MD-11 on a diet: Every kilo counts

Lufthansa Cargo clears out one of their freighters

Never before has an MD-11 been turned upside down so thoroughly. Around 20 pilots, technicians and staff from Flight Operations tooth-combed the “Charlie Charlie“ from cockpit to tailfin during an A-Check in the Lufthansa Technik maintenance hangar in Frankfurt.
"Under the motto “Aircraft clear-out – Every kilo counts, we stripped the freighter bare to find which of the more or less loose objects could be dispensed with or replaced by lighter-weight alternatives with the same function,” explained Björn Ostertag, Head of the department Fuel Efficiency & Punctuality. Each kilo less on board reduces CO2 emissions by nine tonnes, he emphasised.

After a good four hours, the aircraft strippers had taken out about 340 individual parts, and weighed and documented them. In total, the dismantled parts weighed in at 480 kilos. It has not yet been established which of those parts can be scrapped –because the real work is only now beginning. “In the next few weeks, each of the documented parts will be analysed to find out which can be permanently discarded,“ said Björn Ostertag.

You can find a timelapse-video of the Clear-Out on the Lufthansa Cargo YouTube-channel.