Did you ever wonder what happens to airplanes when they “turn in their wings?” Well, when airlines can’t fill seats or sell their old, inefficient jets, they send them to an airplane scrap yard. Kemble Airfield, located in Cotswold, Britain, is now the hot spot for the dismantling, crushing, and recycling of aircrafts that are out of a job.
Over the next 20 years, the aviation industry will retire roughly 12,500 passenger planes worldwide. Unfortunately, retirement doesn’t include sipping Mojitos while lounging under the sun. These aircrafts will be stripped of anything of value. Everything from the engines, to on-board computers, and even business class seats are removed before the aircrafts are sent to a wrecking machine for scrap metal. These contents once cost nearly $148 million, and are now being sold for next to nothing. They are sent to consumers who will use them for colleges training flight attendants, or for flight simulations.
As more passengers stay home, and the price of aircrafts sink, airlines are putting away more than 3,000 turboprops and jets. Unfortunately, they will most likely end up in the scrap yard. However, the aviation industry has found a way to better their not so good environmental image. Boeing and Airbus have taken up guidelines that allow at least 70 percent of every plane produced to be recycled. As technology improves, that number should go up to nearly 95 percent.
As engineers at Kemble Airfield spend 2 to3 months dissembling each jet and removing the re-usable parts, newer, more efficient aircraft are taking their places on the runway. By the sounds of it, it will be much easier to recycle these newer aircrafts when the time comes for them to make the final landing.