The “Boneyard” located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside of Tucson, Arizona holds a staggering array of military aircraft from across the military’s modern history.
Some 4,400 aircraft dot the flat desert of Davis-Monthan, which has a constantly shifting inventory, making it the largest air base in the world if counted on that basis and the second-largest “air force” in the world. Tuscon is an ideal environment, with high-calcium alkaline soil as dry as concrete, no tornadoes, and only six inches of rain per year making long-term outside storage of aircraft large and small an easy concept.
Besides airframes for the military, the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) is also the caretaker of the federal government’s “other” outdated aircraft from NASA, Border Patrol and the Coast Guard among others.
AMARG is also a real aviation museum of sorts. They have the oldest “Buff” in existence a B-52A model– the third one off the line– on display as well as a rarely encountered B-36 Peacemaker. The Pima Air and Space Museum, right across the street, ends up with several of the more curious birds.
As for the rest, on a long enough timeline, they become processed for scrap once the models are no longer needed to support U.S. or allied forces.