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In most cases, decommissioned planes are sent to the boneyard. These specified areas are where planes can be stored to be salvaged for parts. Most boneyards are located in the southwest where the air is dry which could minimize the effects of corrosion. Furthermore, the site needs to have very low rainfall and humidity all year round.
The first step is to remove any classified hardware before washing the plane with a water hose. Fuel systems are drained and the frame is coated with a plastic spray compound called Spraylat. For over two days, the plane will be coated in two layers. The first coat is black to keep dust and wind away, and the second coat is white to reflect the sun’s heat and reduce warping and melting.
Even old planes are teeming with great parts, that’s why letting them go to waste isn’t the best idea. Aircraft Supervisor, Joe Gasak, estimates that around 90% of the parts they salvage are as good as new albeit dirty.