the B-52 estimated to still be in service with upgrades till 2040-2050?


Boy, you just opened a huge can of worms.
Do you know how many aircraft that would now come into play if we went by projected end service dates, etc?

seekerof


I didnt mean to suggest that should be factored in, I was just wondering if that was true. If thats true and it happens thats pretty insane its like the Wright flyer still being in service today



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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I don't know what the current BUFF flight hours are, but the limit appears to be between 32,500-37,000 flight hours before the wings will give out. That will apparently end their lives somewhere around 2044 based on current and projected flight hours.

Updated with modern technology, the B-52 will continue into the 21st century as an important element of US forces. There is a proposal under consideration to re-engine the remaining B-52H aircraft to extend the service life. B-52 re-engine plans, if implemented, call for the B-52 to be utilized through 2025. Current engineering analysis show the B-52's life span to extend beyond the year 2040. The limiting factor of the B-52’s service life is the economic limit of the aircraft's upper wing surface, calculated to be approximately 32,500 to 37,500 flight hours. Based on the projected economic service life and forecast mishap rates, the Air Force will be unable to maintain the requirement of 62 aircraft by 2044, after 84 years in service
www.fas.org...

Shadow, the current mission for the BUFF is being rewritten into a stand off jamming platform. They're rewriting the electronic wrafare doctrine. The current proposal would have the BUFF be upgraded into the J model, with more long range jamming added to it. They'll keep the bomb bay, so they can perform bombing missions if necessary, but their primary roll will be to stay out of the strike area, with the MC-130, and perform long range jamming for the strike package.

www.ausairpower.net...

Also in the standoff range—still outside enemy air defenses—will be the B-52 standoff jammer. This is a standard B-52H with upgraded electronics, featuring two outboard wing pods which will carry a suite of powerful jamming gear. The large pods—each potentially as much as 40 feet long—will be able to generate as much power as six Prowlers. Each will weigh about 5,000 pounds, the same weight as a full external fuel tank.

Although initially dubbed EB-52s, the aircraft have been rechristened B-52 SOJ or just B-52J because they will retain their full bombing capability. No new crew members will be needed.
afa.org...




[edit on 11/24/2005 by Zaphod58]



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 02:39 PM
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Does anyone know whether the RAF Harvard IIB KF183 is still serving at Boscombe Down? If so it could well be up there as one of the longest serving aircraft in the RAF Inventory.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 02:48 PM
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I found a pic of it from Feb of last year, but I haven't been able to find out if it's still in service or not though. I'll keep looking later.



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 06:33 AM
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dont forget that the Nimrod is basically a reworked comet jetliner, that design must be getting on for a pension (mid 50's i think)



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 06:53 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Isnt the B-52 estimated to still be in service with upgrades till 2040-2050?


Yes, I believe so, or then it was 2025...



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by paperplane_uk
dont forget that the Nimrod is basically a reworked comet jetliner, that design must be getting on for a pension (mid 50's i think)


Thats a pretty good point, the prototype Comet flew in 1949 and the prototype Nirmod MRA.4 flew in 2004. Is 55 years a record for prototypes of the same basic design?



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 08:01 AM
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My money would be on the Douglas DC-3. I rode in one from the Bahamas to Jacksonville, Florida in 1987 and had a chance to look at the manufacturer's data plate (left hand side of passenger door about midway up). This particular aircraft was built in 1942 and I know that the charter company is still operating them, because one crashed earlier this year (no one hurt, airframe salvaged). As far as the B-52 goes I believe that part of the cost of converting them to stand-off jammers is "zero timing" the airframe. This is an overhaul that effectively sets the airframe time back to zero. I also heard that they was a plan to re-engine with CF-6's. I don't know how accurate that is.



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Hey, just to quickly add the RAF dont use Chipmunks still, they now use the Grob Tutor, and have done for several years now. These are used by the University Air Squadrons aswell as us in the Air Cadets. The aircraft is known as the Tutor however its called by Grob the 115e.

And with regards to the topic, as far as I was aware the only oldest aircraft in active service still today was the Canberra, and the B52 close behind, but then thats active military service, otherwise id probably agree that the DC-3 would be the oldest aircraft still in service, but im guessing you guys know more than I would on that topic...



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 03:41 PM
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Actualy, the Longest serving airplane is the ANTONOV AN-225 MRIYA at 275' 7" long!!!


Get it? The LONGEST airplane still in service?



Hey guys, thats as funny as I get...





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