Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Davis Monthan Bone Yard

Yesterday we took the bus tour around the Boneyard (aka 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, or AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base It's huge. This is the only one in the US. This location in Arizona was chosen because of the weather, it's very dry here, and because of the dirt. The dirt here is hard, much of it is caliche, which is Arizonan for "needs a jack hammer to dig a hole." The advantage is they didn't have to pave the facility, which is just huge.

This is a Navy E 3 C Hawkeye, its mission was to provide early warning of aircraft approaching a carrier battle group. Notice the big radome.

Planes, lots and lots of planes, the ones in the foreground are C-130's, those in the background are Lockheed P-3's, they were used to hunt Russian submarines during the Cold War. There will be many more P-3's here once the Boeing Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft goes into service in the coming years.

This is a Boeing 707-320. It came in from Special Operations. Apparently it is still cloaked in secrecy, as the tour guide knew very little about it.

A B52-G. Only the H's are still flying.

There is a bridge between the two sections of the bone yard. One side consists of planes that could fly again, the other side won't ever fly. Many are being used to provide parts for aircraft that are still active, and many will just be destroyed. These are McDonnell-Douglas (oops-Boeing!!) F-4 Phantoms, many F-4's are being converted into target drones, but these are on the "wrong side of the bridge" and will soon be destroyed.

Although it's good to beat swords into plowshares, it's kind of sad to see all of the airplane corpses; of course it's not possible to save them all, but it is hard to see once beautiful and powerful airplanes waiting for their inevitable destruction.

Today's post was largely written by my beloved (Jim) and I thank him, since he's the airplane guy and I'm not.

Happy New Year!

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