Mojave Airport, or Mojave Air and Space Port as its known now, is one of many aircraft storage and reclamation airports dotted around California. Paul Filmer takes a flight around the airport.
My first trip here was in 1984, and then you were free to roam the ramps, but these days of course that’s certainly not the case. Even the tours of the storage areas don’t allow photography anymore, due to people not abiding by simple rules.
One way to get around the problems of heat-haze on the ground and a cluttered view, is to tackle photography from the air.
The amount of aircraft has reduced in the last few years, with the majority of the stored aircraft now in the main central storage area.
There are still a surprising number of aircraft that have hung on over many years. The obvious ones are the Convair jets, of which there are three still here.
This used to be the airport known for the long row of ex TWA CV-880s, but now only one survives. N815AJ still has the old TWA cheatline on the left side and, to be honest, I’m pleasantly surprised it’s still here.
CV-990 N990AB still shows APSA (Peru) titles and ceased operations in 1971. What the plan is for these two old birds is unknown to me, but hopefully they won’t be scrapped.
The final CV-900 serves as a gate guard. It’s ex NASA N810NA and flew with them between 1975 and 1983. (Not shown in this report)
Until a few years ago there were lots of DC-8s, but now only a single example survives. N603AL is a DC-8-73CF from ATI.
Also, surprisingly, the pair of C-133s are still here. It was assumed that, once N199AB went out of service in Alaska and was ferried to Travis AFB, these would no longer be required as a spares source.
One of the newest arrivals is the ex Fry’s Boeing 747SP N747A, which NASA is to use as a spares ship.
The pair of BAC111s from Northrop-Grumman are a pair of aircraft that I’ve been desperate to shoot for a few years. They’re just too far from the fence-line to get a decent shot due to heat-haze, but from the air it all worked out.
Ex Hawaiian Airlines DC-10-10 was registered as N557FE for FedEx but never taken up in the end, and sits here in bare metal slowly being robbed of salvageable parts.
All in all it was a very interesting flight and it gave me a nice overview of what’s currently stored here.