Desert Boneyard; Davis Monthan A.F.B. Arizona by Philip Chinnery

A stunning collection of photographs of mothballed and scrapped American aircraft at Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona. Aircraft are stored here after de-commissioning, in case they can be re-sold, re-deployed, or re-activated according to the international market in warplanes and political imperatives of the day. They have their glass areas covered with a plastic compound so that the desert sun doesn’t damage the aircraft interiors or cause fires to start; and then they are left, awaiting their fate. Sometimes they are rescued for further service, or to stand under more enlightened care in a museum; but other aircraft get gradually stripped of spare parts to keep others in service. The end result is a location that is a haven for aviation fans and offers a lot of opportunity for photographers to examine effects of decay and weathering. This album and Chinnery’s sequel, ‘Desert Air Force’, concentrate on the aviation side of things; I would have liked to see more artistic pictures looking at detail in close-up and focussing on matters of shape, colour and pattern as the aircraft slowly decay, but no matter. This is still a very impressive book.

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