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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Around Town

It has been a while since I did a around town post and was recently reading a list towns with unusual names that sparked some interest so here is one I will share.

Boneyard Arizona

The Airplane Graveyard - Bone Yard - Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center Just outside Tucson, Arizona in the Sonora Desert is the famed Airplane Graveyard-Bone Yard at Davis Monthan Airforce Base. The Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center AMARC is where the U.S. Air Force mothballs planes until they either need them again or it's time to salvage them for parts. Whenever the U.S. sells surplus planes to foreign governments part of the sales pitch is that there will always have a ready supply of spare parts. Some are turned into pilotless drones and used for missile target practice. The Airplane Graveyard, is not just a fence around piles of out dated scrap metal, millions of dollars of surplus parts are salvaged to keep other active aircraft flying. You can think of this place as a huge warehouse for all types of spare parts which saves taxpayers millions of dollars every year. Many people think the government sells flying airplanes to the general public, this is not true. Anything the government sells, which could cause potential injuries, like a life raft, pilot helmet, or a flying aircraft will be demilled before it leaves the base. Demilling which stands for de-militarize, includes slashing rafts with a razor knife, crushing helmets, or in the case of an airplane chopping the wings off, or cutting the fuselage into three pieces. Some of the aircraft stored at the Bone Yard are turned into remotely controlled drone aircraft like what was done with the F-106 drone program. There are over 4,000 planes in storage, most now from the Vietnam era. In the 60's there were still planes from World War II there.


JeanMac said...

Interesting post - I had never heard of it.

Ex-Shammickite said...

Well, I suppose all the outdated aircraft have to go somewhere, I just never really considered what happened to them all once they are no longer fit for flight. Great interesting post.

Lady Di Tn said...

Wow, I read the last 4 post at once. You do give us things to mull over. First, I wonder how many of us can say we churned butter. We did not have that fancy a butter press but our butter dish was elegant to display that yellow heaven under the lid. I think the show was great and I am glad you explained the horse breast plate. I guess I am rather shallow as it never tickled my mind where old planes were taken. I think I thought they were all scraped and crushed. Boy did I get a lesson today.

Changes in the wind said...

Thanks for your comments...always look forward to them:)

sheoflittlebrain said...

Interesting and informative post. Changes. I knew the graveyard was there, but not the number of planes or how they are disposed of or de-militarized.

Anonymous said...

I would love to learn more about the graveyard / boneyard and if you can tour them etc. Do you have any information you can send my way at all if possible? Thank you so much!