Airplane Junkyards Tips

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Where does the motion picture industry get their salvage aircraft for sale?

Aviation Warehouse – Unusual Salvage Aircraft for Sale and Rent

One of the biggest aviation salvage companies in the U.S. specializes in salvage aircraft for sale and rent to the motion picture industry! This unique business, Aviation Warehouse, is located in El Mirage, Calif., with a huge library of aviation manuals and acres of salvage aircraft in all states of repair and disrepair.

Aviation Warehouse has specialized in salvage aircraft for sale and rent for over 35 years and they have provided salvage aircraft for television shows like "JAG" and films like "Con Air," "Diagnosis Murder," and "Face/Off." Chances are, if you see a crashed or downed airplane in a film or TV show, it came from Aviation Warehouse. Aviation Warehouse does not offer salvage aircraft for sale to the general public, but they do offer research facilities for their aviation manual collection and they may even let you in the yard to see some of their salvage aircraft up close.

What is the AMARC at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base?

The Airplane Boneyard

Old airliners and private planes don't just fly off into the sunset, never to return. Many of them end up in an aircraft boneyard, like the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC), at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. Also called the boneyard, the Center stores, maintains and restores aircraft and parts and is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world.

Aerial photos of this airplane junkyard show the massive scale of the operation and just how popular airplane restoration and storage is. The Center prepares and repairs planes for clients all over the world, from military operations to private pilots and foreign airlines. This airplane junkyard proves aviation restoration and repair is a booming and very lucrative business!

What are some unique uses for aircraft used parts?

Unique Uses for Aircraft Used Parts

It's not hard to find aircraft used parts; in fact, several aviation junkyards exist around the world that specialize in hard-to-find aircraft used parts of every size and shape. While many aircraft operators look for aircraft used parts for maintenance and refurbishment, others look at these parts outside the box.

Take, for example, the Ventura, California woman who plans to build a home out of a 747 fuselage. She plans to use the wings for the roof of her home, parts of the fuselage as outbuildings and even plans to use the ailerons to control the awning over her pool. Other companies create executive office furnishings from aircraft used parts. Using aircraft used parts in creative ways is the ultimate way to recycle and reuse scrap that might otherwise simply go to waste!

Where can I find an aircraft junkyard that sells spare parts?

Finding an Aircraft Junkyard

Surprisingly, it's not hard to find an aircraft junkyard! There are several notable aircraft junkyards around the U.S., some owned privately and some open for scrap and parts business. Many aviation buffs prefer to call the aircraft junkyard an "aircraft graveyard," noting many of these used and outdated aircraft make their final resting place in these graveyards.

Most of these aircraft junkyards are located in the desert southwest, where the dry air helps preserve and protect the planes from deterioration. However, there are smaller storage facilities located all around the world and most of them deal with the public, as well as industrial buyers. For the best deals in parts and used airplanes, look for an aircraft junkyard the next time you're shopping for aircraft items.

Can I find aircraft salvage parts online?

Those Pesky Aircraft Salvage Parts

Some people say owning a private plane is part recreation and part maintenance. It seems you're always looking for parts that are hard to find. Luckily, several companies maintain inventories of aircraft salvage parts from just about any aircraft you can think of, from engine parts to electrical switches and even seats and avionics. Many of these aircraft salvage companies offer their inventories online, so you shop from the comfort of your own home.

If you own a unique aircraft, one of the only ways to find aircraft salvage parts may be online, so save yourself time and trouble when you need a specific part and shop online before you take to the tarmac in search of your necessary parts. Aircraft salvage parts from reputable online dealers can make your life a lot easier and increase the life of your plane, too!

Is it safe to buy aircraft used parts?

New or Used?

Some aircraft owners only invest in new parts when they have to replace parts on their planes, but many owners rely on aircraft used parts because they are much cheaper than new parts. For example, one owner recounted searching for a particular switch for his Cessna. New, the part was $150, but used, it cost $75 and has lasted over 10 years in his plane which shows that aircraft used parts are safe and convenient if you know what you're looking for.

Shop on the Internet or at dealers such as Trade-a-Plane to find quality used parts. Always deal with a reputable dealer that has been in business long enough to develop a good reputation and never pay retail for any new part. Most dealers automatically give a discount on retail prices, so shop around. Also, check airplane salvage yards to see if they have the aircraft used part you need. Chances are they do, and at a fraction of the new retail price. Also, some standard parts, like electrical switches and such, are much cheaper if you buy them directly from a manufacturer or supply house, rather than an aircraft specialty part store.

Can I find an airplane salvage yard that specializes in my aircraft model?

The Specialty Aircraft Salvage Yard

If you own a popular aircraft, such as a Piper Cherokee or a Cessna 100, you may be able to find an aircraft salvage yard that specializes in just your type of aircraft parts and equipment. Some of the largest of America's aircraft salvage yards specialize in certain types of single-engine aircraft and so you can find more quality used parts at good prices.

In fact, if you shop through an aircraft equipment house, there's a good chance they are ordering the part you need from an aircraft salvage yard. So, skip the middle-man and shop directly with an aircraft salvage yard. Many of these yards post their inventories online, so you can shop for what you need quickly and easily. Before you spend retail, check an aircraft salvage yard near you.

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Susan Sayour