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.
Exit the museum's Restoration hangar and you're greeted by a Fairchild C-123 Provider that's undergoing restoration.
Engine-less and hollow.
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.
This example was the last EC-121 retired by the Air Force. It spent some time at the amazing Pima Air and Space Museum.
Once you leave the museum's hangars behind, you enter the boneyard proper. The sound just seems to die away.
The boneyard is home to planes, pieces of planes and many other items known and useful only to the restoration team that works here.
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.
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.
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.
The boneyard holds many interesting artifacts, like trucks, some armored vehicles, and many unidentifiable (to me) machines.
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.
Delivered in 1956, this C-131 served with the US Navy until the early '80s.
A Curtiss C-46 Commando. This one dates from the late 1940s. Some of these are actually still flying.
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.
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.
On military Privateers these were gun turret bubbles. The single tail is one of the major differences between the PB4Y and the B-24.
Views like this are why I love exploring boneyards. It's like another world.
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.
Silent jet turbines.
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.
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.