The Bone Yard near Davis Monthan Air Force Base

The Bone Yard near Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona is not privately owned in fact it belongs to the military. These locations are selected for the boneyards in the deserts are due to the very dry conditions, that contribute to a reduction in corrosion on the aircraft. The reason these bonyards exist is to store aircraft that have been retired from service, they can then be turned into scrap metal or they can be used for spare parts. Usually the electronics and the engines are removed and can be recycled or stored. some parts are used to fix aircraft that are still in active service.

One of the best known aircraft storage areas is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Arizona, “The Boneyard”, which stores 4200 US military aircraft on a 1000 hectare site. They can even be reconditioned and put back into service, this is a very cheap way to get an aircraft, much better than buying a new one not to mention how many millions of dollar it save the United States every year.

For those of you that have never seen this, it is something to see. The precision in the way they position is very impressive. It’s difficult to comprehend the size of the ‘Bone yard’ and the number of aircraft stored there, Of course the important thing to remember is that they are all capable of being returned to service if the need ever arises after some maintenance and reconditioning a whole squadron of these plans can see active duty once again.

The term that is used when referring to an storage area for old and retired out of service aircraft is aircraft boneyard, its an unusual title as you done actually see any bones just out of service planes, most people just call it the bone yard. But what ever terminology you want to use there is no denying the magnificent display.

If you are ever in the Tucson area, the weekly tours of the bone yard are available through the Tucson Air Museum, located just south of Davis Monthan AFB. Both the museum and the bone yard are very popular attractions in the Arizona desert . It is difficult to comprehend the number of military aircraft in dead storage until you see these photographs! Even if you have seen this before, look again. The 3rd largest Air Force in the world is sitting on the ground here. It’s the only unit in the U.S. Air Force that actually makes money.

With great respect we are about to get our own aircraft “boneyard” outside the United States and Alice Springs has been selected. Like the massive Pinal Airpark in Arizona, it will take planes being decommissioned from service. “It’s quite ground-breaking for this part of the world,” Alice Springs Airport general manager Katie Cooper said.”It will be the first one in the southern hemisphere of any significant scale. Our big market will be the Asia-Pacific carriers, because of the proximity.” Cooper said Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage Ltd (APAS) chose Alice Springs because its dry, arid climate was perfect for the storage and preservation of aircraft. It also has runway that can cater to big planes and plenty of room to expand.Initially the site will cover 110 hectares.

Comments

  1. Nipuna says

    when someone forwarded these pics to me I thought it was fake…..having seeing it on google earch I believe it is true…

    • Cordaro says

      WOO-HOO! I had the pleasure of waithcng the Warthog zipping through the Arizona deserts back in the 80′s while visiting my grandmother in Tuscon. I think I was in 5th or 6th grade. I was hooked the first time I saw one go from flying low-level to straight up in the freakin’ air in a blink of an eye .then the beauty of the Internet came along and I was able to hear and see that magical ripping FART sound and see things on the ground Just. Go. Away. Those evil bastards are always going to be my favorite. I built a model of one as soon as I could.

  2. Mark Eastaugh says

    Howdy

    That’s one awesome place. Nice airplanes.

    Seems like an awfull lot of expensive aircraft just
    going to waste i.e. oxidising etc under the desert sun.

    Why don’t they just sell some or all of em off ?
    No demand ?

  3. AnalyzeThis says

    This place is very real! Some aircraft are here for storage ans some for parts and scrapping. Not many will ever see service again. My uncle drove me by here to look at the B-17 & B-29′s that were being scrapped back in the early 1960′s. There were hundreds of WW2 aircraft destined to be cut up back then.

  4. Kelly Foreman says

    can anyone purchase one of these aircraft ? also do you think having a fighter jet in your front yard would be a good deturent for crime ?

  5. Phil Copeman says

    I would like to buy a 747 200 or a B27/29.How do I go about this.Would like to hear from someone Thank you

  6. Phil Copeman says

    What a wonderful place this is I would give my left arm to go there.These beautiful aircraft just sitting there waiting for some TLC.I would love to work there.

  7. andy says

    buying a 747-200 ? complete or just a empty air frame? Doug scroggins is the guy to contact… just google his name you will fing his website. scroggins aviation. he can get you a 747-200 .

  8. battlened says

    I live in Ireland but would fly the atlantic and across d states to see this place with so much beautiful aircraft lying there.

  9. Donnie Jones says

    what are some of the oldest aircraft there? The last time I was there they still had B-29′s.
    A LONG TIME AGO!

  10. Unknown Wing says

    Man i would love to buy myself a B-52H. Probable wont though. But to my question, Can you purchase any aircraft from here?

  11. haywire says

    Another interesting aside is that the Russians have similiar locations where their unused aircraft can be viewed/counted by satellites…..keeps everybody honest I’m told.

  12. Silverstreak says

    Why is it there is always some jerks that think they have to turn the comments section into their own political bullshit comments as the ones about India air force and Isreal. Who cares, its one thing if the article is about such things but this one is about retired aircraft and nothing more. It would be interesting to see such a large collection of aircraft that a lot of people that do not live near airforce base have ever seen.

    • Dave Callender says

      It’s easier to talk the talk then walk the walk! The easiest way to make themselves feel better about their situation is to put down someone else.

  13. Dave says

    The last time I was in Tucson was 1965. The one thing that I thought was so neat, was that you could go up on Mt.Lemon, which is north of Tucson. Looking down in the direction of the air base was like looking down at a huge sheep of aluminum foil. What a site. To imagine all of the tax payers money that purchased all of these units really staggers the imagination.

  14. True North says

    I live here in Tucson. It is a very real place. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is right next to it so if there is a need for parts, it is right there. And it is not the only boneyard in the city. I have even seen other boneyards, obviously not as large, that housed some Somalian aircraft. The reason we have so much housed here is because the climate is so dry and rarely any bad weather. Perfect place for them as they may be needed to be reassembled later. To get a picture of how large this is, you would need to look at it through Google Earth. The Pima Air Museum is across the street from the boneyard which houses many planes of historical interest as well as some very recent ones. I was in the Presidencial plane for Kennedy and you could even still smell the cigarettes!

  15. AMOS says

    i aggree with what the u.s i doing but is there any ww2 air craft in the bone yard becase they might need to go to aviation musems

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