Every now and then when you drive down the street you see one of these houses, in which an old, rusted car is parked in front of the house that looks like nature is slowly taking it back. Most major cities also have at least one junk yard somewhere that is just old wall-to-wall cars. And although we don't think about it very often, the same must apply to airplanes. Airplane boneyards are those huge plots of land reserved for defunct aircraft that are either waiting to be recycled or just waiting to be wasted. Here are 10 of the largest in the world.
10. Alice Springs, Australia
In March 201
Because the climate in the Australian outback is dry, it is more appropriate to store these multi-million dollar planes than their home countries, which can have much higher levels of humidity and annual rainfall.
Although there are numerous aircraft stored at the Alice Springs facility, the owner is hesitant to use the word graveyard because vehicles like the Max 8s may be able to be reactivated at some point. The technology is not so bad, it was burned back.
9. Southern California Logistics Airport
Ninety miles northeast of Los Angeles is the Southern California Logistics Airport where the former George Air Force Base is located. George was opened in 1941 by the Army Air Corps as an advanced flight school. After the military no longer needed the base, the logistics airport took over the city of Victorville, California, as one of the state's major transportation hubs (60% of all goods entering and leaving Southern California must be handled through Victorville).
While the logistics airport currently serves a number of airlines for their logistical needs, he also has the local boneyard for numerous non-existent aircraft. In addition to its facilities that maintain and even paint aircraft for airlines and businesses around the world, the Boneyard now also has a huge collection of 747s. Just like Alice Springs, Australia, a number of these Boeing 747 Max 8s are native to Asia , the American fleet was withdrawn to the southern California logistics airport.
8. Teruel Airport
One of the largest boneyards in Europe is the Teruel Airport in Spain. Although some of the planes based in Teruel aren't supposed to be on the garbage heap and flying again, a good number of the relics are the remains of defunct airlines from Russia and other countries across Europe. When the fleets are retired, they are sent here because it is much closer than sending them to one of the big boneyards in the United States.
Teruel is not only home to an aircraft cemetery. They also test rocket engines and drones here and do flight training. It is not a commercial airport to fly into, nor is it a military facility, but they are taking steps to ensure that Teruel is important for all other aeronautical activities needed in Europe.
With so many aircraft in Teruel because they are the remains of bankrupt airlines, there is a good chance that many of them can be picked up and reused later. But it is just as likely that many of them will rest in this dry Spanish climate until they are slimmed down for parts and completely forgotten.
7. Air Salvage International
Air Salvage International was formerly a military base in Gloucestershire in England. Nowadays, they carry out salvage work and can dismantle 60 massive aircraft at a time for recycling over the course of a year. It is said that they also had some interesting discoveries in their work, including multi-million dollar cocaine that was put in an airplane toilet. How someone forgot that is unclear.
A cemetery in the truest sense of the word, here these massive airplanes die and are reduced to their basic components. The crew performing this operation can receive almost 2,000 usable parts from any aircraft. An aircraft engine alone could be worth over £ 18 million. That's equivalent to over $ 22 million in the United States. Not too shabby for a scrap operation.
Because it is the job of the people at Air Salvage to actually save these planes, their graveyard never really exceeds the mark of 60 planes. This is because they will tear them apart regularly, so that for everyone who comes in, the other one goes to pieces. You've been doing this for about two decades and it sounds like a pretty lucrative operation. While some cemeteries are interesting relics that invite aviation enthusiasts to take a look, Air Salvage International only keeps them close as long as they have to.
6. Phoenix Goodyear
Not far from Phoenix, Arizona, just south of Interstate 10, you will find Phoenix Goodyear Airport and the Boneyard. The airport continues to be a world-class training facility for pilots from all over the world, for both commercial and military reasons. The former desert naval facility is now a place where pilots from the German Air Force are trained alongside pilots from British Airways.
Because the location has been used over the years as both a military and commercial airport and training facility, and ownership of the aircraft has changed hands several times. The result is that today there is only a diverse mix of aircraft standing around. You will find China Southern 777, Continental 737 and even an Iberia Fleet Airbus A340 among others.
Although the associated airport is still in operation, the Boneyard itself is not open to the public. Of course, it doesn't prevent anyone from visiting the area and taking a good look at it, as everything is outdoors where you can see it up close. Just don't expect a tour of the facility.
5. Kingman Airport
Arizona is the place to go if you want to keep airplanes in good condition as the climate is perfect for preserving technology and metal. For this reason, Kingman Airport in Arizona has a sizeable military aircraft graveyard located on 4,145 acres of desert land. Unlike some boneyards, you cannot visit them personally, at least not up close. Since Route 66 runs right next to the cemetery, as a hardworking guy with a good zoom lens on your camera, you can simply park on the other side of the fence and take a few photos if you are interested in something like that.
There are several hundred aircraft, generally regional, in Kingman that were not considered necessary for shipping to the larger Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and a remarkable collection of DC-8. Kingman used to be a junkyard and over the years nearly 5,500 planes have been scrapped. If they saved planes here during World War II, they would take out all the useful parts and then melt the metal down. The furnace operates 24 hours a day and you could fly 35 planes in this 24 hour period. At that time, Kingman recovered over $ 7.5 million of aluminum, steel, and other materials.
4. Mojave Desert Boneyard
The Mojave Desert Airplane Cemetery is near the Mojave Spaceport and is home to some massive aircraft. He has been building his collection since the 1970s. While many of the larger aircraft boneyards are reserved for military aircraft, the Mojave plant has 1,000 on-site airliners mixed with a handful of military aircraft.
Here you will find a collection of turboprops and T-Tails as well as the much more massive 747s and DC-10s. Unfortunately, this is another place where you won't take guided tours of the facility. However, they will at least let you know where to go to get the best view of the available places from a distance. Why are you not allowed in here? Well, the Mojave Air and Spaceport is still used by over 60 different companies that have a legitimate interest in the aviation industry, including Virgin Galactic, ASB Avionics, Orbital ATK and the National Test Pilot School. It is even the first facility in the United States to be designed for the horizontal launch of reusable spacecraft.
The Boneyard has Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, Airbus, and other aircraft, as well as defunct aircraft, including Pan Am, Northwest, and TWA.
3. Central Air Force Museum Russia
In 2015 we got a glimpse of the Central Air Force Museum in Russia thanks to a flyby with a drone. The footage showed a substantial collection of defunct Soviet-era aircraft, all neatly lined up and in very impressive condition. There are over 170 aircraft in the museum as well as over 120 engines that you can check during a visit.
Since it is a museum, it is open to the public, although this is a relatively young thing. It was completely closed before 2001, when test planes were actually on site, and special permits were required from 2001 to 2006. The website has been accessible to everyone since 2006. The aircraft in the museum describe the entire history of aviation in Russia up to 1909.
2. Manas International Airport
There are some relics of the Soviet Air Force in the cemetery of Manas International Airport in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a good 60 planes were transported to the cemetery, including propeller planes and helicopters. Unfortunately, this is not a place you can actually visit either because of the nature of the Soviet mysticism or just because the administrators of Manas Airport are not particularly strong in tourism.
If you happen to fly into Manas Airport or have it as a stopover on your way somewhere else, there's always a chance that you'll grab a taxi and drive past the cemetery, but it's not a place you can visit.
1. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Drive to Tucson, Arizona to a place called Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and discover the most massive airplane boneyard on Earth. There are over 4,000 military aircraft and even ballistic missiles that are parked here in the desert and only bake in the arid Arizona sun, waiting for something to happen.
For decades, the US military has been consolidating its old, unneeded aircraft on the Davis-Monthan Boneyard. There is technology that goes back to World War II and is parked on the soft alkali sand. By 1946, over 600 B-29 Superfortress were parked in this cemetery. And if you're the type of person who likes to check this out, they're kind enough to give you a guided tour if you want to take the time to drive around 18 km from Tucson International Airport through the desert.
How did this become the focal point for thousands of aircraft? You can thank the annual rainfall of less than a foot and a relative humidity between 10 and 20%, which ensures that rust stays away for a very long time.
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