MASDC, AMARC, AMARG, Some Snapshots in Time, Trainers and Transports


Towards the end of the U.S. Armed Forces’ move from the piston age into the jet age, MASDC, and later AMARC, became chock full of surplus and obsolescent aircraft in a hurry. When I began visiting the Boneyard in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were still several Convair C-131 and T-29 aircraft still in use as transports and squadron “hacks”; the U.S. Navy still had C-118s in use too.  C-47s had been phased out a handful of years prior to this time.  Many examples of these types were parked though, and ultimately would be sold to scrappers, but a fair amount made it into civilian hands too.  Even early C-130 aircraft, some with the “Roman nose” (without a radome) could be found parked in the desert. There once was a saying that when the last F-15 Eagle was phased out and parked in the Boneyard, a T-33 would be sent out to bring the pilot back home to his base.  Of course this didn’t happen, but the last operational T-birds were being parked around this time… however the type was supplied to many friendly air forces and some became civilianized too.  There were many T-33s stored, and not scrapped.  T-28 and T-34 piston versions were replaced by T-37 and T-34C trainers, and a number of these became civilian warbirds at the end of their military lives.  Even T-2 and T-38 advanced jet trainers were stored, either for later use or to be scrapped when their service life was over.

t33 3

As a storage facility, MASDC/AMARC held some rare aircraft for their owners… the National Air and Space Museum’s Boeing Dash 80 prototype spent time in Tucson, as did one of NASA’s turbine-powered Guppies and WB-57 Canberras.  Prototype YC-14A and YC-15 jets were parked together for a while, and a Fairchild T-46A, one of three used for flight tests before the program was cancelled, spent time in the sun too.

Here is a slide show with photos of some classic warbirds taken during five different visits to MASDC and AMARC… enjoy!


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