February 28, 2014

Boneyard: "Pilots all go west someday."

"Commonly referred to as the “Boneyard,” the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., contains about 5,000 retired military aircraft throughout 2,600 acres. Crews at the Boneyard preserve aircraft for possible future use, pull aircraft parts to supply to the field, and perform depot-level maintenance and aircraft regeneration in support of Air Force operations. (U.S. Air Force video/Andrew Arthur Breese)"

Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 28, 2014 9:23 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

There's a few other "boneyards" around. Mojave CA, home to Scaled Composites and other commercial space ventures, keeps a pretty significant ghost fleet of civilian jets, as well as the former George AFB near Victorville CA. In early 2002, I got a ride as part of a deployment to Ft Irwin, on a United Airlines 747-400 making its final flight. It came to Pope AFB NC to pick us up, and flew non stop to George (now Southern California Logistics Airport). We had a full UA crew, service, and meal, and got to carry our rifles.

Posted by: stephen b at February 28, 2014 4:45 PM

During most of my time in the Air Force, I lived off-base with my best friend. He had bought a small house, and we could see the B-52 tails in this bone-yard from our back door, and the perimeter fence was just down the road. Brings back good memories for me as well. On another note, the 309th was one of the only groups in the military to have more income than expenditures -- they actually made a profit for the Air Force.

Posted by: drdave at February 28, 2014 6:03 PM

stephen b - I used to work at the Mojave Airport in the late 1990s when GE had its flight test operation based there. It was a awesome experience seeing not only the planes stored there, but also all the development work at Scaled Composites and the other unusual aircraft that cycled through the place.

Davis-Monthan is amazing as well. If you ever go, make sure you see the nearby Pima Air Museum.

Posted by: Campesino at March 3, 2014 4:55 PM