Contrasting fortunes for old freighters in the California desert


A recent visit to Mojave by Aviation Week found 4 MD-11 freighters stored awaiting new operators. Whilst the trend for widebody operators is still towards twinjets, there is still some demand for already-converted trijets. Pictured are two former China Cargo Airlines and one from Shanghai Airlines. The all-white one is destined for Western Global Airlines, a startup to be based at Sarasota, FL.

The eagle-eyed among you may spot a SAAB J-32 Lansen and a pair of F-100's in the photo.

Not far away, but in a different area at Mojave, is where they pull apart airliners not likely to fly again. Over here are 13 Southern Air 747's and 5 Atlas Air 747's, of which some can be seen here.

The 4-jet freighter market has bottomed out, and there are dozens of these giants stored in the Southwestern deserts.

Finally a picture of an immaculate L1011 TriStar, belonging to Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of only 3 airworthy examples in the world, and the only one in the US, according to Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet Database.

For those who were curious, the fighter alongside is a SAAB Draken formerly of the Royal Danish Air Force.

Photos by Nigel Howarth


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