Abandoned Aircraft Graveyard of Davis Monthan Air Force Base

The military aircraft boneyard of the Air Force Material Command’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group is on Coolidge Street, at the Davis Monthan Air Force Base, in the city of Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.

Parked and out of use for various reasons are over 4,400 aircraft facing various stages of decay, dismantling, salvaging and disposal. The Boneyard is noted as the biggest aircraft storage and preservation around the globe and is the sole repository for out of service aircraft for all of the United States branches of government.

Initially beginning in 1946 for the housing of extra Department of Defense and Coast Guard aircraft, including the Boeing B-29 Superfortress (a 4 engine propeller driven heavy bomber) and the Douglas C-47 Skytrain (a military transport aircraft). The hard ground allowed for ease of movement of the aircraft without having to put down concrete, the low humidity, light rainfall and high altitude (causes for less rust and corrosion) were all factors in the choosing of Davis Monthan Air Force Base as the future aircraft cemetery.

The graveyard allows for parts reclamation, excess for the Department of Defense (in which the aircraft are sold off in whole or parts), Flying Hold and Long Term which keep the aircraft intact and ready for future use, sooner or later. Aircraft that go into the graveyard have all the guns, classified hardware and ejection seats removed. The fuel is drained so as not to allow for settling and damage. Many of the planes are either turned into remotely controlled drones, rebuilt into utility, transport or civilian cargo planes or recycled and sold to foreign governments.

Access to the aircraft boneyard is off limits to all but cleared access individuals. Fortunately, there is a tour offered by Pima Air & Space Museum which does allow for guided visits.

This military graveyard has been used as a filming location in several movies such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Can’t Buy Me Love, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Baraka and more. It was seen in the television show The Great Escape and was also used in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers ‘Learning To Fly‘ music video.

Where are the abandoned planes of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis Monthan Air Force Base located? You can find it with these coordinates. 32.169185,-110.854685

All images used and licensed under CC BY NC 2.0. All images by SearchNetMedia / Flickr.

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