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Report (Permission Visit) - Pima Air & Space Museum... and the "Boneyard" (21 October 2014), Tucson, AZ, USA | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report (Permission Visit) Pima Air & Space Museum... and the "Boneyard" (21 October 2014), Tucson, AZ, USA



747_kirki

Death Valley is Mine
28DL Full Member
#1
Urbexers love stumbling upon old planes parked up and being left to decay. Well, in Arizona, when they park them up, they don't decay as the climate is so dry. As a result, they park LOTS of them up. What's more, they then go and open up a museum so you can check-out 300 of them any time you like. No ropes around them, no health & safety cones stopping you inspecting that undercarriage in detail. You can check these birds out from any angle you please...

And right next door is a live USAF base (Davis-Monthan), with fighter planes taking off at regular intervals (just to keep you amused). And a little drive down the road is the USAF's infamous "boneyard" - home to more than 4,000 military aircraft either being stored in case they are needed in the future, being prep'd for later sale to other governments, or being harvested for spares. You can literally see line upon line of heavy bombers, heavy lifters, people-carriers and fighters all in "storage". All protected by a healthy stock or native rattlesnakes, waiting to snare unwary walkers!

I'm not claiming this to be some out-of-hours urbex visit. It wasn't. But given its off the beaten track for most people, I'm posting out of interest. If you like planes... enjoy.

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And here are the shots from the USAF Boneyard...

An aircraft going into storage undergoes the following treatments:

  • All guns, ejection seat charges, and classified hardware are removed.
  • The fuel system is protected by draining it, refilling it with lightweight oil, and then draining it again. This leaves a protective oil film.
  • The aircraft is sealed from dust, sunlight, and high temperatures. This is done using a variety of materials, ranging from a high tech vinyl plastic compound, called spraylat after its producer the Spraylat Corporation, of an opaque white color sprayed on the aircraft, similar to garbage bags. The plane is then towed by a tug to its designated "storage" position.

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747_kirki

Death Valley is Mine
28DL Full Member
#8
Also heard about the "boneyard" and would be great to visit one day. Nice report :thumb
Sorry, everything parked up outside is not just locked up, but sealed too, to prevent any dust or moisture getting in. It's a pretty good job they do of it too, hence the planes stay in such good condition - not just outside, but no doubt inside too. The atmosphere makes things like a time storage capsule.

There were some "open" planes to view in the hangars, but I was more interested in what was parked up out back.

About 50 miles up the road is a place called Pinal Air Park, in the middle of nowhere. We saw it from the Interstate and there must have been upwards of 70-100 airliners (old 737s, 747s etc) all parked up - decals taken off, but still recognisable from their colours. I've driven up there in years gone by, but very good security. You'd have to wonder through several fields of brush from the nearest roadside to get near, and then deal with airport style security fencing, and with the rattlesnakes native to these parts, I don't fancy doing that! But plug it into Google Maps and check out the satellite views.

Didn't see any BA birds around - I think their old 747s all head to somewhere in California for storage.