Part of the coach tour through Davis-Monthan AFB includes the journey along ‘celebrity way’ on which a number of famous aircraft are mothballed, primarily for show rather than with an expectation of them flying again. There were interesting stories about each one which the tour guide brightly told us. Being on a coach meant I couldn’t really take notes and I decided against recording the whole tour.
I will share with you the pictures I took of the celebrity aircraft. Some of you may recognise one or two.
If these have piqued your interest to find out more, you can go and visit them and hear the stories from someone who knows them all!
Between the Pima Air and Space Museum to Davis-Monthan AFB there is also a civilian storage/salvage yard. We only saw it from the road so I don’t know how much mothballing vs slaughtering for parts goes on there.
For daily pictures you can follow me on tumblr. at www.traveltash.tumblr.com, like the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Travel-Tales/214222805308898 and follow me on Twitter @tash_higman.Boneyard part 2 Part of the coach tour through Davis-Monthan AFB includes the journey along ‘celebrity way’ on which a number of famous aircraft are mothballed, primarily for show rather than with an expectation of them flying again.
Anyone who knows the attractions around Tucson and has read this blog for a bit will have been expecting this post. Davis-Monthan AFB is home to what is called the boneyard of military aircraft. The dryness of the Arizona desert means that there is very little risk of oxidation and planes can be stored there for a long time without significant degradation of the materials.
There are two sections to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Restoration Group’s grounds on the air force base. One section is filled with aircraft expected to fly again, the other is a scrapyard. The aircraft there are will never fly again and are used as a source of spare parts for other planes of the same model. The coach tours through both sections operated by the civilian aircraft museum across the street enters the base past countless Lockheed C130 Hercules all mothballed with the expectation of flying again.
We even saw one with a Norwegian flag on it. Norway obviously decided not to operated this ‘plane for a while and are storing it in Arizona. And on the topic of storage, you will have noticed that the aeroplanes in the picture above all have white markings on them. This is a specially developed plastic/rubber/sealant material which is applied all points at which air or water (or sand!) could enter the body of the ‘plane to ensure it is airtight during its storage time. The engines are all removed and stored in these tanks which have all the air pumped out them and replaced with nitrogen.
Helicopters are also in storage here. Their blades are removed, although I can’t remember where they are stored, whether it is inside or whether they have special containers for them like the engines.
There are lots and lots of F16s at the boneyard too. Many are already or waiting to be converted into remote-operated aircraft (drones) and used for fighter pilot training off the Florida coast. One may as well have a full sized plane to have a practice dogfight with that can be shot down without human casualties. You can tell those have have already been converted because their tails are painted orange.
More on Saturday….
For daily pictures you can follow me on tumblr. at www.traveltash.tumblr.com, like the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Travel-Tales/214222805308898 and follow me on Twitter @tash_higman.Boneyard http://wp.me/s2JdRl-boneyard Anyone who knows the attractions around Tucson and has read this blog for a bit will have been expecting this post.
Some friends suggested I visited another AZ State Park while in the south of the state and on my way back to Tucson from Douglas I stopped off for a visit. When I got to Kartchner Caverns I found that pictures were not allowed and I thought I would not write a post about them if I couldn’t accompany them with pictures of my own.
So why am I posting this anyway? – The history and story of the…