I’ve heard that planes, vehicles, equipment, etc. are not built for long term disuse. What is it about occasional use that may leave for example a plane in better condition than if left in a hangar all year?

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I’ve heard that planes, vehicles, equipment, etc. are not built for long term disuse. What is it about occasional use that may leave for example a plane in better condition than if left in a hangar all year?

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6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Anything that needs to move should do so on a semi-regular basis to prevent seizing and lockup. The lubricants that will degrade over time and can easily act like the opposite, or can cause additional buildup that prevents proper action. When internal, it can gum up the works or block the lines.
Additionally, debris may get into areas that it shouldn’t, especially during startup.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Usually its about moving fluids around. While it happens much slower than with water, oils do evaporate and dry out. Most machinery relies on operation to keep fresh oil coating everything. This plays two roles, it maintains lubrication for the next use and keeps a protective film on metals that prevents rust from forming.

Most vehicles are also battery powered. Batteries lose charge over time even when not being used. Turning on the equipment will run the alternator and recharge the battery. This can also be done by just attaching a battery tender to the battery.

Also, quiet, dark, still, and enclosed areas are often viewed by various living things as shelter. They will move in. They will chew up wires. They will crap on everything and jam various nest materials and food for storage area. Damned mice and squirells…..

Anonymous 0 Comments

Basically the lubricating oils, coolant, etc and such can breakdown when not used. Tires can deform when left stationary. So drain all fluids, and lift the vehicle’s tires off the ground.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In complex machines like that there are lot of moving parts, and generally speaking a machine needs to be able to apply friction-reducing lubricants and heat-conductive oils to those parts to…reduce heat and friction on those parts. If something moves regularly the engineers can design that movement to continually apply fluids to the part and remove dirt and debris. When that something fails to move regularly it can lose lubrication, dirt can get stuck to it, it can rust or otherwise seize up. So that when you suddenly try to move it again it could move slowly, not as far as needed, generate a lot of heat, break something, etc.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In addition to the other excellent answers here, the seals dry out and shrink and crack if they are sitting around dry all the time. Once they shrink or crack, they start leaking which can lead to other problems.

With tires, if tires sit in the same position long enough they start developing flat spots.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The shaft seals in the hydraulic equipment. Cycling everything on occasion will lube the seals.

Also, the hydraulic fluid expands slightly when it gets warmed. This means the supply tank is vented. This is a top-ten reason why planes should be stored where it’s dry.

Humidity will get into the hydraulic supply tank and condense into moisture droplets.

During use, the oil gets pretty hot, so that will boil-off any moisture in it.