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Anyone done the boneyard tour in Tucson?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Texas T, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    I'm almost ashamed to say it, especially being a Tucson native, but I've never taken the tour. I've driven by the planes for years, and when my mom would drive me on base to go to kindergarten (late 50's) we would sometimes have to wait just inside the main gate as they towed another aircraft from the flight line to graveyard.

    I'm going home at the end of the month for my mom's birthday and I plan on doing the tour while I'm there.

    Anyone been on it?
     
  2. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    T, take lots of pictures:)

    No, I haven't toured it but I'de like to.


    When Ft Wolters was closing I flew a Hughes TH-55 to there.
    They may still be there.
    It was sure impressive from the air.

    They loaded us on a C-47 and flew us back to Mineral Wells in some really bad weather.
    Only time I've ridden a C-47.
     

  3. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    T, take lots of pictures:)
    I had planned on it, but your comment reminded me that I need to get a larger memory card. And a second set of batteries. :)

    Only time I've ridden a C-47.
    Never been in one myself either, but I'm pretty sure that my dad had some time in them. I used to remember hearing the "gooney bird" comments a lot when I was little.
     
  4. JCM298

    JCM298

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    I took my kids there many years ago. Transportation was an old, really old, military school bus. The kids loved it but I did not like the ride quality. I understand that the tour vehicles have been improved.

    Before I retired, a Security Police sergeant took a couple of us on an "un-official tour" and it was very enjoyable. He took us off the beaten track and we saw some planes that are not on the regular tour.

    The Pima Air and Space Museum is worth the trip, too. When they first started putting planes there, I'd slip off I-10 and go snooping. The security guard liked the idea of seeing a marked car in the area. That came to a stop when they finally got the entire property fenced,

    John
     
  5. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    The Pima Air and Space Museum is worth the trip, too.
    Been there, done that, a couple of times. I was in a car club back in the 70's that included a member that worked in the restoration shop so I got in for free.

    I have not taken the missle site tour yet. Not this trip but maybe in the future.

    The security guard liked the idea of seeing a marked car in the area.
    TPD?
    South Tucson?
    Pima County?
     
  6. dlupini

    dlupini Capt

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    I have done the tour, it is great. lot of neat stuff to look at, definitly worth the time. It is the 2nd largest standing AF in the world, so you can imagine the size.

    BTW: they hate it when you call it a "bone yard" it is AMARC. They feel the term "bone yard" portrays the planes as not being worth anything any more. When in actuality most of the planes in the yard can be "regenerated" and flown in 7 days or less (that's in a combat situation).
     
  7. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    I'm just showing my age. ;a
     
  8. DaddyDett

    DaddyDett

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    I would like to go back and see it as an adult.
    In the early 60's I was a dependant living in Tucson. My Dad used to take us out there to go through the planes on Saturday and Sunday mornings, particularly the aircraft types he had flown.
    DaddyDett
     
  9. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Not sure if this link will work, but this is a satellite shot of the hanger my dad used to work out of... 1950's - 1961. There used to be two of them. This one is still standing. If the link does work and you "back away" on the image you can figure out where it sits...
    The very NW corner of the base.
    http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?t=1&s=10&x=2544&y=17804&z=12&w=2
     
  10. JCM298

    JCM298

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    Texas T,

    DPS,

    John
     
  11. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    I did the missile site tour a few years back. It was kinda fun. I've got gobs of hours in Titan I bases but never the Titan II that you have down there. Ours was a special tour so we got to go to the lower levels of the silo that are not open to the public.
     
  12. Bullman

    Bullman Deranged Deputy

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    You know, I don't know anything at all about this boneyard so let me ask a question or two.

    Do they have any WW2 stuff in this Boneyard? Is any of this stuff salvagable, do they let people buy old junk planes to see if they can be made airworthy again privately?

    Just curious, and like they said, take some pics! :)
     
  13. DaddyDett

    DaddyDett

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    Bullman,
    At one time, yes they did have "warbirds".
    Mostly the aircraft sold were to foreign countries.
    As to what policy is now, I don't know.
    Perhaps contacting Dept. AF PIO in D.C.?

    Texas T,
    We rotated in to D-M in July of '61.
    My Dad was a Flight Surgeon, flying bombers. I am not sure of the type at that time, but do know he later flew B-52's out of Walker AFB NM.
    DaddyDett
     
  14. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Two of my instructors at Pima College (Crim Justice) were with DPS but I can't think of their names to save my life. One was a sgt and the other a Lt (later promoted to Capt) who taught my traffic law class. This would have been mid-70's so they may have been folks you knew.

    My DPS ridealongs were much more interesting than my TPD rides. :)

    Better war stories too. ;f

    I tested for DPS around 1977 or so. Did great on the written, good on the orals, okay on the physical agility (although I puked my guts out afterwards :)), but got nailed on the physical two weeks before the academy started because of my eyesight. They didn't have LASIK back in those days and my eyes were just too bad to get accepted. :(

    They changed the testing procedure after that class to put the physicals up front instead of at the end of the process. I knew going in that my chances of passing were not great but "nothing ventured, nothing gained".
     
  15. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    We rotated to Andersen (Guam) in '61 for our first tour over there. 63-65 at Westover. 65-72 back on Guam. I didn't return to Tucson until Feb 72 and then left again in 82. I only get home for visits maybe once every two years.

    In 61 the B-47 was the mainstay bomber as production on the B-52 was still ramping up. I don't think a B-52 wing was ever positioned at D-M, but the 303 Bomb Wing flying the B-47 was. The B-47 went inactive about 1964 so if he was flying the Stratojet he would have transitioned into the B-52 about that time.

    My dad would have been a radio operator on the KC-97 at the time your dad was flying the bombers, so it's likely that they "hooked up" together at some point in time. ;f
     
  16. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    There are a number of private contractors in and around the area that buy planes, but primarily to part them out and melt them for scrap. The AF does have periodic auctions but I don't think it's likely that you'd be able to purchase a complete aircraft.

    If you were seriously interested in a warbird you'd be better served to check out one of the warbird restorers out in CA. I think Chino CA is the home to one of the better known organizations but you'd need to google it to get the details.
     
  17. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Just got a note from my mom; she said there was a show on TV tonight about the boneyard and specifically about the Phantoms. They are getting them flight-ready, testing them, and then setting up the remote controls and using them for target practice.

    What a shame. I'd sure love to have one if I ever won the lottery.

    Now I ask you... is this a cool picture or what? ;f

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Bullman

    Bullman Deranged Deputy

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    I bet the ground is coming up to meet them AWFULLY fast!;f
     
  19. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Made my reservation... 10 am on the 29th. I'll be back home on the 1st and will try to get some photos posted soon after.
     
  20. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Posting this from my Treo - took the tour this morning. It's about 1 hr in length and covers almost the whole property. I took about 70 photos but they are all from inside the tour bus. I'll try to get them posted when I get back to TX later this week.