The Boneyard: Where Planes from the Vietnam War went to Die.
Above Photo: End of the line. The 2,600 acre ‘Boneyard” site is home to 4,200 aircraft, of which 80 per cent are used as spare parts for the current U.S Air Force fleet.
I recently read an article about a 2,600-acre patch of U.S. desert where several generations of military aircraft are stored in what has been dubbed ‘The Boneyard’. Officially known as the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, $35billion worth of outdated planes are kept there as spare parts for current models.
The facility is the size of 1,300 football pitches, and some planes are merely stored at the base between deployments, but for more than 80 per cent of the 4,200 aircraft onsite, it’s a cemetery, operating as a useful resource for 350,000 plane parts which can be used when needed.
The base is home to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group which carries out repairs to the craft and even gets some of them flying again. Engines, munitions, wiring and electronics are all recycled to help lower the cost of maintaining the current-day fleet.
The U.S. government even allows other countries to buy parts and even planes from the site.
The desert is a perfect place to store the mass of steel, because low humidity and rainfall means very little rust occurs. In addition, the hard soil means they can be parked up without the need for building concrete ramps.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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