Auction at Boneyard

Message posted by Hank on April 19, 2008 at 6:35:29 PST:

MoneyType Size: A A A Print Email Most Popular
Air Force to auction aircraft at boneyard
20 commentsby Max Jarman - Apr. 18, 2008 03:30 PM
The Arizona Republic
The U.S. government is getting ready to sell off part of one of Tucson's more unusual tourist destinations - the aircraft "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

And, it's a good time to sell aging airplanes. Soaring scrap-metal prices have turned the dormant aircraft into cash cows that are expected to generate up to $10 million for the government.

The Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in southern Tucson is home to roughly 4,200 C-141 Starlifters, A-4 Skyhawks,HH-3E "Jolly Green Giant" helicopters and many other aircraft, which have been retired from military service.

The site receives thousands of visitors a year, many on bus tours operated by the Pima County Air & Space Museum.

The Air Force needs to move out the older planes, some more than 50 years old, to make way for more current models that are cannibalized to supply parts to similar planes that are still flying.

So it is auctioning off for scrap about 2,000 aircraft, weighing about 27 million pounds.

The aircraft have been stripped of military equipment and hazardous liquids and turned over to Government Liquidation, the Scottsdale firm running the online auction Monday through Friday.

Besides the Starlifters and Skyhawks, the auction will also include an unspecified number of Titan missiles.

The planes and missiles are loaded with aluminum, steel and magnesium whose prices have recently soared.

In the past five years, copper has increased from 60 cents to $4 per pound and aluminum has gone from 60 cents to $1.40 per pound.

"The timing couldn't be better for the government," said John McCombs, vice president of Government Liquidation.

But don't count on carting one home for a lawn ornament. Buyers must agree to demilitarize the aircraft by shredding and cutting them into pieces no bigger than 4-inch squares.

Government Liquidations runs more than 1,000 online auctions a year, but this is their biggest one so far.

The contract calls for an 80-20 split, with the government getting the larger share.

McCombs noted that Government Liquidation holds the exclusive contract with the Defense Department to sell military surplus and scrap metal.

The company recently sold 650,000 pounds of scrap tires at Fort Stewart in Georgia and started an online auction of uniforms and field gear on Friday.


[ Discussion Forum Index ] [ FAQ ]