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Final approach into London Gatwick… Can just about make out another aircraft above the horizon just taking off


Final approach into London Gatwick… Can just about make out another aircraft above the horizon just taking off

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A Visit to the Aircraft Boneyards of the Southwestern United States

Throughout the deserts of the Southwestern United States, large groupings of parked, retired planes—aircraft boneyards—lie scattered. Most aircraft at the boneyards are either kept for storage or turned into scrap metal. The desert’s dry conditions reduce corrosion and preserve the aircraft throughout the years.

Aircraft boneyard contents tell the story of cycles in the airline industry. They first filled up after World War II when the military downsized. Later, waves of classic propeller airliners arrived when they were retired en masse in favor of jet passenger planes. Rising oil prices have also led to plane retirements in recent history.

A handful of enthusiastic Instagrammers have documented these surreal parking lots. Check out their photos and videos from the location pages below:


HISTORY MEME - six women: bessie coleman [4/6]

Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator, the first female pilot of African American descent, and the first person of African American descent to have an international pilot license. She was born in 1892 in Texas, the tenth of thirteen children, and in school showed herself to be a lover of reading and mathematics. She enrolled in what is now Langston College in Oklahoma, but was forced to return home due to lack of funds. At 23, she moved to Chicago, where she heard stories from returning World War I pilots about flying during the war. Due to her race and gender, however, despite herr interest in aviation, no American flight school or aviator would train her. Determined to become an aviator, Bessie went to France in 1920 and, a year later, earned her aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, becoming the first American of any gender to receive a license from that organization. She trained as a “barnstorming” stunt flier in order to make a living. Known as “Queen Bess,” she was well-known for her daredevil maneuvers, though her flamboyant style was often criticized by the press. Though offered a role in a film, when she learned that her first scene would show her in tattered clothes with a walking stick and pack, she walked off set  rather than perpetuate the derogatory image of African Americans. In 1926, in preparation for an air show, her plane failed to pull out of a dive and began to spin, causing Bessie to be thrown from the plane, 2,000 feet above the ground, killing her instantly. She was 34 years old. (x)

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Feb. 14, 1940: Workers at La Guardia Airport fought the elements to hold down a plane as a large storm brought seven inches of snow and winds gusting at 60 miles per hour to New York, hammering the eastern part of the country. Bus services were suspended and a swath of the West Side Highway closed, but the city seemed to prevail in “what appeared to be a winning effort to keep essential services functioning.” Photo: The New York Times