Where do America’s aircraft go after they’ve flown their last mission? Since the end of WWII, the answer to that questions has been Arizona.
Thousands of out-of-service aircraft are flown to the Tucson desert in Arizona to be stored or dismantled for scrap at the US government’s aircraft storage yard.
The site is approximately 2,600 acres and has been nicknamed the Boneyard. The aerial view of the site is something to behold and online map Bing has created an interactive map that can zoom in to give close-up views of the aircraft stored there.
The site acts as a storage facility for planes that are not being used temporarily, but it also houses aircraft which are retired, decommissioned or can be dismantled for scrap.
There are more than 4000 aircraft currently located at the site.
The hot, dry desert is the perfect location to keep aircraft out in the open, since there is very little rain and low humidity, ensuring that the steel structures hardly get any rust at all. The dry soil also makes it easier to manoeuvre the planes without the need for concrete runways to be built.
Once the planes reach their final resting place, their electrics, engines and weaponry are all removed to be used as parts or to be sold on, which also helps to support the cost of maintaining the facility.
Official records show that the parts can fetch more than $550-million in one year alone.
There are huge cargo planes and freight planes, as well as fighter jets, on the site.