Sounds high

So they\’re flogging off the carcass of that plane that went into the Hudson.

It is difficult to speculate how much the A320 could pull at auction. It has a legendary status but the lack of engines means that not only can it not fly again, but it also removes a possible source of valuable metal and spare parts.

However, the US magazine Metal Bulletin Monthly recently reported that a similarly junked Airbus A310, which sold for $2.6 million (£1.6 million), made its new owners $4 million when it was broken up for scrap.

Sounds like a high value there. They\’re around 40 tonnes weight unladen (so Wikipedia tells me which sounds low but so be it) and there\’s nothing all that special about the alloys. Aluminium with a bit of magnesium and perhaps a tad of copper in it really. Maybe $80,000 to $100,000 for the scrap value of the fuselage and wings.

Must be the value of the electronics scrap in there I suppose.

Oh, and Metal Bulletin? London based, not US.

7 thoughts on “Sounds high”

  1. You are forgetting the value of the parts.

    That Ford Fiesta which you sold to the scrappie for £100?

    The wing mirrors will go for £40 each. The hubcaps if any will go for £10 each. Doors, £75 upwards, lights, bumpers etc., all will be put up for sale individually and many will be sold.

    In the past one phoned the local scrapyards to find out if they had cars of your model, and did they have the relevant parts? Then you collected them in person. Today, you can look on the interwebs and get parts posted to you. Commonly needed parts are eBay’d.

    Tim adds: True: but there are very strict rules about the resale of used aviation parts. I’m not sure if it’s legal to sell parts from crashed planes.

  2. I once saw an A320 with one of the horizontal stabilizers almost completely cut off (bad driving by a de-icing truck) and was told by a cabin steward that it would cost several million £ to fix.

  3. How much do you suppose one of the doors cost? £25K? More? All the hydraulic actuators – they are still going to work, they just need a clean and a test. Undercarriage is usually up for a landing on water – if so that’s probably all fine. How much are the tyres alone?

    What about the seats? 200 at $whatever each? Overhead lockers? Maybe there is no market for seats and lockers. What do I know?

    But you can bet the salvage companies do. It’s just an example of the knowledge problem.

  4. Or an ignorance problem. Given the high value of genuine service parts, it is likely that many parts from crashed aircraft enter the market fraudulently.

    In the UK, the fire and rescue services frequently brand (with a heated iron) tyres from crashed vehicles to prevent resale. That doesn’t always work.

  5. Charlieman:

    There’s an extremely active international trade in used aircraft parts of every description, carried on chiefly on the website of the ILS ( All types of parts are recycled (the market in seats and even life rafts seems particularly and perpetually active).

    As far as I’m aware, buyers normally pay close attention to the origin and history of most of these salvaged parts, requiring extensive documentation.

    Not all the buyers on the site are aircraft-related. Many are defense and military-related, including aircraft, of course. (That’s the market in which I sell–from an inventory of component parts going all the way back to WW II.)

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