Your tax dollars swirling down a toilet.
This Scrapyard Contains the World’s Second-Largest Air Force
The United States currently boasts 5,448 active aircraft, giving it the world's largest air force by far. Russia comes in second with what is generally estimated to be a bit less than half that number, but that's still fewer planes than America has stashed in its maintenance and regeneration facility. I visited what is affectionately known as "the Boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, to see what amounts to the world's second-largest air force.
"We have around 4,000 aircraft here," Public Affairs Officer Teresa Pittman told me, "though that number changes every day."
The Boneyard emerged after World War II as the stash spot for a massive surplus of planes. Some of them have been baking in the Arizona desert for over half a century. The perfect climate, as well as the dedicated work of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, keeps most of them in—or somewhere close to—flying condition. Now, in the wake of military withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Boneyard is again crowded with aircraft waiting to be scrapped, mothballed, used for parts, turned into museum pieces, or sold to foreign allies.