Sunday, March 09, 2014

Pima Air Museum & Boneyard

My favorite type of airplane: on the ground!

I may hate to fly, but I do love airplanes. So while we were in Arizona, we took a short side-trip to Tucson, home of the Pima Air & Space Museum and Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARG). The museum is great: 300 old airplanes and helicopters from the past 100 years of aviation history.

Vietnam War era helicopter—the famous Robert Duvall
beach scene from Apocalypse Now was on continuous
loop nearby—"Ride of the Valkyries," anyone?

Lockheed Electra—similar to the one Amelia Earhart
was flying when she disappeared

Various WWII aircraft

But it’s the some 4000 mothballed military planes, jets, etc., that really caught my imagination. Housed on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AMARG uses the planes to replace parts on active aircraft—saving the military about $400 million a year in replacement costs. Since the planes are on the base, access to the “boneyard” is via tour bus only, offered through the Pima museum. 

Bus tour through the boneyard

Tim was less enthused than I was about spending an entire morning looking at rusty old warplanes. He perked up considerably, though, when he noticed not one but three B-52 bombers parked in the back of the museum. Even we liberal anti-war pacifists were thrilled to see such magnificent aircraft.

Enormous B-52

NASA cargo plane

Another B-52

Three-fin tail of a TWA Constellation

We highly recommend visiting the museum, as well as the boneyard, the next time you’re in Tucson.

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