In Focus

A rough night’s sleep?

Thousands of aircraft are currently in long-term hibernation in a handful of desert ‘boneyards’. And while some will awake for a new life post-COVID, others will be broken down for scrap. Adam Thorn investigates just what goes on in the super-secretive facilities.

Right now, ten of Qantas’ grounded A380s are sweltering under the 40-degree sun at the Southern California Logistics Airport in the western Mojave Desert. The four-kilometre-long facility – better known as the Victorville boneyard – is traditionally where airlines banish their heftiest assets to be broken down for scrap. But Qantas, perhaps uniquely, believes its $600 million double-deckers have a promising future flying long-haul routes in the messy aftermath of COVID. With fewer flights on offer, so the thinking goes, bigger aircraft, and their economies of scale, will be a money-spinner.

For this reason, the airline has decided to keep an extra-special eye on its fleet and regularly asks its own team to make the two-hour journey from their base in LA to Victorville to conduct inspections. Their work involves everything from covering the seats with new plastic sheeting to applying a protective film on all cabin windows. It also involves removing the plastic wrapping from the A380’s giant wheels – where the local rattlesnakes call home.

This content is available exclusively to Australian Aviation members.
Subscribe to Australian Aviation for unlimited access to exclusive content and past magazines.

MOST POPULAR

PRINT + DIGITAL

$99.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin
 

PRINT

$49.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app

MOST POPULAR

PRINT + DIGITAL

$99.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin
 

DIGITAL

$59.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin


Already a member?


Login here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.