This country's largest military aircraft storage center began in the heady days following the end of World War II. At first only a small desert site holding bombers and transports in reserve for possible future use, it later became more of a salvage and parts recovery operation, and in many cases, a final resting place known as "the boneyard". In the 1950s and 1960s, with new wars erupting in Korea and Vietnam, certain aircraft stored in this desert center were once again in demand, and this famed storage and salvage facility in Tucson, Arizona, answered the call. Numerous photographs taken both from the air and on the ground show the reader vistas of the 4,000 total airplanes stored at this site, while a detailed appendix gives a comprehensive listing of all the aircraft types currently at AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group). In many cases, the numbers are quite staggering and are sure to surprise the reader.
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Just hearing the word “boneyard” evokes vivid images of mortality’s wrath. For aircraft, however, arriving at this nation’s official military boneyard may not necessarily mean they’ve reached the end of the line. The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) located adjacent to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona, is the official repository for all of America’s military aircraft that attain the end of their useful life. Some go into long- or short-term storage while others serve as donors for valuable spare parts harvested for use in other, newer examples of the type. Some meet their inevitable end under the scrapper’s torch or guillotine. Whatever their purpose when arriving at AMARG, these aircraft are veritable time capsules representing what they looked like in their original operational state. Authors Nicholas A. Veronico and Ron Strong bring the AMARG story to life in this beautifully crafted and well-researched book, with historic archival images coupled with their own modern photographs. From the B-29 Enola Gay of World War II fame to modern jet fighters and bombers, the airplanes of AMARG are shown in vivid detail. You will see not only the step-by-step process of sealing and preserving aircraft in the arid heat of the Sonoran Desert, but appendices that show the entire inventory of all 4,288 airplanes currently at AMARG listed by aircraft type.About the Author:
Nicholas A. Veronico is a science and technology writer who works for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific at the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Science Center at NASA Ames. He is the author of more than two dozen books on military and aviation subjects, and served as the lead scriptwriter for Scrapping Aircraft Giants, a Discovery Channel documentary on commercial aircraft scrapping.
Ron Strong always had an interest in aircraft and photography. While serving in the Air Force, Strong worked on aircraft with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico and with a Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida. He later worked at the Alameda Naval Air Rework Facility in Flight Test. For the past 25 years, he has worked for NASA performing wind-tunnel testing on civilian aircraft. The last eight years at NASA have been spent working on the SOFIA program.
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