Davis-Monthan Airforce Base

imageMicrosoft Bing has produced a stunning high Resolution three Dimensional Interactive Map of the largest “plane graveyard” in the world – the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, five miles South-South East of Tucson, Arizona. Commonly known as The Boneyard. The map uses satellite imagery to Allow users to explore the area in amazing three dimensional detail and see the planes from the side or from an aerial vantage point or to zoom in and take a closer look at the aircraft.

The Davis-Monthan Airforce Base covers almost 2,600 acres (10.5 sq km) of desert and is home to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) who were established in 1946 to store planes after the end of the Second World War, and now take care of more than 4400 disused warplanes and fighter jets, worth $35billion (£22billion). These include everything from enormous cargo planes, B52 Stratofortress bombers dating back to the Cold War and Vietnam, C-130 Hercules freighters, A10 Thunderbolts and F-14 Tomcats all stored in meticulous rows.

Each of the storage yards performs a variety of functions, some store aircraft that are between deployments and expected to return to the fleet. These are wrapped up almost ready to go, being kept as close to working order as possible in case they are needed in a new mission. When they arrive, they are washed, their fuel tanks drained and cleaned, ammunition and ejector seats removed and ducts sealed before they are covered back up.The first retired B-52 was recently brought back to life in The Boneyard and returned to duty after being upgraded. This particular 53-year-old Stratofortress was nicknamed the “Ghost Rider” and had been in storage at the desert since 2008.

Elsewhere retired Aircraft carcasses are dismantled and useable parts are salvaged by workers including the Engines, munitions, wiring and electronics which are all inspected, overhauled, and then held until needed by active aircraft in order to lower the cost of maintaining the current-day fleet or they are sent out to air bases across the world as spares. The Boneyard has also been the backdrop for many films, television series and music videos, including Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

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