Strategically Located just outside the gates of Davis-Monthan Air Force
base in Tucson Arizona are a series of Airplane salvage yards. These salvage
yards are here to feed off of the steady flow of demilitarized airplanes auctioned
off by the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) located at
D-M AFB. AMARC is responsible for the storage and out-processing of excess
Department of Defense and Coast Guard aircraft. Anything the government sells,
which could cause potential injuries or be used by a hostile government is
demilled before it leaves the base. Demilling which stands for de-militarize
can include chopping wings off, or cutting the fuselage or rendering useless
electronic panels and ejection seats. Because of this Demilling process, most
aircraft are rendered useless as flying objects and are destined to become
exhibit pieces, broken down for spare parts, or melted down for scrap metal.
Tucson's dry climate and alkali soil has made it an ideal location for storing aircraft, a role it has held since it was selected after WWII as a storage site for hundreds of decommissioned B-29s and C-47. This legecy continues today, as the city boasts the most airplane salvage yards of any city in the world. This photographic survey documents several of the salvage yards surrounding Davis Monthan AFB.
for more information on touring AMARC at Davis Monthan AFB see the Pima Aerospace Museum