Chosen for its arid climate that slows degradation of the planes, the base is home to a huge variety of retired birds. Many are nuclear-capable, retired as a result of arms reduction treaties throughout the years. Lots of B-52s, B-1s and F-111s that once carried nuclear arms.
Then there are the relatively recent internments: plenty of F-14 Tomcats, which were retired for good in 2006. Other current planes spotted include F-15s, F-16s, C-130s, KC-135 refueling tankers, A-10s.
And what have we here? F-4 Phantoms from Vietnam? Maybe even some Century Series jets from the '50s and '60s, if my childhood memorization of aircraft silhouettes hasn't yet failed me? I could play this game all day.
And while I don't think artists are allowed to decorate the grounded jets with psychedelic paint jobs like in DeLillo's Underworld, the Boneyard is in fact open to the public. The nearby Pima Air and Space Museum runs daily tours. Where, if you're lucky, you can see this:
Amazingly, even the full-resolution pic from the BBC tells only a bit of the story. Zoom out in the Google Map below and prepare to pick your jaw off of the floor; those aren't houses to the northwest, they're MORE PLANES. And let us know if you spot anything interesting in the comments.
I did not spot anything of interest except for my boyhood house and the airplane junk yard my friends and i used to sneak into. my dad worked on the air base back in the 80s and 90s and he had access to the bone yard and would get permission to take me through the boneyard becouse he new I loved planes.
@deepblue INSANELY JEALOUS!
It'd be pretty cool to take parts from the planes and create working planes and auction them off, possibly to the public?
all i can say is damn, i need to get myself a passport and visit that place, pronto, lol, cause that's jsut awesome
Imagine all those global disasters where it takes ages to get aid to people, in distress.
Then, imagine a sort of Air Force made up of planes from "the boneyard" dropping or delivering field hospitals, water filtration systems and rescue teams.
Just a thought!
Its cool to see one of the neat things about Tucson (well technically just outside of it I guess) featured here. They also filmed the airplane graveyard scenes from the latest transformers here. If anyone plans to visit, do make sure to take a tour of the air/space museum just south of the graveyard.
I have never seen so many discontinued airplanes.
For an even better view of these planes, try the Bird's Eye view on Bing Maps. Really cool.
What a sense of sorrow I feel presented the sky sentinels of my youth. As small boy I found solace in the faith that these guardian angels were our safeguard against the red enemy (how times change). I used to watch them roar over navy housing hour after hour, day and night. E-2s, F-18s, EA-6s, F-4s, and especially those magnificent F-14s! I believed in them.
I remember with melancholy our towns made almost entirely of women and children stoically awaiting the end of 8, 10, even 12 month tours of duty. How strangely bitter to see these bones.
My first thought: That image would make a really good fabric print.
It looks like they're breaking apart the planes to recycle/re purpose which is good.
What a shame that many of these aircraft are not being flown today at least in shows. Looking at the pictures there are some really cool planes there. Now I really want to go there!
I spotted this cruising around google maps about a year ago. I was amazed, and surprised to see this large of a boneyard. No recycling? At least it is open to the public. I will definitely visit if I am ever in the area
Anyone else find the HI MOM written in the dirt? I'll Give you a clue, head to the top of the boneyard.
Looks like some OV-10 Broncos, and some C-119 Flying Boxcars
Where or where did our deficit come from? Lets see, at an average of $60 million per plane in today's dollars that comes to $300 billion just in hardware, thrown on the garbage heap.
I would like to have a large jigsaw puzzle of the boneyard. Say, 5000 pieces.
Curious - the last 2 planes to the far NW just South of the golf course sitting by themselves next to the grass, anyone know what they are?
Scroll a bit south and it looks like there are underground bunkers, covered in dirt. Where they land the planes?
Nevermind I found the airfield. Its to the west.
I visited the museum only once, which was before the C-141 was moth-balled. The video appears to be a C-141 being demolished. I miss the Starlifter. I spent over 3,300 hours on those jets, and I will always cherish those days! If you ever get the chance to visit do it!
NW QUADRANT. BASED ON DELTA CONFIGURATION POSSIBLY A B-58 HUSTLER OR A F-102. THAT IS AS FAR BACK AS I GO.
The google maps are cool and all, but if you really want to see it come to life, check it out with Bing's map. The satellite view is nice, but once you're zoomed in, select the Bird's Eye view. Then you see it like you were flying right overhead! The Bing Bird's Eye is really amazing. Move west to the museum and you can see a nice variety of planes.
Unknown deltas south of the golf course look like old Lockheed D-21 drones to me.
1200m southeast of Runway 30 Markings Grumman E2C Hawkeyes and First generation AEW E1 Tracers.
Sensible and smart idea, that doesn't start with "imagine/what if". Why not recycle materials to hop save the country money so taxes can at least not go up for a while. I don't know much bout planes but I guess the stuff there made of is worth a small fortune.
This reminds me the Hyundai SUV "Tucson", which I guess must have been built with some spare parts from here.
Good eye! That would be my guess too. Would be a shame if those don't end up in a museum or something.