forgotten-aircraft-boneyard-america (Image: Jonathan Haeber)

The western deserts of the United States are a vast repository of aircraft graveyards large and small, a place where aerospace innovation meets history and even folklore. Writing on his Flickr set, photographer Jonathan Haeber¬†described the contents of this aviation boneyard as “an abandoned set of military aircraft dating back to World War II. Taken during a full moon at an undisclosed desert location.” As as this haunting series of images proves, one doesn’t need to visit the massive storage facilities of Davis-Monthan AFB to uncover a plethora of forgotten aviation gems spanning the last seven decades.

forgotten-aircraft-boneyard-america-2 (Image: Jonathan Haeber)

Listing slightly to port and resting atop a couple of old tires is the forward fuselage of this vintage B-25 Mitchell, serial number 45-8887, which originally served with the U.S. Army Air Force. Manufactured by North American Aviation, the twin-engined, medium bomber has had an interesting and varied – at times rather shady – past. The B-25J, which sports nose art bearing the name Ah’m Available Too, was adapted for civil use in January 1960 under the registration N3680G. It was later seized for drug running in Oldham County, Texas, in December 1976, before passing to the Historic Aircraft Preservation Group in Chino, CA three years later. Ah’m Available Too is currently understood to be in storage.

forgotten-aircraft-boneyard-america-3 (Image: Jonathan Haeber)

Beautiful lighting brings this striking image to life, revealing a cutaway of the severed rear fuselage of a mighty B-29 bomber. Completely gutted, the photograph reveals the World War Two bomber’s construction, as long-disconnect piping and wires hang from its metal carcass. Hopefully this proud machine can one day be restored for static display purposes.

forgotten-aircraft-boneyard-america-4 (Image: Jonathan Haeber)

Lying adjacent to one another on the desert floor, these forlorn F-86 Sabre fuselages bear the numbers 04 and 14 respectively, and appear to have belonged to the same unit during their service lives. No. 14 looks to be more intact in terms of external panels. Though despite lacking wings, undercarriages and stabilisers, the aircraft don’t appear to be in especially poor condition, as the desert climate and low humidity has no doubt kept corrosion to a minimum.

forgotten-aircraft-boneyard-america-5 (Image: Jonathan Haeber)

It’s almost impossible to imagine, when taking in this eerily dystopian scene, that this abandoned aircraft could ever have taken to the skies, far less flown business travellers in executive comfort around the United States and probably beyond. But despite the desolation in the cockpit, a handful of instruments from control columns to throttle levers remain in place. Looking out of the shattered glass of the windscreen, the scale of this aviation boneyard becomes evident, as the remains of old engines and other aerospace detritus litters the yard.

forgotten-aircraft-boneyard-america-6 (Image: Jonathan Haeber)

Possibly the same executive passenger jet shown above, this desolate cabin has an eerie feel to it despite echoing the comfort and elegance of better days. The aircraft is said to date to the 1970s, and the upholstery on the seats definitely betrays a certain vintage. Check out more of Jonathan Haeber’s photos in his Flickr stream and website.

Related – 30 Crashed, Derelict and Destroyed Aircraft Across the World