Aircraft Recycling - A Literature Review


Autor: Svenja Maaß

Date: 2020-04-05

Supervisor: Dieter Scholz


Purpose - The report summarizes the state-of-the-art in aircraft end-of-life strategies. A focus is on latest aircraft types with a high percentage of composite materials. --- Methodology - A literature review is the basic research method utilized. Apart from books, journals, conference proceedings, and dissertations, also technical reports and industrial news have been included into the search results. The field of aircraft end-of-life is still comparatively small, resulting in a manageable amount of literature addressing the topic directly. --- Findings - Research has been done on the topic by Airbus, Boeing, other industrial companies, and academic institutions. A market for recycled material is missing. Regulations about aircraft recycling are strongly needed but are not foreseeable in the near future. Nevertheless, the trend goes to extended producer responsibility. The aircraft recycling industry starts to build up now by the launch of several recycling plants. The aircraft recycling market will slowly mature with associations like the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) and with the publication of guidance material for best practices. The significant higher percentage of composites in modern aircraft types is a challenge for aircraft recycling. --- Research limitations - The study provides only an overview on the aircraft end-of-life sector. Further research needs to be done on individual specific aspects. --- Value - The paper gives a year 2020 update on the state-of-the-art of aircraft end-of-life handling, including an overview on composite recycling regarding latest aircraft types.

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URN – the Persistent Identifier (from the German National Library) to quote this Landing Page: https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:gbv:18302-aero2020-04-05.018 pin

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Decommissioned aircraft at a recycling plant. Photo taken at eCube Solutions, UK.

LAST UPDATE:  23 September 2021
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