Friday, October 3, 2014

Parking Up With Alice

To paraphrase Pete Seeger: "Where do all the old planes go, long time passin'..."
They either fall out of the sky due to crap maintenance; are cut up for scrap; rot in a far corner of an airport somewhere... or are stored in an aircraft boneyard. These so-called boneyards are mainly in the SW US, where the dry desert conditions inhibit corrosion.
unwanted Top Guns, Tucson
The largest of these is a US Air Force aircraft and missile storage facility in Tucson, Arizona, which takes care of more than 4,400 military aircraft (at 1000 hectares, it's the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world). The nearby Pinal Airpark provides storage for civilian aircraft.
Now, Alice Springs in Australia has been selected to be the first aircraft "boneyard" outside the US. reports it'll take planes being decommissioned from service, which will be stripped of parts like engines, electronics and wiring to be re-cycled.
excesses in the sandpit, Mojave Desert
Dry climates are best for the storage and preservation of aircraft, so Alice Springs in the arid centre of Australia is ideally suited. It's big market will be the Asia-Pacific carriers, because of the proximity. Airlines will also be able to store aircraft as big as the A380 when not in use: the airport has a runway large enough to take big planes and plenty of room to expand.
Initially the site will cover 110 hectares. Work on a taxiway begins later this year with the first planes expected to arrive early next year.
Wonder if there's a similar type of facility for past-best-date air stewardesses...?

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