CAPTURED: The Great Aviation Graveyard
New aerial images show thousands of military planes neatly left to die or be cannibalized across Arizona desert.
Haunting aerial photographs from Arizona’s aircraft boneyard show thousands of defunct airplanes laid out in meticulous rows in what may be their final resting place along the desert floor.
German photographer Bernhard Lang captured the incredible sights at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309th AMARG) at an air force base in Tucson.
Row after row of aircraft at the end of their lives sit waiting to rust away or be cannibalized – or perhaps to fly again.
Each row is organized by model and size, including civilians airliners retired after demand for air travel plummeted because of the Covid pandemic.
Nearly 4,000 aircraft are housed on the Davis–Monthan Air Force Base across 2,600 acres, making it the largest storage and preservation facility in the world.
The military aircraft are either parked during temporary non-use or cannibalized and recycled. Usable components are removed and resold, raw materials are sorted and sent for recycling.
The boneyard, despite its name, also houses planes that might harbor some hope of flying again, a topic brought into focus by the war un Ukraine and the need to deliver arms to the country to help it resist the Russian invasion.
The dry and arid conditions around the base make it an ideal location for aircraft storage, as there is very little humidity to corrode the aircraft and the ground is so hard that even the most giant planes do not sink into the ground.
The Covid pandemic brought a lot of commercial aviation to a shuddering halt, meaning that the Arizona boneyard became temporary home to fleets of Boeing airliners run by America’s domestic airline companies while they were mothballed until travel restrictions eased earlier this year.
While certain retired aircraft – such as Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144 – will be sent to aviation museums to preserve them for posterity, the majority meet their fate at graveyards such as this one.
Courtesy: Daily Mail