Disposal and recycle economic assessment for aircraft and engine end of life solution evaluation

Xiaojia Zhao*, Wim J.C. Verhagen, Richard Curran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


The present study proposes an economic indicator to support the evaluation of aircraft End of Life (EoL) strategies in view of the increasing demand with regards to aircraft decommissioning. This indicator can be used to evaluate the economic performance and to facilitate the trade-off studies among different strategies. First, Disposal and Recycle (D&R) scenarios related to stakeholders are investigated to identify the core concepts for the economic evaluation. Next, we extracted the aircraft D&R process from various real-life practices. In order to obtain the economic measure for the engineering process, a method of estimating the D&R cost and values are developed by integrating product, process and cost properties. This analysis is demonstrated on an averaged data set and two EoL aircraft cases. In addition, sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the impact of the D&R cost, residual value, and salvage value. Results show that the disassembly and dismantling of an aircraft engine possesses relatively more economic gains than that for the aircraft. The main factors influencing the proposed D&R economic indicator are the salvage value and D&R cost for economically efficient D&R cases. In addition, delaying the disposal and recycle process for EoL aircraft can lead to economically unfavorable solutions. The economic indicator combined with the evaluation methods is widely applicable for evaluations of engineering products EoL solutions, and implies a significant contribution of this research to decision making for such complex systems in terms sustainable policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number522
Number of pages24
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aircraft and aircraft engine Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
  • Aircraft disposal and recycle process
  • Disposal and recycle economic indicator
  • End of Life (EoL)
  • Engineering cost and value analysis


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