Aviation Week's military fleet analyst, Nigel Howarth, took a detour on his way over to Phoenix for the MRO Americas conference and exhibition. Some of the photos Nigel took on his travels around the region certainly raised a few eyebrows among colleagues here. Take a look.
Nigel took these photos at Marana-Pinal, AZ on 6 April. Three brand new Boeing 747-8s, delivered straight from Boeing to the Arizona desert. Two are freighters: one each for Cargolux (msn 38077) and Nippon Cargo (37393) whilst the all-white one is for a private Middle Eastern customer. All three were ordered way back in 2006/2007, just before the economic crisis, and now it would seem the eventual operators are not yet ready to take delivery.
"The sun is setting on old Gulfstreams"
18 old Gulf 2s and 3s are parked at California City, CA, never to fly again. Photographed on 4 April.
"The retirement of C-5A's is almost complete"
Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ is host to a whole fleet of C-5As, which are likely to stay here for decades to come, for as long as the C-5M remains in the active inventory.
"767-300 N226CY seen arriving at Goodyear, AZ"
This 767-300 msn 26544 arrived at AeroTurbine's Goodyear facility on 7 April. Seen here in basic TNT colours, it remains to be seen if this 23 year old freighter will fly again. (click here to see videos of another 767-300 being torndown just yesterday at the same facility)
A 1981 vintage 747SP msn 22484, seen here at Pinal Airpark, AZ on 6 April. It is used as an engine testbed and is one of only 18 747SPs still active, according to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) Fleet database.
"Three former Chinese MD-11 freighters sit at Mojave"
With demand for pure freighters at a low point, many 3- and 4-engined models are being parked. Here two China Eastern MD-11s and one from Shanghai Airlines are parked awaiting possible new operators.
All photos: Nigel Howarth