Postcard from... Tucson
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 31 July 2014
At 248ft long and with a wingspan almost as wide, a single C-5 Galaxy military cargo jet is a seriously big beast. Passing rows and rows of them, parked side by side, is like stumbling across a pod of blue whales on a fishing trip.
The Galaxies are just one of many impressive sights to be seen at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, an aircraft storage facility better known as “The Boneyard”.
With well over 4,000 aircraft, big and small, it is the largest such storage facility in the world. And while visitors are not permitted to wander around the planes at will, you can get a pretty good look at them on the bus tour put on by the neighbouring Pima Air and Space Museum.
Why Tucson? First, the warm, dry air discourages rust. Secondly, the planes can sit for years on the hard desert soil without needing concrete and the maintenance that comes with it. No surprise, then, that the world’s largest civilian plane boneyard, the Pinal Airpark, is also nearby.
The AMARG inventory features not just US Air Force planes, but also those from other services: the US Army, Navy, Coastguard, Forestry Service – even NASA. Some date back as far as the 1950s.
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...