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Old 07 June 2017, 10:18 PM
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Default For Sale: The Entire Contents Of Heathrow Terminal 1

Have you ever wanted to own your own baggage carousel? Surely owning your own body scanner would be great fun at parties! Well you're in luck -- the entire contents of Terminal 1 at Heathrow are for sale.

Seriously, though, as the article notes the most likely buyer for the big stuff is another airport, likely in a less developed country. I do think it would be kind of cool to have some airport seats or signage in my living room. I wish Sacramento's airport had done something like this before they demolished their old terminal. That place had some interesting retro signage (although I guess technically not "retro", just old).
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Old 08 June 2017, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
Seriously, though, as the article notes the most likely buyer for the big stuff is another airport, likely in a less developed country.
Aviation is unusual, perhaps unique, when it comes to the disposal of old equipment to less developed countries. Planes there were modern in the first world get dripped down to less developed countries and eventually end up in the third world. There's even still a few DC3s and other WW2 era planes flying in some parts of the world despite being 70 - 80 years old.

I can't think of any other industry that does the same.
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Old 08 June 2017, 12:58 AM
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Airplane

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There's even still a few DC3s and other WW2 era planes flying in some parts of the world despite being 70 - 80 years old.
Unless they stopped flying them recently there are still DC-3s flying in northern Canada. Not sure if that counts as a "less developed" country.

Until recently there were still 707s flying in Iran, although that probably had more to do with the embargo. Not as old as the DC-3 (and IIRC the ones in Iran were relatively "new" 707s built in the 1970s) but more complicated to maintain being jets.
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Old 08 June 2017, 01:07 AM
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Unless they stopped flying them recently there are still DC-3s flying in northern Canada. Not sure if that counts as a "less developed" country.

Until recently there were still 707s flying in Iran, although that probably had more to do with the embargo. Not as old as the DC-3 (and IIRC the ones in Iran were relatively "new" 707s built in the 1970s) but more complicated to maintain being jets.
A pilot once told me that if you look after its engines, a DC3 will fly forever.
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Old 08 June 2017, 03:45 AM
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Looking at the stuff they have available, maybe Zanzibar airport in Tanzania will pick up some of those check-in desks with baggage scales. When I was there last summer they were weighing bags with an old mechanical scale. Although it looked like a new terminal was under construction; maybe they're already ordered the necessary equipment.
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Old 08 June 2017, 07:43 AM
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Looking at the stuff they have available, maybe Zanzibar airport in Tanzania will pick up some of those check-in desks with baggage scales. When I was there last summer they were weighing bags with an old mechanical scale. Although it looked like a new terminal was under construction; maybe they're already ordered the necessary equipment.
I was in Fiji many years ago, and they weighed the passengers on an old scale.
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Old 08 June 2017, 12:06 PM
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A pilot once told me that if you look after its engines, a DC3 will fly forever.
That's a bit of an open ended statement. Maintenance schedules may have been simpler but parts are probably not that easy to come by.

OY
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Old 08 June 2017, 12:54 PM
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Aviation is unusual, perhaps unique, when it comes to the disposal of old equipment to less developed countries. [ . . . ] There's even still a few DC3s and other WW2 era planes flying in some parts of the world despite being 70 - 80 years old.

I can't think of any other industry that does the same.
Not precisely equivalent, but there's a lot of farm tractors that old, or close to it, that are still in use; though they're likely to still be in use close to wherever they started out, rather than having been shipped off elsewhere.

I'm running two tractors that are both about 60 years old. While most farms also have newer ones, it's pretty common to have at least one tractor that old or older.
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Old 08 June 2017, 01:17 PM
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My dad had a Briggs and Stratton engine powered lawn mower that outlived at least two bodies. The engine was at least 30 years old at its death.
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Old 08 June 2017, 01:44 PM
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Airplane

This thread is getting way off the original topic, but I thought I'd share this.

I once flew a small local airline between Warsaw and Bydgoszcz in Poland. The Bydgoszcz international airport had one terminal, a small concrete shack with one metal detector, and what seemed to be a single commercial runway flanked by grass and forest. The plane was a very noisy turboprop which held - if I remember correctly - less than 20 people. On the return trip the pilot aborted takeoff. I couldn't hear the announcement clearly and asked my mother (who was much better at the language anyway) what was said. She said the they had to stop because the driver of a tractor hauling a huge machine that was mowing the grass chose that moment to cross the runway.

Closer to the topic, though, I also remember a LOT Polish Airlines plane which had seatbelt & smoking signs in English and Arabic. Almost certainly recycled.

And it also bears mentioning that at least one US airline (in Hawaii; I don't remember the exact name) was flying a Ford Trimotor at least into the 1970s, and maybe later.
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Old 08 June 2017, 02:43 PM
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parts are probably not that easy to come by.
As I understand it, there are machinist-hobbiest who specialize in providing parts for out of production aircraft.

Seaboe
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Old 08 June 2017, 04:29 PM
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IIRC, it's also relatively easy to set up a shop to machine parts locally. There are still World War 2 vintage T-34 tanks being used by some countries today. After the Soviet Union stopped producing them in the 60s, the countries that still use them bought the molds from the factories or fabricated their own and kept running with them.
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  #13  
Old 08 June 2017, 09:35 PM
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I can't think of any other industry that does the same.
Swiss trains go eastwards and the buses from Luzern went to Santiago, Chile. I have just looked for some links, but am not finding any at the moment, and they are probably in German.

I remember sending an email to a coworker about the later, as it would be theoretically possible that he could ride the same bus in Santiago as he had in Luzern.

And one of the rail festivals for the new Gotthard tunnel they had rolling stock which had earlier run in Switzerland that had been renovated for some place a bit east of here.

It amazes me that it is still cost-effective to ship a bus from here to Chile, than to get it made locally.
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Old 08 June 2017, 09:54 PM
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A plumbing company in Texas had its old vehicle being used in a less developed area.
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  #15  
Old 08 June 2017, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Aviation is unusual, perhaps unique, when it comes to the disposal of old equipment to less developed countries. Planes there were modern in the first world get dripped down to less developed countries and eventually end up in the third world. There's even still a few DC3s and other WW2 era planes flying in some parts of the world despite being 70 - 80 years old.

I can't think of any other industry that does the same.
Railroads. There are still quite a number of first-generation diesels built between 1948-~1958 that still operate in this country on smaller, regional railroads, and even more second-gens built between 1958-1977ish.

Some of those same regionals have signal systems that date back to the 1930's.

The big Class 1 railroads; UP, BNSF, Norfolk Southern, and CSX, continue to modernize their locomotive fleets and infrastructures, but the equipment they no longer need--via a merger or some other circumstance--can live on for quite some time in the used equipment market.

~Psihala
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Old 11 June 2017, 02:12 PM
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It strikes me that much of the bemusement in this thread is due to the effects of presentism - the assumption that since human development is, generally, always advancing, the present is therefore superior to the past.

It's an especially common assumption these days, and you can see it any time something is criticised or dismissed merely for being old - often by using a reference to some other historical event, e.g. "driving a car that came over on the mayflower" or "wearing clothes that were last in style during the nixon administration" - or you can see it whenever something else is promoted or endorsed simply for being new, often by simply referencing the present date, e.g. "it's 2017, get with it" or "1995 called, they want your X back".

Now, I happen to think that the core thesis of presentism is true - human development has, more or less, continued to progress, and over all I do think we are generally better off today than in past days. I certainly would not want to go back in time to a day prior to the internet, modern medicine, cell phones, etc.

But the modifiers I used there - "core" rather than "all", "more or less", or "over all" - should and do imply that you can't apply the notion in a blanket fashion, assuming that anything new is automatically better than anything old. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is usually done on a popular level. Hence the bemusement when we encounter someone still using something "old"

There are many specific industries where presentism is simply not true, however, and the older way or older thing is actually better.

Just yesterday, I stopped in on a friend who was excitedly tuning up his "new" sickle mower. He has a large country property with tall fields to keep trim. The very fact that he has a sickle mower is interesting, since they are generally not allowed anymore - they were declared not to meet modern safety standards. So just having any sickle mower at all is to thumb your nose at the present. But for tall fields, a sickle mower is simply superior to any modern style of mower. Here was my friend though, he wasn't just getting a sickle mower - this was a "new" one, to replace his old one. This "new" one, however, was actually about 30 years older than his "old" one. The "old" one was made in the 1980's, and featured the kind of lightweight, stamped steel construction that was popular then. Over time, that lightweight construction simply wasn't holding up. The "new" mower, however, was built like a tank. Literally - the company that made it had been a tank factory during WWII. After the war, they had to make something, so they switched to light machinery. This "new" sickle mower featured solid cast iron construction, and still ran as good today as the day it was made. So here is a case where yesterday is much better than today.

I saw much the same with power tools when I was building houses. Modern tools tend to be cheap, plastic construction. They look great when they're new, and have lots of snazy features, but they're not going to last very long, and I certainly won't be putting them in the Will for my kid's to inherit. Tools in my grandfather's day were more often built to last. I can say that, because the did last, and I did inherit them in his Will!

Even in technology, the latest is not necessarily the greatest. Think of the development we went through from floppy discs to CD ROMS to current USB drives or other solid state drives. Floppy discs were one thing, but was the next step - CDs - really a step up? Sure, they had much more storage space, but without the protective cover, they were subject to easy damage. Who didn't have a stack of discs that were too scratched to work? I never once lost a floppy disc for those reasons. What good is having more storage space, if you lose all of it anyway when the disc gets scratched? Modern thumb drives have fixed this problem, so now were finally in a better place, but can that whole CD stage we went through really be regarded as anything but a misstep?

Getting back to the OP, aerospace in particular is an industry where older doesn't necessarily mean bad. I worked one summer in a factory that made plane parts. A nut or bolt in the aerospace industry is not even remotely the same as a nut or bolt in another industry or the local hardware store. Every component of an airplane is precisely machined, quality controlled, stress tested and verified. It's some of the very best manufacturing production that we are capable of. That's why a nut or a bolt costs so much! It should be no surprise then that an older airplane, having been properly maintained, can still work perfectly fine. Only the blanket assumption of presentism would make us think otherwise.
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Old 11 June 2017, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Swiss trains go eastwards and the buses from Luzern went to Santiago, Chile.
The "bendy buses" from London went to Malta (with their Oyster card stickers intact). They didn't work there, either.
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Old 11 June 2017, 03:01 PM
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callee, the farm tractors are kind of a mix, and I think most farmers are aware of it. The newer ones have features the older ones don't have -- more gears, more comfortable seats, cabs, more horsepower, four-wheel-drive, easier-to-attach linkages, more precise controls, etc. The old ones were built to last for many years -- and built in large part to be repairable by the farmer, in the field if necessary. Some of the new ones aren't even legally repairable by the farmer -- they contain software the farmer's not supposed to touch. And, of course, the more features provided, the more things there are to break down in the first place.

And I really wish I hadn't lost my old favorite vegetable peeler. There are some of the same general type on the market; there's even one claiming to be made by the original company -- but it's not being made in the same fashion, doesn't work as well, and hurts my hand if used very long. I can get a version with a bright colored plastic handle that doesn't exactly hurt my hand; but the blade doesn't swivel properly, and my hand doesn't fit into it right, so it's harder to use.

For that matter, I miss seam allowances in clothing. Not only did they make the clothing at least theoretically slighly adjustable, though since I don't sew that wouldn't help me much; but the clothes lasted a lot longer. When the stitching is too close to the edge of the fabric, any bit of rubbing makes the seam come apart.
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Old 11 June 2017, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callee View Post
Getting back to the OP, aerospace in particular is an industry where older doesn't necessarily mean bad. I worked one summer in a factory that made plane parts. A nut or bolt in the aerospace industry is not even remotely the same as a nut or bolt in another industry or the local hardware store. Every component of an airplane is precisely machined, quality controlled, stress tested and verified. It's some of the very best manufacturing production that we are capable of. That's why a nut or a bolt costs so much! It should be no surprise then that an older airplane, having been properly maintained, can still work perfectly fine. Only the blanket assumption of presentism would make us think otherwise.
I get what you're saying, but regarding the equipment in Heathrow's Terminal 1, IIRC they couldn't reuse any of the equipment in the new terminal because the new terminal had to be fully operational before T1 could close. So the new terminal got all new equipment before it opened, and the stuff in T1 is no longer needed. So my understanding is that the equipment is being sold off because the airport simply had no need for it anymore, not necessarily because it's old. Regarding the terminal building itself, it was built in 1968, a time when airports didn't even have security checkpoints, not to mention a time when simply fewer people traveled by air. I haven't actually been to Heathrow, but having experienced other terminals from the same era I think it's likely that it was simply no longer adequate for the needs of modern air travel.

Regarding old airplanes, you're right that they can pretty much fly forever with proper maintenance. But on the other hand modern airliners are significantly more fuel efficient. And as a plane ages they require more thorough and frequent inspections. So while they may technically be able to keep flying, with increasing fuel and maintenance costs they eventually reach a point where they're no longer cost effective for the airline to keep flying.
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Old 11 June 2017, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
Railroads. There are still quite a number of first-generation diesels built between 1948-~1958 that still operate in this country on smaller, regional railroads, and even more second-gens built between 1958-1977ish.

Some of those same regionals have signal systems that date back to the 1930's.

The big Class 1 railroads; UP, BNSF, Norfolk Southern, and CSX, continue to modernize their locomotive fleets and infrastructures, but the equipment they no longer need--via a merger or some other circumstance--can live on for quite some time in the used equipment market.

~Psihala
Good point, I'd not thought about that one. Certainly matches the aviation pattern.
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