Where airplanes go to die

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23 Responses to “Where airplanes go to die”

  1. deviceofmind says:

    I think DeLillo’s “Underworld” has a great scene about this place, or one like it in the Southwest – one of many great scenes in his book.  Wonder if it’s this place, or another like it.

  2. jkonrath says:

    Throw “kolb and irvington, tuscon, az” into google maps and see this massive airplane graveyard in all its glory.

  3. Toffer99 says:

    The Pima Museum next door is where you can catch a tour bus which takes you all over the Boneyard site which is massive. Both are well worth a visit. But the operators don’t call it the Boneyard -that would be too familiar and disrespectful.  Instead they call it something like The Facility for Careful Dismantling and Storage of Really Nice Old Aircraft.

  4. nixiebunny says:

    It’s just part of the landscape here in Tucson, although I do take delight in flying over it when I get the chance. It’s a bit hard to see from the streets.  Nicely complements the nearby automobile graveyards.

    Some of the aircraft are sealed against the weather with that white plastic film, left in a state of suspended animation so that they may be returned to service if needed. They are parked in neat rows. There are others that are dismantled as needed to keep their brethren flying.

    The Google map pictures are rather awe-inspiring.

  5. Aaron Hathaway says:

    NAON (nearly apropos of nothing), it continues to perplex me that my grandfather flew bodies home in three different wars (in C-130s during Vietnam), but remained warhawkish to his death. Impressive planes though. Their scale is cartoonish.

  6. alfanovember says:

    A B-2 did a flyover above San Francisco last year.  Not just a level once-over, but a couple of nice banking laps of the bay.

    Now, I dig warplanes, but damn – that plane looks like a big, fat blood-filled tick in the sky.

  7. dmswart says:

    I believe this is the Airplane graveyard featured in Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)

  8. Doubleutf says:

    This is great info. I need to stop by and pick up a part for my B-52…

    • nixiebunny says:

      My father in law, who flew B-52s in Vietnam, picked up a B-52 steering wheel there. It hangs in his workshop to this day.

      He also flew one of the B-52s that’s parked at the Pima Air Museum.

      • Doubleutf says:

        Awesome story! My B-52 is taking up my entire garage! I have got to get it up and running. Just kidding, it awesome that he has that…

  9. Doc Aay says:

    I actually tracked down this graveyard to check out after reading DeLillo’s “Underworld”.  I think there is a facility close to Los Angeles that is very much like the one at Tucson, so I am not sure which is the model.   Very cool place, and you were lucky to be there during a rainstorm.  It can get so brutally hot on that unshaded pavement.  An additional eye-opener were the AirForce Ones as collected. 

    • Jessica Hanebutt says:

      Yes, there is a smaller scale “boneyard” in Mojave CA at the airport, which is near Edwards AFB. Mojave is also the location of many progressive aerospace startups, as well as Scaled Composites and the Mojave SpacePort. Grab a bite to eat at the aiport cafe, where you just might run into Burt Rutan while watching planes land 100m from your table. It’s a fun day trip for any plane-loving Los Angelenos, only about a 1.5-2 hour drive from N. Hollywood.

  10. Gilbert Wham says:

    Man, I love scrapyards…

  11. obbop says:

    Finding parts for my Iowa-class battleship is tough.

    But real men groove on warships. Wimps want wings like puny little tweety birds.

  12. interesteristing says:

    Hope to go to see this scrapyard one day

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