• A huge, well organized group of survivors (including pilots, technicians, etc).

  • A few dozens of passenger jets left that because of shortage of fuel soon would not serve as transport device.

  • There is clearly a hope that in 10-20 years they should have quite plenty of fuel and semi working, crude industrial base and having a few working aircraft would be really handy.

  • No desperate need to scrap the aircraft, nevertheless if there is no use of something, then a new function would be found....

The idea is to store them somewhere and later partially cannibalize them for parts and partially just jury rig the remaining. So the questions are:

  1. Would a dessert salt flat be an acceptable place to keep them for storage? Or even dry salt would be corrosive and better just store on normal desert, even though it would be harder to land there.

  2. Which parts should be crucial to preserve as future spare parts, which can be just scavenged? (Guess: engines would be crucial to preserve, a few fuselages can end up as housing, because they wouldn't be limiting parts)

  3. Which parts would have problems to survive such period and have to be produced later using more crude methods? Batteries? Tires?

(or maybe the whole idea would not work and the best idea is to repurpose or recycle the aircraft?)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This question is related, perhaps you could narrow down what information you want to gather from reading the answers there. $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2017 at 23:14
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Far more valuable would be older piston planes that had low enough landing speeds to use grass runways. Planes like the present (still in use) Beaver, Norseman, Otter, DC-3. Air cooled engines tend to have a sloppy fit due to differential expansion, so making new pistons doesn't require 1/10,000 inch tolerances, or really exotic alloys. They can also be lubricated with castor oil. $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2017 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ For scouting I can see merit in building hydrogen filled dirigibles. Keep away from flames, thank you. $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2017 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


1. Yes Thats where they cold stack aircraft now.

More importantly why. Jet passenger aircraft travel requires an enormous economic base to sustain it viably.

You suggest a post apocalypse scenario. You will need a continental population base in the order of 100's of millions with a working industrial economy and a high disposable income for jet based passenger travel to be viable (think post WWII US / Europe). This may be possible, post WWII Europe was pretty post apocalyptic, but only with the injection of resources from elsewhere.

If you are considering using components to kick start an industrial base then control electronics / actuators probably of most use. Remember that jet turbines do not operate efficiently at sealevel and are not well designed for the extraction of rotational energy.

If you are considering retasking for search / exploration then jets not suited to this role. A capably tooled engineering workshop can build an IC aircraft engine from scratch and low speed aircraft can be STOL. Not so with a jet.

More information on your scenario will help to provide useful answers.


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