Cars and airplanes are undoubtedly the most common travel modes in the world. When talking about vehicle safety, it’s a fact that new cars are safer than older cars.
Since it’s not very safe to travel in a 20-year-old car, which would easily make people tempting to think that the same rule may also apply to private jets.
Won’t 20 years of service take its toll on the aircraft? The answer to this question is actually NO. You may be wondering WHY? In this post, we’ll explain this surprising fact in more detail and show you that, to private jet, age is just a number. Let’s take a look, shall we?
When Is an Aircraft Considered Old?
Before looking at why this idea is wrong, let's first look at when an aircraft is considered old. Much like motor vehicles, an aircraft's age is based on when it was built:
Aircrafts that are over 20 years old are usually classified as old aircraft.
Aircrafts that are between 10-20 years, are classified as standard aircraft.
Aircrafts that are less than 10 years old, are classified as new aircraft.
Are Newer Aircraft Safer Than Older Ones?
The simple answer is “not necessarily”. Aircraft age is not a key risk factor in accidents, as many studies strongly indicate. In fact, the critical thing with aircraft is airworthiness, which is defined by the remaining service life measured in years, flight hours, and the number of takeoffs and landings.
The term airworthiness perfectly explains why some aircraft, like those flying for airlines, become overaged far quicker than, say, a private jet that's only used once in a while.
It's also essential to keep in mind that the "service life" can be used in different scenarios. The first is the design service life. This is the minimum duration of life expectancy expected from a model of aircraft.
It's similar to a warranty on a TV, laptop, or mobile phone. Here, for instance, a one-year warranty means that the device won't break during the first year of operation. However, it's perfectly possible that the device will last longer than this.
The second type of service life limit is the assigned service life until discarding. The assigned service limit is typically two or more times longer than the design service life, and this period can also be extended after a complete overhaul.
Another critical safety factor is the aircraft's maintenance history. The maintenance should meet the manufacturer specifications and, if it's well maintained, the aircraft is as safe as a new one. This is basically because all the parts on the aircraft are replaced with new parts as it ages.
Their extensive maintenance is one of the reasons why aircraft are so much safer than driving. Most private jets are inspected by a team of maintenance engineers at least once every two days and, during this basic inspection, they'll check things like fluids to ensure they aren't low. They'll also check the tires and fill them with nitrogen if necessary.
Along with this basic inspection, private jets typically undergo a heavy maintenance inspection once every few years. During this inspection, the maintenance engineers will thoroughly check most of the aircraft's components and look for signs of corrosion, worn parts, loose fasteners, and other faults they need to address.
Older Aircraft vs. Newer Aircraft Pros and Cons
One of the significant advantages of newer aircraft is that they'll feel more luxurious. This is simply because they are more expensive, and when owners buy them, they'll tend to spend more to revamp the interior.
Think of it like this, when a new owner pays $10 million for an aircraft, spending an extra $1 million is not that much to revamp interior features and amenities. However, if the aircraft costs $2 million, the owner won't likely be willing to spend almost half the plane's value to revamp the aircraft's interior.
In addition, newer aircraft may feature the following advantages:
Cutting-edge and modern entertainment systems.
Modern avionics with more backup systems with built-in redundancy.
More power and faster speeds.
Increased fuel efficiency.
The only drawback with newer jet is that you'll have to pay more to fly in the extreme luxury.
The main advantage of older aircraft is that they offer better value. In fact, when you charter an older private jet, you'll pay much less. Keep in mind, that although it won’t be as luxurious as a very new private jet, you'll still enjoy a very exclusive experience, compared to commercial airlines.
What is Private Jet Refurbishment?
Aircraft refurbishment is very common when it comes to private jets, especially for old and standard aircrafts. It is typically the process of disassembling the aircraft and changing or updating things like the upholstery, carpets, interior roof panels, window panels, air vents, and light fittings.
It can also include things like the cockpit and the installation of new electronics. With regard to the exterior, this could involve stripping the paint and repainting the exterior of the aircraft.
After refurbishment, the old aircraft will basically look like a new one. So as long as an older aircraft has been refurbished in recent years, you will pretty much enjoy the same level of luxury as the very new jet.
The Bottom Line
So, there you have it, older aircraft aren't any less safe than their newer counterparts. The significant benefit of newer aircraft is that they are often far more luxurious and offer better performance.
At Airacer, we have a vast network of private jets, and we only use aircrafts that are less than 20 years old and well maintained. Actually, most of our aircrafts are new and not older than 10 years. We also have a variety of aircrafts that are very new and not older than 2 years.
Use our free cost estimator and request a quote for your upcoming trip! Our professional flight consultants work tirelessly to bring private aviation closer to you worldwide by making flying accessible and affordable.
Tel: +1 800-213-5051