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The secrets of the desert aircraft ‘boneyards’

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Back in 2014 (oh so long ago!), The BBC published a piece on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, which houses heaps and heaps of abandoned aircraft:

If you find yourself driving down South Kolb Road in the Arizona city of Tucson, you’ll find the houses give way to a much more unusual view; rows of military aircraft, still and silent, spread out under the baking desert sun. On and on, everything from enormous cargo lifters to lumbering bombers, Hercules freighters and the F-14 Tomcat fighters made famous in Top Gun.

This is Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG). It’s home to some 4,400 aircraft, arranged over nearly 2,600 acres (10.5 sq km). Some look like they were parked only a few hours ago, others are swathed in protective coverings to keep out the sand and dust. Inside the facilities’ hangars, other planes have been reduced to crates of spare parts, waiting to be sent out to other bases in the US or across the world to help other aircraft take to the air again. To those who work here, Davis-Monthan is known by a far less prosaic name, one more in keeping with the Wild West folklore from Arizona’s earlier days. They call it The Boneyard.

Read more.


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