Feb 27, 2017 Monday – 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), Tucson, Arizona, USA
2017 Southern Arizona & Astronomy
I drive to the Pima Air & Space Museum, arriving as they open, and buy a ticket for their AMARG “Bone yard” tour for US$7.00. Although there are several “Bone yard” tours running today, they fill up quickly. A full-sized tour bus pulls up to the front entrance and takes my 10AM group on a one hour tour along with a Docent describing all the aircraft, the history of the place, and the reason it exists. We drive through the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base base gates twice in the process, so we have to be careful to not take photos inside the base.
For security reasons, there is no opportunity to get off the bus, so my photos are mediocre, since I’m forced to take photos through the bus window. That said, the tour is very interesting, and it’s the only way for civilians to see this facility. Please note that all prospective participants on this tour must apply for security clearance in advance of showing up for the tour – booking info.
AMARG is massive – 2,600 acres or 11 square kilometres. Some 4,400 civilian and armed forces aircraft are stored here, making it the largest aircraft storage facility in the world. The ground in this area is so hard, it can support any aircraft without pavement. Since the air is so dry in this area, the aircraft don’t deteriorate rapidly once their windshields and sensitive parts are covered in a white plastic film. I learn that some previously-piloted aircraft are converted to drones to save money.