IT is impossible to obtain accurate information on the cost of aircraft corrosion to the civil airline operators and the armed services. The true cost should include aircraft washing and cleaning, the cost of inspection, the application of supplementary protectives and maintenance of the protective scheme as well as the cost of blending out corrosion damage and the replacement of parts which cannot be repaired. The removal of paint and repainting are further items which must be included in the overall corrosion costs. Estimates made by IATA in 1982 suggested that member airlines were spending the order of 200 million dollars per year on corrosion rectification or the equivalent of 8 to 20 dollars per flying hour depending on the aircraft type or operator. More recently it has been suggested that the actual cost of corrosion to the USAF is probably about one billion dollars per year.
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