Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22 Tucson - AMARC "Boneyard"

My adventure for today was visiting the Pima Air and Space Museum.  It says it is the third largest air museum in the U.S., with only the Smithsonian and the Air Force Museum in Dayton being bigger and having more planes.  Check it out at

An optional tour from the museum is the AMARC "Boneyard," which is where the U.S. military stores its old planes and tears them apart for parts and scrap.  It is hard to express in photos how many planes they actually have, but if you drive through Tucson and see acres and acres of old planes, that is the place.  Here is the website for more information:   

We were taken through in buses and were not allowed to get out or open windows, so some of the following photos are not the best, but you can get an idea of the planes stored.

Note that you didn't see any really old planes in these photos.  That is because it is not a museum, so only planes waiting demolition or to be used for parts are stored here.  They do offer planes to other air museums, but the government does not pay for these to be shipped, so whoever wants them has to come and get them.

An interesting thing is that they also store factory toolings in case it is ever needed:

And here are some planes that are being disassembled:

Here are a sampling of the photos I took of the 300 historical planes stored outside at the Pima museum.  I think they have one of everything ever made!

And some of the planes inside the hangers:

This last plane, fell off an aircraft carrier during training in Lake Michigan in 1945 and spent 50 years underwater!  It looks a bit worse for wear.


  1. fit an aircraft carrier through the Soo?
    best way to explain the boneyard is you're in the middle of an ocean and cannot see the edge of the boneyard, horizon to horizon to horizon.

  2. Not sure but that is what the sign said. Carriers were a lot smaller in WWII than they are now. Took a photo of sign and checked it just now. Said it was USS Wolverine. Here are some articles:

    Said it was built in Detroit as a steamship and converted to a training carrier. Stranger things happened during that war. The ship that I went to Europe on in 1960 had been a cargo ship converted to a baby flattop! Then reconverted to an emigrant ship for passengers after the war.