Amid the steel, aluminum and rust at the Yanks Air Museum Boneyard

The sun-bleached skeletal remains of jet fighters and rare bombers sit awaiting their fate. Let's go exploring.

Geoffrey Morrison
Geoffrey Morrison is a writer/photographer about tech and travel for CNET, The New York Times, and other web and print publications. He's also the Editor-at-Large for The Wirecutter. He has written for Sound&Vision magazine, Home Theater magazine, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Home Entertainment magazine. He is NIST and ISF trained, and has a degree in Television/Radio from Ithaca College. His bestselling novel, Undersea, and its sequel, Undersea Atrophia, are available in paperback and digitally on Amazon. He spends most of the year as a digital nomad, living and working while traveling around the world. You can follow his travels at BaldNomad.com and on his YouTube channel.
Geoffrey Morrison
1 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The boneyard at the Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California, is one of the few that you can walk around and explore at your own pace. 

Check out Take these broken wings: Touring the Yanks Air Museum Boneyard for more about this fascinating place.

2 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Exit the museum's Restoration hangar and you're greeted by a Fairchild C-123 Provider that's undergoing restoration.

3 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

That nose

Hard to mistake the bulbous nose of an Sikorsky H-34, or the S-58 as the company called it.

4 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Sea choppers

That's a Coast Guard Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard in the middle, and a Sea King that was once in presidential service (aka Marine One) on the left. Now they're rotor-less and awaiting restoration.

5 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Crusader carcass

This F-8 Crusader has seen better days.

6 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Engine out

Engine-less and hollow.

7 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The museum's Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star, aka a L-1049 Super Constellation, is on the wrong side of a fence. However, there are open-cockpit days once a month where you can have a look inside.

8 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Last of its kind

This example was the last EC-121 retired by the Air Force. It spent some time at the amazing Pima Air and Space Museum

9 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

One 104

One of several F-104s at the museum. In great shape and likely out here just for storage.

10 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


A restored A-7 nearly ready to showcase.

11 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Paths of dust

Once you leave the museum's hangars behind, you enter the boneyard proper. The sound just seems to die away.

12 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Stacks on stacks

The boneyard is home to planes, pieces of planes and many other items known and useful only to the restoration team that works here.

13 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Center of nowhere

Around here you're surrounded by boneyard. It's like you're no longer adjacent to an airport and could be anywhere. Like some desolate desert full of rusty machines. 

14 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Broken glass and steel

15 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Wings up

An F-4 Phantom II from the late '70s, needing more than just a fresh coat of paint.

16 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


No one I asked was quite sure about this aircraft's history. It was painted to be a movie backdrop, and all its markings are fake.

17 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Once high speed

Two jets from the Cold War era, an A-7 Corsair II on the left, and an F-105. Like most of the jets in the boneyard, there are multiple examples of each of these aircraft, either for future restoration or for parts.

18 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The back of the E-2 Hawkeye you see when you enter the museum's parking lot.

19 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


It took me a whole to figure out what this is. It looks, from the front, like a flat, wide truck. The sides, however, are sort of wing-shaped. Or at least, the missing parts are that shape. This view helped me figure it out; it's a hovercraft. It's the only surviving Navy PACV.

20 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


This gave me a bit of a shock. It seemed to be one of the only remaining Lunar Landing Training Vehicles, No. 952. I believe it's not the original, however.

21 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Trucks too

The boneyard holds many interesting artifacts, like trucks, some armored vehicles, and many unidentifiable (to me) machines.

22 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Fast fighters

A Northrop T-38A Talon an F-104, and the F-105 you saw in the last slide.

23 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Good Samaritan

Coming around the corner of some cargo containers and I'm surprised by the sight: several much larger aircraft along the back of the boneyard, the first being this Convair C-131 Samaritan.

24 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Navy flier

Delivered in 1956, this C-131 served with the US Navy until the early '80s.

25 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Going Commando

A Curtiss C-46 Commando. This one dates from the late 1940s. Some of these are actually still flying.

26 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Pan American

This aircraft, N74173, once flew with Pan Am. It wasn't as popular as the C-47/DC-3 due to higher fuel and operating costs.

27 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Tucked away

The nose from a Martin 4-0-4, and an old Ford F600.

28 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Blackbirds and Privateers

On the left is an A-4 Skyhawk that last served with VF-45. On the right is not, as it seems at first glance, a B-24. It's a PB4Y-2 Privateer.

29 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Coast Guard Privateer

The PB4Y was developed from the B-24 for the Navy as a long-range patrol bomber. This example served with the US Coast Guard.

30 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Window seats

On military Privateers these were gun turret bubbles. The single tail is one of the major differences between the PB4Y and the B-24.

31 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Enjoying the view

Views like this are why I love exploring boneyards. It's like another world.

32 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Air Force Albatross

This Grumman HU-16 Albatross looks too good to be relegated to the boneyard. Most likely it's just here for storage. A quick wash and it'd practically be museum-ready.

33 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Texas thunder

Another Thunderchief. This one retired from a Texas-based United States Air Force Reserve unit.

34 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Intruder in pieces

The other A-6E.

35 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Rusted turbines

Silent jet turbines.

36 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Beached whale

During its nearly 35 years of service, the A-3 Skywarrior was the heaviest aircraft to operate from carriers. As such it was nicknamed the Whale.

37 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

52 pieces

The nose of a B-52

38 of 38 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The Yanks Air Museum boneyard is like stepping into a post-apocalyptic world. The museum itself is great, too. 

For more about the boneyard, check out Take these broken wings: Touring the Yanks Air Museum Boneyard.  

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos