Where do planes go when they die? If they’re part of military history, they head to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Tucson, Arizona. It’s a storage and repair site for military aircraft, but it’s also a final resting place where you can find dilapidated Polish fighter jets and broken missile rails about to be destroyed.

Photographer Matt York captured the eerie grace of used-up beasts of battle in a series of images for the Associated Press. Here are some of the most fascinating metal corpses:

Advertisement


U.S. Navy Lockheed LC-130

Advertisement

Cause of death: Crashed during a resupply mission to Antarctica in 1971.


F-16 Fighting Falcons

Advertisement

Cause of death: Not dead! These will get turned into drone target planes somewhere down the line.


Army Sikorsky VH-34s Choctaw helicopter

Advertisement

Cause of death: Old age. This helicopter was once used to transport President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


TWA 840

Advertisement

Cause of death: Old age

Hijacked in 1969 by Palestinian extremists, this Boeing 707 is one of the only civilian aircraft in the boneyard. Even though the hijackers detonated a bomb in the cockpit, this old bird was actually put back into commission until 1980.

[AP]

All images from Matt York’s Military Aircraft Boneyard photo essay for the Associated Press

Advertisement


Contact the author at kate.knibbs@gizmodo.com.
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: FF8F 0D7A AB19 6D71 C967 9576 8C12 9478 EE07 10C