Before many Tucsonans have even started their morning commute, a pair of aircraft mechanics are already crouched over the open cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet, disarming the ejector seat and removing the explosives. Nearby, a towing crew pulls a Navy P-3 anti-submarine aircraft over to the "flush farm" to be drained of its fuel. Then they hook up to a different F-18 and haul it to the "wash rack" for perhaps the last thorough cleaning it will ever get.
Meanwhile, about a mile away, a small army of specialty painters fans out across a dirt lot to spray protective coating on row after row of mothballed C-130 transport planes.
"Wise Guy," a B-52H Stratofortress just raring to go. (U.S. Air Force/307th Bomb Wing)
A decommissioned B-52H Stratofortress heavy, long-range bomber nicknamed "Wise Guy" was brought back from the Air Force's "boneyard" and delivered to an operational unit, the Air Force announced Tuesday.
On July 17, Air Mobility Command chief Gen. Carlton Everhart ordered all 18 of the Air Force's C-5 Galaxy cargo planes at Dover Air Force Base to halt operations and undergo inspections after two of the aircraft had landing-gear malfunctions in less than a 60 day period.