03 July 2008

Boneyard part dose

Ok, this is the real "Boneyard", or 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan AFB. I have wanted to come here for years, inspired by powerfull images of rows and rows of B52 bombers and other warplanes, a symbol of the great war with Russian that never came. Most of the B52s are now gone, but the place stills conveys a sense of power. The base was created in 1946 and since then has been used to store excess aircraft for future use or spare parts. It currently holds over 4,000 aircraft with an estimated total value of several billion dollars. Due to money from selling planes for scrap, it is also one of the few government agencies that makes more money than it needs to run. Starting above, we see a row of F16 Fighting Falcons in storage. Most of these are former air guard units, as can be seen by the logos on that tails for Arizona, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and others. These are kept in better condition as most will be probably be reactivated or sold to other countries.
The tour bus goes through "museum row", a lineup of enough aircraft to make an entire separate museum, though only a few are shown here. Above is an S3 Viking and an A4 Skyhawk used as a Red Rogue fighter for training at the US Navy Fighter Weapons School.
The McDOnnell Douglas YC15, the competitor to the YC14 (last post) to replace the C130. While neither one went into production, the basic design of the YC15 is readily apparent in the modern C17 Globemaster.
The EC24, a DC8 modified for electronic warfare and testing.
Several rows of T37 Tweet trainers
hundreds of F4 Phantom fighters
S3 Vikings
A7 Corsairs and T2 Buckeyes
This is the area where all aircraft arriving or leaving pass through. Protective covering is applied here if they are going into storage, and it is removed and all systems checked if they are leaving.
Rows of F14 Tomcats with C5 Galaxies behind them
F111 Aardvarks, now retired from the US, kept mostly for spare parts for the Australian Air Force, which still flies the type.
Several C141s, also recently retired from the Air Force.
This is the ultimate fate of those iconic rows of B52s. Due to the Strategic Nuclear Arms Reduction Treatys, the old B52s are chopped up into several large pieces and left for a specified number of days to allow Russian sattelites to verify their destruction.
A group of F18 Hornets, and in the background the next B52s that will become victims of the START treaty.
Here is the closest thing to the old rows of B52s. A rather small cluster of more modern B1 Lancer bombers, too valuable to cut up, kept for spare parts to keep the others operational.
This grouping of planes is destined for various museums, and are awaiting pickup.

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