In the old days, the airlines used to retire old jets to the desert. As Boeing and a company in Minnesota called Aircraft Demolition show in this video, aircraft like this 33-year-old 757—which used to fly for United Airlines—can now be recycled.
As King 5 reports, “The Boeing demonstration is part of a larger recycling initiative for the aircraft manufacturer. After stripping this plane, dubbed the ecoDemonstrator 757, of any reusable parts, remaining pieces will be recycled into new aircraft and other usable items. Only 10 percent will go to landfills.” I love what Boeing’s Director of Environmental Performance Jeanne Yu said in the story: “We’re finding ways to reuse it or make it go back to the earth more naturally.”
It’s a really interesting three-minute report and it’s comforting to learn that not only will recycling be a big part of the estimated 20,000 aircraft being retired in the next 20 years, but also that it wasn’t very easy for the giant tractor to tear off the wing. I’ll now be more relaxed when I see an aircraft’s wings flaps in turbulence.