Skip to comments.The World's Most Bizarre Aircraft Graveyards (many photographs)
Posted on 06/11/2013 8:49:40 AM PDT by EveningStar
Where do aircraft go to rust away after death? Often, their final resting places are more emotionally evocative than human cemeteries.
(Excerpt) Read more at io9.com ...
Please ping me to aviation and aerospace articles. Thank you.
The only intact Lunar Excursion Module is from Apollo 13. Somewhere orbiting the Sun.
And to think that everyone of those airplanes flew in to get to the graveyard.
That’s a pretty cool site. They have a bunch of photos of ships, subs, etc. Some of the ships are shown in the desert of what was a former sea port city with lots of rusting ships, abandoned since the 1980s due to the recession of the Aral Sea, which is now at least 95 miles (150 km) away from the former harbor.
Just guessin’ but, the fishin’ probably sucks.
What would compel someone to simply abandon a multi-million dollar aircraft? Surely they can be repaired or refurbished or parted out, something more useful than simply sitting in the desert falling to pieces.
How about the old adage "cut your losses"?
It may be more profitable to write off the asset to depreciation than spend the bucks to maintain or retrofit. It is always about the money. Still sad to see these once great machines decaying.
My thought was to send Gore and the other global warming idiots there to measure how fast the ocean is rising.
I assume some are kept for parts for like planes still in service, but wondering why they don’t recycle the metal in the rest?
Love the annotations that go with the first picture... "And don't call me Shirley."
Sounds like a swell idea. Make sure they take their sun screen and light weight clothes since it’s so warm there now. Balmy days with light southern breezes lounging under palm trees sipping mai-tais. Ah, the good life.
LOL! Wrong topic.
I visited Victorville and walked around two years ago and have driving around the boneyard at DM in Tucson unsupervised a number of years ago. There’s a very established procedure where the oldest are always being scraped for unique but servicable part and the rest smelted into aluminum ingots. As new airplanes come off the assembly line the older ones still in service are considered for “mothballs”. The plan is that if a crisis ever comes many of the military craft can be returned to service after some level of refurbishment. Of course based upon the current political environment there would be few pilots properly trained to fly them. Especially since some bases have all of their fighters parked and pilots out doing community service.
Both stages of Aquarius reentered the atmosphere on 17 April 1970 over Fiji and burned up.
I often wonder how that happens.
Can’t the metal, aluminum be melted down, recycled and reused for something? Razor blades, even?
“What would compel someone to simply abandon a multi-million dollar aircraft? Surely they can be repaired or refurbished or parted out, something more useful than simply sitting in the desert falling to pieces.”
Many aircraft at DMAFB in Tucson are stored in a way that they could be ready to fly in 72 hours. They do part some of them out if needed but most are just waiting.
Yes to recycled and reused, no to razor blades. Aluminum is too soft and will not hold an edge.
PS You're not an engineer are you? Just a guess...
Thanks for this. I’ve been to some of these boneyards and it always saddens me.
The razor blades thing was sarcasm. As in when they decommission navy vessels, they turn it into razor blades.
I assume they must be guarded?
Otherwise the illegals would be stealing the aluminum and copper at a ferocious clip.
When I was stationed there in the mid 90s, there were guards, sensors, and razor wire fences. If the engines are still on the plane, they are sealed up like the doors and windows. It will take a lot of effort to steal anything out there and not get caught.
I was at DM 3-1/2 years ago. It saddened me to see them turn F-4 Phantoms into drones to be shot down, but it is better going down in flames then to slowly rot. My Dad worked on the F-4H on to the end here at ST. Louis.
F-4 Phantom II worlds largest distributor of MIG parts.
when a metal is cast, and rolled into a structural shape, the thickness of the material and the stress placed upon it, create fatigue..
when a structural shape has been around long enough, and exposed to enough stress, it becomes basically useless..
if you start to replace certain structural shapes, then you also have to analize the shapes it attaches to...
then they have to be replaced..
cheaper to build a new machine at that point..
but, the metal can be melted down and rolled into new shapes with brand new stress levels..
That’s part of the reason they’re there. Low moisture, no rust. They can be used for parts, and a significant percentage of AMARC are flyable with relatively little work, used to be labeled the 3rd largest air force in the world. We call them graveyards, but they’re really long term storage. It’s even hidden in the name on some of them: Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Center. Nothing graveyard in that.
Didn’t we learn anything from Pearl Harbor about how to park planes?
Air-Hours and metal fatigue, pal. Don't worry, they get +30,000 hrs out of most Commercials - not so much for Militarys. I've been to Davis-Montham and it's HUGE, and informative, but I dig it 'cause I'm a pilot.
Hey Red, check it out! .......................................................................................................... FRegards
They do, electronics and other expensive parts are stripped out. Then the wings and fuselage are chopped using a large steel wedge off of a crane or excavator. All of the parts are sorted and inspected for serviceability.
Thanks to all who enlightened me. I could spend a week spooking around places like those.
You're referring to strategic bombers, of course. I rather doubt that the Russians would be interested in counting tactical air frames, since that kind of analysis wouldn't tell them very much.
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