People struggling to understand why parts from $34 billion aircraft boneyard can’t be used

  • $34 billion worth of airplane parts are sitting in a lot at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, US
  • Check out the incredible footage below
  • But many on the internet are wondering why the planes aren’t being put to better use – and we have the answer

Published on Feb 26, 2024 at 3:07 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Feb 27, 2024 at 4:54 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

While we all try to live by the ethos of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ – many people on the internet are baffled as to why parts from this multi-million aircraft boneyard can’t be utilised.

$34 billion worth of airplane parts are sitting in a lot at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, US.

And there’s incredible aerial footage that reveals the true scale of the eerie, yet valuable site.

READ MORE! Mysterious Boeing 737 discovered in field and no one knows how it got there

Shared to X by @EvasTeslaSPlaid, it showcases a zoomed-out view of the aircraft boneyard.

It’s officially called the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.

The area is used by the US Air Force uses to house planes that are no longer in active commission.

In includes vehicles from the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, and even NASA.


It holds the world record for being the World’s Largest Military Aircraft Boneyard, according to the World Record Academy.

The combined total of everything parked there is thought to be around $34 billion, per reports.

However, aside from being wowed, it’s left the internet baffled as to why the old planes and their constituent parts can’t be put to better use.

“Recycle?? No money there? Or nostalgia??” asked one.

“Can you make anything with them?” wondered a second.

Thankfully, it seems that their questions aren’t completely off-target.

Like this million dollar car graveyard in a German forest – it’s not there for nothing.

As the ‘Regeneration’ part of the name suggests – the planes don’t simply sit there gathering dust -as planes that come to the base aren’t broken, for the most part – they’re just retired.

They’re maintained in working order so that they can be used when needed.

Many of these planes are partially and gradually stripped for parts as needed.

Then, once parts come off a plane, they’re carefully refurbished to a like-new standard.

Low humidity, light rainfall, and dry soil prevent the aircraft from getting rusty – making the Arizona desert the ideal resting place for these planes.

Air Force Col. Jennifer Barnard told AirForce Times that the group can fulfil certain requests on a same-day basis – providing the location and the request are both right.

“We get looked at as an air power reservoir,” she said.

“Our guys take a lot of pride in preserving these aircraft and taking really good care of them. They know they might be needed again, whether it’s a whole airplane or just its parts.”

And this isn’t the only way to get the most out of a retired plane, this old Boeing 747 was bought for $1.35 and turned into the ultimate party venue.

What’s more, this man built his dream home out of two jets and it only costs him $200 a month.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.