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What is this orange container for? It reads

Flight kit wheel. Do not remove.

What's a "flight kit wheel"?

Orange container on ramp

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    $\begingroup$ Related: Do any aircraft carry spare parts for making repairs?. See also this container manufacturer. $\endgroup$ – mins Oct 24 '15 at 10:45
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    $\begingroup$ @mins You should go ahead and make that an answer $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Oct 24 '15 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ Corsair is a charter airline so presumably they keep spares aboard, as they might not have a facility at their destination. $\endgroup$ – egid Oct 24 '15 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ @egid For the precision, Corsair is absolutely not a charter airline. It's a regular airline with daily lines to France's oversea territories. But I don't think that they have big facilities on our islands so you might be right there. $\endgroup$ – Quentin H Oct 25 '15 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ The most important question, and the one we've all overlooked for 2 years - "Why have they removed it from the plane???" ;) $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Nov 2 '17 at 12:05
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This question is somehow targeting something already answered in Do any aircraft carry spare parts for making repairs?, albeit the answers are going in many directions, so I'll provide one focused on this case.

Corsair, a French airline based at Paris-Orly (LFPO) has only 7 a/c currently active. When one is grounded the schedule of the others is indeed disrupted, the shorter, the better.

Rather than having the most used spare parts (for each type) at multiple stopovers, or having to wait for one on its way from Orly or a closer location (Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre, La Réunion), a good tradeoff is to have them aboard.

As described in the linked question, the maintenance parts are often known as fly away kit (FAK) or flight spare kit (FSK).

enter image description here
AKN FSK container for Air France (Source)

Parts in the container are secured and don't move.

enter image description here
AKN FSK container for Air France (Source)

Spare parts are commonly seen aboard aircraft serving remote isolated locations with light traffic, where maintenance may be difficult at the moment (typically many places in Africa).

enter image description here (source)

The kit is built (or fitted) in a standard cargo container, here an "AKE" IATA form factor, with the characteristic truncated side.

enter image description here
(source)


Corsair aircraft are well known by their tail IDs: F-HSEA, F-HSUN (F-HSEX is gone), F-HSKY, and more recently F-HCAT, F-HBIL, F-HZEN.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer! I didn't know that airliners were actually flying with a spare wheel (or whatever other spare part), due to the weight penalty. $\endgroup$ – Quentin H Oct 25 '15 at 18:25
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    $\begingroup$ @QuentinHayot The weight penalty is much lower than the wait penalty, therefore, it makes sense to have parts on board. It would be interesting to find out if Corsair flies mechanics aboard every time, or if they have/contract them locally when needed. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Oct 26 '15 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ Wow I love the term "wait penalty" $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Mar 11 '16 at 11:31
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    $\begingroup$ I was working on a project 15 years ago where we were negotiating with an airline to use one of their B737s to obtain an STC. They quoted the cost (in 2002) to pull the aircraft out of service at $70k/day. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Nov 2 '17 at 12:52

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