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At last, 747s, up close and personal

At the Roswell International Air Center, the author gets up close and personal--sort of--with some Boeing 747s.

A Polar Air Cargo 747-400F sits on the tarmac at the Roswell International Air Center, in Roswell, N.M., on Aug. 1, 2007. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

ROSWELL, N.M.--After I drove by, and was unable to get into, the Pinal Air Park, north of Tucson, Ariz., I've kind of been jonesing for some good Boeing 747 access.

It turns out that there are commercial airplane storage facilities in many different locations, including Roswell, where at the Roswell International Air Center, there are up to 200 planes just sitting on the ground, waiting to be used by their owners.

I visited this facility on Wednesday, as part of Road Trip 2007, my journey around the Southwest, and I expect to post a full gallery Thursday.

For now, though, know that I got my 747 fix there, as I got to see at least two of them up close, including one whose engines were sitting on the ground, directly in front of it, and technicians were expected to put them back on at any minute.

Oh, and there were other planes there, too. There were also MD-11s, MD-80s, L-1011s, DC-8s, 727s, a 737 and more.

Ah, planes. How I do love them.