Monday, March 12, 2012


Friday, March 9 – Today we visited the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) or commonly refereed to as the Aircraft Boneyard. This is the area where old military aircraft are stored here in the Tucson desert. The Military chose this location because of its dry environment, hard pack desert floor, and the presence of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The aircraft parked on these storage fields would make the Boneyard the third largest air force in the world. There are currently more than 3000 airplanes stored here. All the planes are Vietnam era or newer. Older aircraft are used as static displays, such as those at Air Bases, or are destroyed. Since 911, it has become very difficult for private citizens, states, or other public groups to obtain retired military aircraft.

There is an area where they are testing which materials are the best for covering stored aircraft.


Just about any military aircraft used since the Vietnam War can be found here. B-1 bombers, B-52 bombers, helicopters, F-16, F-14, huge military transport planes like the C5a Galaxy, jump jets as well as unique prototypes which never made it into service.



A3 Sky Warrior

Sky Hawk painted like Russian plane for training.

P2 Neptune

Some aircraft are stored for possible reuse, metal reclamation and others to be stripped for spare parts. You see aircraft in new condition wrapped in protective plastic, planes stripped for parts, and planes in the process of being cut-up and destroyed.


A10 Thunderbolt

Engines ready to be reused.engines

Planes being stripped for spare parts.



Paul enjoyed the hour bus tour but was a little disappointed in the tour over-all. He was looking forward to this experience for a long time and it just didn't live up to his expectations for some reason. It might have been because of post 911 security that required we remain on the tour bus at all times.

We chose not to tour the Pima Air & Space Museum today. We may come back, in a day or so, but we've been through several air museums.

Just down the road from these tours is the Saguaro National Park (East). There are two sections of the Park. Our campground is next to the Westside Park, and we toured it a couple days ago and have hiked there almost daily. The East park is very similar in appearance but may have a more dense population of cactus and desert flora. We drove the 8-mile loop stopping often to walk among the cactus.


Paul looks tiny next to this very old cactus.1-paul-and-cactus

Looking up that same cactus.

Javelina Rock in the background.4-us-in-front-of-javelina-r



It should be noted that one is not charged for visiting the Westside Park, but a $10 admission is charged for the East park, although with the Senior Pass it also was free. Both Parks are beautiful. We enjoyed driving and hiking in both areas.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!


  1. Memories of our trip to the area continue to be revived with your posts. I recall the tour at Davis Monthan vaguely, though ... most likely because it was bus-only with no interaction with the planes.

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  5. Darn Blogger and darn computer! Just wanted to say thank you for sharing an interesting tour! Can't tell with the poor, SLOW internet we have here whether things are going or not!

  6. We were so amazed to see the numbers of aircraft in the Boneyard. Look at all that money it took to build them. Some of it will be returned but very little of it.

    Love the desert pictures! It's just the right time of year to be there.

  7. We used to drive by that boneyard regularly when we used Kolb Road to go into town, but now we drive Houghton and don't see it anymore. Have thought about touring, but you've done it for us, thank you kindly! We have toured Saguaro NP East, and plan to do west "one of these days when we have some time!" Yeah, sure! Isn't our desert a treat!!!

  8. I think in this budget climate, we should think about scrap metal value:)

  9. The Boneyard looks like an interesting spot-alot of history there.

  10. We obviously missed A LOT during our one week visit several years ago. We'll be using your blog as a reference when we return.

  11. Looks like a lot tax money sitting out there..

  12. Well, you're getting a good taste of Tucson. My favorite thing in Tucson is definitely the Desert Museum, especially when they have a nice art exhibit on too. John and I are just beginning to imagine that we could winter in Tucson in our house there at some future time when we are able to parttime in Canada and the U.S. alternately. You brought back warm feelings of our old hometown. Thank you.

  13. I am always amazed at the size of the saguaros. Great pictures. Thanks for the tour of the boneyard - now I can probably skip that one lol!!

  14. thats alot of aircraft in the boneyard...thanks for the tour...great pictures..and how nice that you met Laurie and Odel!!!

  15. Do you know where are Russian bombers boneyard in Russia?


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