Well, I did it again, I let Hector talk me into going to look at more airplanes. Last year, we spent an afternoon at the Pima Air and Space Museum, and Hector took lots of great photos. But we missed the Boneyard/AMARG Tour, a separate bus tour of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
The AMARG facility is managed by the U.S. Air Force Material Command. Most aircraft boneyards are used for storage of aircraft for reclamation of spare parts or eventual disposal.
The AMARG facility stores almost 5,000 aircraft and other types of military equipment. Some are kept fully flight ready, others are used for parts and lastly they get scrapped.
The parts operation is huge, shipping all these parts makes the AMARG is one of the largest users of plywood in Arizona!
The 1 ½ hour tour leaves from the Pima Air and Space Museum and takes you into into the secure Air Force facility which is frankly amazing. The dry and hard packed desert environment is perfect for keeping these planes in storage. Rows and rows of all kinds of military planes. Very impressive.
And of course, when we returned to the Pima Museum Hector wanted to do a quick walk-through. Last time we were here, we took a trolley car tour of the outdoor area, which has about 150 aircraft. Including some rare and historic specimens.
The advantage of the tours is that the (many, many) docents here are all extremely knowledgeable, and share many interesting facts. Almost all of them are ex-military gentlemen and very charming also.
This time we walked through the outdoor area, and I discovered that many of the planes have QR codes, so I had fun looking them all up. Even more informative than Hector’s running commentary. So, I must admit I did enjoy the visit.