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Aircraft Graveyards, Junkyards, Bone Yards & Cemeteries, Mothballed Military Planes Soviet & American Airplane

Updated on January 10, 2014

Soviet & American Aircraft / Plane Boneyards and Mothballed Airplanes & Images.

Billions of dollars are spent every year mothballing military aircraft that have never even seen action. Fleets of mighty war aircraft have been sent to the airplane cemetery days after rolling off the production line, simply because by the time the aircraft have been manufactured, they have already been superseded by the latest technology.

After the cold war ended between American and Russian forces, there was a world glut of used war machinery for sale. Aircraft of all descriptions hit the black market where smaller countries with high ambitions would purchase them.

Many airplanes were simple left to rot on desolated airstrips around the globe, their vital parts and technologically advanced computers ripped from them. Deemed to expensive to salvage for scrap metal, their hulks have littered isolated picturesque country-side retreats for decades.

1945 Mothballed Aircraft B-29 Superfortress's
1945 Mothballed Aircraft B-29 Superfortress's

World War II Airplane Graveyards

After the end of the second world war, tens of thousands of military aircraft were no longer required, even though hundreds were still rolling off of production lines across the states every month.

Masses of B-52 Bombers, Mustangs and Corsairs were ultimately sent to aircraft graveyards across the USA and mothballed. New prototypes manufactured were sent to graveyards without even being tested, having been outdated as technological advances in weaponry and design were rapid.

This photo ( right ) shows P-38's, C-47's, B-25's, P-47's, A-20's and even the odd Japanese Zero in New Guinea. Almost every small airbase across the globe became redundant after the second world war finished. Many aircraft were flown back to their country of origin, but most were deemed useless as technology progressed and simple pushed off of the airbase into the scrub-land and left to rot, with their weapons removed.

Images Of World War Two Airplane Graveyards

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Japanese Aircraft BoneyardGerman Airplane CemetaryNew ZealandGuam Aircraft GraveyardLeased British Pacific Fleet BoneyardGerman Airplane GraveyardBritish Aircraft Graveyard
Japanese Aircraft Boneyard
Japanese Aircraft Boneyard
German Airplane Cemetary
German Airplane Cemetary
New Zealand
New Zealand
Guam Aircraft Graveyard
Guam Aircraft Graveyard
Leased British Pacific Fleet Boneyard
Leased British Pacific Fleet Boneyard
German Airplane Graveyard
German Airplane Graveyard
British Aircraft Graveyard
British Aircraft Graveyard
Soviet Air
Soviet Air

Modern Soviet Aeroplane Graveyards

Russian aircraft graveyards are spectacular. Many of their unused aircraft can been seen simply by stumbling upon a deserted airbase in their vast country. Hundreds of aircraft were mothballed after the cold war ended and many were simply stripped of their vital components and left to rot at the end of air bases, in hangers, or even on the runways.

There must be more than a trillion dollars worth of Russian aircraft sitting around their country doing nothing. These are the aircraft that the Soviet authority has 'lost', and has just written them off. Some they have no records for and consider them either scrapped or sold to other countries, and the rest of them are to expensive or isolated to move and have them scrapped.

Russian Aircraft Graveyards

Click thumbnail to view full-size



Video Of Montan Air Base

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscan, Arizona, is home to over 4,000 military aircraft. Many were sent there to be mothballed in case of being recalled for active duty.

Most aircraft will never fly again, but will end up being razor blades or tin cans.

Exciting guided tours are available which ensure a fantastic day marvelling in awe at some of the worlds best known modern jet fighters. Please see the video on the right to sample a virtual tour on the Monthan aircraft cemetery.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Free Link To: Underwater Aircraft, Tank, and Battleship Graveyards.

View amazing images of sunken World War Two treasures.

Whole cargo ships of Japanese tanks on the sea bed. D-Day Sherman tanks finding a watery grave. German Focke-Wulf almost intact on the sea bed


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    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 

      24 months ago from Superior, Arizona

      I would argue it was hardly a waste of money. Unless you believe that the rest of the world is a bunch of peace-loving snowflakes, those aircraft saved our as__s a bunch of times.

      I grew up a few miles from Davis-Monthan airbase in Tucson, Arizona. I live a little farther north in Arizona now.

      I remember as a boy watching B-47s taking off and landing with their dark line of smoke behind them and the roar of the engines. I also remember the drone of the B-36 and loved to watch them high up in the sky. It was a SAC base in 1954. It is now a training school for other aircraft. But it always had the boneyard near it. You would not believe the number of F4s, F14s, cargo planes, etc. There are areas where aircraft gas tanks are stored, and another area where some aircraft are being cut up for recycle. When I look at all the hours of labor and money that went into the fleet of aircraft out there, it staggers my imagination. If operational, I bet that yard might be the 4th or 5th largest air force in the world! Interesting hub.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      3 years ago

      Great pictures and video. Note: The B-52 is not a WWII bomber as the article seems to imply. In the case of the B-52 what is more interesting than those in the "bone yard" but that so many of them are still flying over 50 years after they were constructed.

    • naeemebrahimjee profile image


      6 years ago from London

      Wow. Really interesting hub. I hope to be able to visit some of these plan graveyards one day.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 

      6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I mean this in a very positive way: you sure know how to write a depressing article. What a waste of human effort. Now if we could only figure out a way to take the initial raw material and make it straight into razor blades without having to build all this other stuff first!


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