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Old 12-31-2019, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Question about test aircraft once testing is done.

When a test aircraft (used for certifying a new aircraft type) is kept by Airbus or Boeing once flight testing is completed, what happens to it? In other words, once all the flight testing is finished, and the flight testing equipment is removed from the aircraft, is the aircraft essentially just an "empty shell" or do they have some sort of commercial style interior installed? Thanks to anyone that replies.
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Question about test aircraft once testing is d

Well, for example, one of the 787's is sitting at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona. I was told by the museum that its on loan from Boeing, as Boeing wants to see how the composite and paints used holds up to prolonged sun/UV exposure.

I have no idea what they have done with others.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question about test aircraft once testing is d

In the case of the very first prototype Douglas DC-8 (N8008D), it was upgraded to a Series 50 and served with National, Trans International, Lufthansa, Delta and Aeromexico.

Aeroclassics released 1:400s with all the aforementioned liveries, IIRC. I have the Lufthansa and Trans International models.
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question about test aircraft once testing is d

I know that B747-400, 001, went to Northwest.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question about test aircraft once testing is d

From what I have seen, typically if it is an aircraft of importance such as the first 747, it just gets turned into an exhibit. However, a lot of the time they just end up being testbeds the entire life of the airframe and get scrapped at the end of their life like any other airplane. Airlines sometimes will purchase the test airframes at a cheaper price than a new one, for example Lufthansa had an agreement to obtain some of the 747-8 test airframes from Boeing, but Boeing put more wear and tear on them than what was agreed upon so now they sit in a boneyard.
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Old 01-06-2020, 07:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Question about test aircraft once testing is d

Thank you for all of the replies. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that so many test aircraft end up in commercial service once they are done being test aircraft. Thanks again for all of the replies.
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