Retirement optimization through aircraft transfers and employment

More Info


Military aircraft retirements are an afterthought for many lifecycle planners. More active management of end-of-life fleets can yield increased confidence in fleet capability and retirement timelines. This work provides fleet managers with a tool to manage remaining aircraft flight hours to yield a desired fleet retirement pattern. It solves an equivalent flight hour minimization problem using a mixed-integer linear programming model for a military aircraft fleet having a network with basing and mission type constraints. The model minimizes differences in remaining equivalent flight hours for individual aircraft in future years, thereby allowing a fleet manager to alter the timeline for retirement of individual aircraft. A relocation cost is applied to discourage excessive, costly aircraft relocations. The United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft is used as a case study while disruptions such as deployments are modeled to show the methodology's robustness. This work proves that a fleet of aircraft with dissimilar utilization histories and varying amounts of remaining useful lifetime can be actively managed to change the time at which individual aircraft are ready for retirement. The benefit to fleet managers is the ability to extract additional lifetime out of their aircraft prior to retirement.