Monday, August 1, 2016

The Boneyards! - Day 7

As we arrive at the end of our first week of travels, we embark on a visit to the aircraft boneyards in Tucson, Arizona. Oliver has been looking forward to this visit for about two years now. This will be a very special visit for him. As you know from our day 6 post, we've picked up a new passenger. Mom will be with use through Reno, NV. We look forward to having her join our road Monopoly matches and our explorations along the way.

There are two boneyards that we are visiting, a military base and a commercial operation. To to see the military base facility, we need to take a tour bus bus form the Pima air museum so we'll get the bonus tour of the museum as part of the package. The commercial operation doesn't really do tours so we'll have to be satisfied with looking over the fence from the public roads.

We took the tram tour of the Pima Air Museum first. It was pretty warm out and the facility is quite large, 80 acres, so this was a good choice. Our tour guide was very knowledgable and thorough. This was a bonus for us as we were able to learn much about the aircraft that we wouldn't have learned otherwise. Oliver was most intrigued by the planes that had propellers that were placed in a row and spun in opposing directions. One of Oliver's favorite planes turned out to be the Bumblebee, one of the worlds smallest working aircraft that will carry a person.

After the tram tour, we took the bus tour of the military boneyard. There were over 4000 aircraft in various states. Some were in type 1000 storage. These were complete aircraft that could be made ready to fly with little effort. The other aircraft were there to supply parts as needed for other aircraft,  to be on display to prove to other nations that we've decommissioned them as part of a treaty, or to be crushed and have the metals recycled. I was most intrigued with the stealth fighter, it was very difficult to see from the bus but I am sure the technicians have a special way to view it. Oliver's favorite were the A10 aircraft of which he's an expert flyer in his flight simulator.

In the end we spent 5 hours at the Pima Air Museum and Boneyard tour. More than originally planned, but well worth it.

The commercial boneyard was on the other side of Tucson on our way to the Grand Canyon. While we couldn't go in, we were able to see a slew of 747s and others in various states of storage and disassembly. Oliver was a bit tired at this point but still interested in the various carriers and aircraft represented.


1 comment: