There’s just something about a monstrous machine sitting vacant that excites and enamors us. The following aircraft have been left to rot, unfortunately. But for whatever reason, that makes them even more cool to us. Some of these aircraft have flown across the world, while others have flown classified mission for the government. All of them have one thing in common and that is none of them will by taking to the open sky’s ever again. The abandoned aircraft you’re about to see are one-of-a-kind; and totally untouched for decades. Some of these aircraft still to this day remain where they were found so they can rest in piece. Enjoy them all, and wait for the surprise aircraft towards the end. It’s a doozy…
2 Boeing 747’s
These 2 Boeing 747’s were abandoned together in this airfield. Since this picture, the planes have been scrapped for parts. These aircraft are close enough to a city to be an against-the-grain tourist attraction – with some daredevils climbing their way on top of the abandoned 747’s. The plane on the right, the climber is easily visible; but look at the aircraft on the left. Can you spot the climber? Spoiler Alert: he is located above the door, just to the left of the cockpit! These are some of the best looking abandoned aircraft.
This abandoned Boeing 737 has become a tourist attraction in Bali, Indonesia. It has been there since 2007, although it looks like an ancient aircraft after being in disarray for so long. The new Boeing 737 Max has brought the line of aircraft into the public eye lately, and seeing this one abandoned is a curious twist to the story. You can see it is supported by stilts, which means no plan for this one. The exterior still looks in good condition, it would be interesting to see how the inside fared.
Kind of spooky isn’t it, this one? The foggy conditions in a forest with no leaves gives this abandoned aircraft a sinister look. This Vietnam-era aircraft was downed in these woods and never saw proper care again. The style of intake gives knowledge to its era, and the fact that these 50+ foot tall trees didn’t grow that tall in the last 20 years means that they were most likely there when this abandoned aircraft joined it on the forest floor.
This C-54 was found abandoned along a rocky creek bed. The story goes that the pilot was flying low, so as not to be detected by anyone far off. No word on why, specifically. But he flew too close to a large pine tree and clipped one of his engines. The pilot made an emergency landing here at Ganes Creek, Alaska – which is essentially in the middle of the wilderness. Why would the pilot be laying low here? What did he have on board the C-54 when he was forced to land? Unfortunately, we’ll never know the full story of this abandoned aircraft.
Abandoned Fighter Jet
Another fighter jet abandoned in the woods, this one more recent than the prior one. Something tells us this fighter jet isn’t too far away from being in service – it looks fresh with little to no rust or environmental decay or accumulation of debris. It would surprise us little to see a boneyard or a hastily-made runway on the other side of these trees. The abandoned fighter jet feels like it was parked there with intentions of returning to it later – but to date it is still quite abandoned.
World War II Aircraft
This long forgotten and almost forever lost, World War II aircraft is now commonly known as the “Swamp Ghost”. It was only recently discovered after being hidden deep in the jungle for over 60 years. Due to the interesting “treasures” found over time, it triggered national fame. When searchers discovered a soldier’s thermos still filled with coffee, probably made for the last voyage. Readers and followers were amazed and intrigued by what else might be inside. It was one of the more well-known abandoned planes on our list, but not the most interesting. We saved these in the post for later.
This B-24A-CO Liberator was found abandoned on Atka Island. The aircraft had to take a forced landing in 1942. In 1975 the US Navy removed it’s offensive armament. From the status of the aircraft frame, it’s safe to assume that although the landing was forced – it was safe. The pilot who had to land on this Alaskan island knew what he was doing. The climate of the area helps preserve this abandoned prop-engine aircraft – the cold and frigid temperatures keeps rot and rust from taking over completely.
This spacecraft was abandoned inside this Vehicle Assembly Building in Kazakhstan. There are several abandoned Vehicle Assembly Buildings throughout Eastern Europe and Russia due to the fall of the Soviet Union. When the USSR disbanded – these jobs simply stopped being jobs. There was no funding, which meant no employees. They were halfway through completing this spaceship when everyone simply left, forever. Now, it is completely abandoned in Kazakhstan.
New Zealand Air Force PV-1 Ventura
This is a New Zealand Air Force PV-1 Ventura from World War II. The plane was scrapped for parts and abandoned in the rainforest. The PV-1 Ventura was used primarily as a patrol bomber by the United States and British Air Forces in several different nations. It’s first flight was in 1941 and they are now almost completely gone. There are few in museums across the country, but other than a select few – there are no more PV-1 Venturas in flight.
World Airways DC-10
This abandoned World Airways DC-10 plane sits on its tail because of wet volcanic ash. The plane flew through the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, and is now abandoned forever. The large and robust air frame is what the currently-in-service KC-10 Extender was built off of. Although it seems quite stuck in its current position – a brace has been placed underneath the nose in case it come swinging down. There must be some parts worth saving left on the abandoned aircraft!
U.S. Air Force F-16
U.S. Air Force base barracks flooded in Israel. Unfortunately, this meant that a lot of expensive equipment was either damaged, or ruined. That’s what happened to this F-16 here. The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Over 4,600 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976. Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.
This is the experimental Beriev VVA-14. And when we say experimental, we mean experimental…It was designed to be a vertical take-off, amphibious aircraft that could also operate over long-distances in anti-submarine defense roles. But there was only 2 ever built. Although it did accomplish flights – 107 flights with 103 flight hours – it never was used realistically as it was intended. Constant changes and retesting over the course of 1971-1975 culminated in the two VVA-14s retiring not long after.
Columbian Drug Plane
This was a Columbian plane that was accused of smuggling illegal contraband before it was forced to land on a beach near Mexican Army outposts. It landed here in the early 2000s – in Mazunte, Mexico. This abandoned aircraft on a beach is clearly left for uselessness, as it’s been slowly taken over by the sand year by year. It looks unravished, which suggests it’s been scrapped for only the best parts and everything else left intact. It’s definitely one of the coolest looking abandoned aircraft we’ve seen.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning
This Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft was found downed in Wales. It is thought to have laid to rest here in 1942. Designed by legendary Lockheed engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson—who was also the genius behind the SR-71 Blackbird—the Lockheed P-38 Lightning’s distinctive design and stellar performance gained it an almost legendary status to those who flew it and were supported by it. Despite its appearance, the P-38 was a single-seater fighter capable of truly impressive performance.
This Japanese Fighter plane was taken off the coast of Palau. It is a relic of WWII. Our best guess is that once upon a time it was a Mitsubishi A6M Zero. The Mitsubishi A6M Reisen (“ree-sin,” Japanese for Zero Fighter) was the quintessential Japanese air power during World War II. The Zero fighter was designed by Mitsubishi but was co-produced by Nakajima. The two companies built more than 10,000 Zeros between 1939 and 1945.
First up; the boneyard! No matter the price tag on the jet, the amount of passengers in the airbus, the level of security clearance on the aircraft – at some point, all of these are going to be phased out of service. And when that happens, they will undoubtedly end up at the boneyard like these abandoned F-16s. A beautiful display to start the list of abandoned aircraft.
A lot of you will remember this one with fondness. The F4U Corsair! A robust airframe capable of soaking up huge amounts of damage, the Corsair was one of the fastest propeller aircraft in a power-on dive. In fact, speeds under those circumstances would approach the sound barrier. The WWII era prop driven fighter-bomber was left right here and will likely never be utilized again. This abandoned aircraft probably saw some serious time in sorties for the U.S. Navy.
C-121 Lockheed Constellation
This abandoned C-121 Lockheed Constellation was named “Pegasus”. The plane was discovered in Pegasus Field in South Antarctica; and if the photographer here had waited a few more years this abandoned Lockheed plane could have gone unnoticed forever. Fun C-121 Fact: Eisenhower’s presidential aircraft was a Lockheed Constellation, named Columbine II, was the first plane to officially carry the Air Force One call sign. It was in service from 1953-1954. Columbine II was built as a C-121A at Burbank, California.
If only all of the abandoned aircraft were made to be as pretty as this abandoned C-46 Commando. This one was turned into an art display in Churchill, Canada. The C-46 is a military transport/cargo aircraft used most heavily during the mid-1940s. The C-46 was one of the first military aircraft to include pressurized cabins, a novelty at the time. It’s still used in certain remote locations like the Arctic. But as for this particular abandoned plane, it hasn’t been active in quite some time. Keep it cool, Canadian C-46.
Douglas C-47 Abandoned
Here’s another abandoned aircraft. This one is being pulled up from the ocean floor. The Douglas C-47s were primarily used through WWII. They were also used for missions during the Korean Conflict. These aircraft were typically used for Odd-Jobs type of missions that could land on mountain strips or even the most remote jungle areas to transport cargo or troops.
Dassault Mirage III
This is an abandoned Dassault Mirage III at Châteaudun Air Base aircraft storage facility in France. We’ve seen many aircraft graveyards, but usually, the planes are standing upright. Who flipped it? Châteaudun is home to old and battered French Air Force planes.
This F4F-3 Wildcat was found sunken next to the USS Lexington. The rugged and heavily armed F4F Wildcat became the primary fighter of the Navy/Marine Corps until late 1942. The National Naval Aviation Museum describes it best: “By war’s end the stubby Grumman design had accounted for 1,006 enemy aircraft, and listed 58 aces among its pilots.” That about sums up the effectiveness of this currently sunken, abandoned aircraft. Shoutout to Navigea, Ltd. for this awesome photo.
This MiG-21 was found abandoned in Afghanistan, propped up and ripped out. The scavengers seem to have gotten to this abandoned MiG-21. The MiG-21, known by its NATO moniker as the Fishbed, is a single engine jet fighter produced by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau as an improvement on prior generations of the MiG-17 and MiG-19. Both had been used to great effect in both the Korean and Vietnam but, surprisingly, the MiG-21 has been flying since 1953. There were so many made, no wonder a few are now abandoned planes.
Multi-Million Dollar Stealth Jet
It was once a multi-million dollar stealth jet, but now it is being removed from abandonment and will be completely demolished. As if it hasn’t been rendered effective already. The abandoned jet sat for years at this Arizona Air Force base, untouched and with no foreseeable future. But after all of its best parts were taken out – it cleared waivers and is set for demolition.
Bell P39Q Airacobra
This Bell P39Q Airacobra (who remembers this less-than-loved fighter?!) was discovered in the bottom of Lake Mart-Yavr in the Russian Arctic Circle in 2004. The pilot of this plane was forced to make a forced landing in the lake, and unfortunately it seems based on preliminary evidence that it didn’t go well. The Airacobra as a whole did not fare well against Soviet pilots. The fact that this abandoned aircraft was pulled from a lake makes you wonder, “What other legendary aircraft are sitting at the bottom of a body of water – not too far from view?”
Curtiss Kittyhawk P-40
This Curtiss Kittyhawk P-40 was found abandoned on the Sahara. The plane was forced to land here back in 1942 and was discovered by a Polish Oil Company worker discovering a region of the Western Desert in Egypt. Also known as Tomahawk, Kittyhawk, Model 81 and Gypsy Rose Lee (depending on where you were and which P-40 model was in question), the P-40 was an active participant in World War II. It was one of the top three most plentiful US fighters of the war.
This MI-17 Helicopter sits abandoned and useless at Everest Base Camp – serving a stark reminder to those about to climb the mountain that sometimes the weather of the region will put fate out of your own control. The MI-17 is a Russian chopper produced by Kazan Helicopters, it is still active and being produced today with over 13,000 built since its inception. The abandoned MI-17 you see here is just one in the long line of choppers designed for military transport. One of the more unique abandoned aircraft on the list.
South America Passenger Plane
Located in South America, this passenger plane has long since been abandoned. Well, almost. A family has taken over the land where a lean-to airstrip was once – and with the property can this long-forgotten abandoned aircraft. As you can see, this isn’t the only aircraft that met its demise in this location – the cockpit and front galley of a smaller passenger plane is also laying in ruin. Hopefully they can at least salvage the inside of the aircraft for something useful.
This Ford 5-AT-C – also known as the Ford Tri-Motor or better yet, The Tin Goose – used to be a part of the Royal Australian Air Force. This plane could haul 4,000 pounds of cargo, and it accommodated 2 pilot and 17 passengers. Nearly 200 Tin Goose’s were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, but as little as 15 of the aircraft remain serviceable today. This abandoned aircraft is certainly not one of those 15.
This abandoned Douglas DC-4 is left to rust and rot at the Gila River Memorial Airport. The Douglas DC-4 is a propeller-driven aircraft with four engines, developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company. The C-54 and R5D – served as the military versions during World War II, in the Berlin Airlift and into the 1960s. Civilian airlines operated the DC-4 worldwide since the mid 1940s.
Another Douglas DC-4
The abandoned Douglas DC-4 aircraft in the previous image and the Douglas DC-4 seen here are both located at the Gila River Memorial Airport. This airport is located inside the Gila River Indian Reservation, and now sits completely abandoned for anyone to wonder through in Arizona. The airport has a storied history, but now it’s most well-known for housing dozens of abandoned aircraft.
This military helicopter is abandoned sitting in the Khodynka Aerodrome in Moscow, Russia. The Khodynka Aerodrome operated for nearly 100 years before it was shuttered in 2003 for good. It was a public air field since 1910, and now acts as a final resting place for civilian aircraft as well as abandoned military aircraft. The Russian helicopter seen here was taken out of service just a couple years before the Aerodome closed.
MiG Fighter Jets
Also located in the Khodynka Field in Moscow are these MiG fighter jets. BEst as we can tell, these are old MiG-21 abandoned jets. Since its first flight, the MiG-21has been exclusively sold to foreign air forces because it’s a cheap, rugged, and reliable fighter jet aircraft made to work with a ground coordinator. But here, these jets are laid to rest on domestic soil.
C-47 Cargo Plane
A pretty amazing survival story follows this abandoned C-47 cargo plane. A pilot was forced to land here in -40 degree temperatures. Thankfully (and today, conveniently for tourists) the mountainous terrain he landed on in Yukon, Canada is near a pretty large town. The pilot hiked down the mountain to a highway where he flagged down a motorist and was taken to safety.
Soviet Ilyushin Il-76 Cargo Plane
This Soviet Ilyushin Il-76 Cargo Plane was found abandoned in the desert in Umm Al Quwain. Il-76 is a four-engine turbofan strategic aircraft created to serve multiple purposes. It was designed by the Soviet Union’s Ilyushin design bureau. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967. It’s original design was to deliver heavy machinery to remote and poorly served areas.
One of the more accessible abandoned aircraft on the list, this Beechcraft 65-80 was found abandoned in a hangar. Better known as the Beechcraft Queen Air, it was a twin-engined light aircraft produced by Beechcraft in several versions from 1960 to 1978. Based upon the Twin Bonanza it served as the basis for the highly successful King Air series of turboprop aircraft.
P-57 Sea Prince
The P-57 Sea Prince was a Royal Navy aircraft used in transport roles for the U.K, Thailand and Australia. The P-57 seen here sits completely abandoned in Warwickshire, England – at the Logan Marston Airfield. Over 75 P-57’s were produced in various variants – of which 41 editions of the P-57 Sea Prince T1 with radar imaging were made. This is one cool abandoned aircraft.
This Beechcraft 18 was found abandoned in New Hampshire. This plane was manufactured out of Wichita, Kansas and at the peak of its lifespan it was one of the most widely used aircraft in the world. It got that way due to sheer numbers. It was Continuously produced from 1937 to November 1969. Nearly 9,500 were built! Hundreds are still in use today – but not this abandoned aircraft.
Honorable Mention: Basically, we just really wanted to include this hovercraft even though it doesn’t take flight. Don’t hold it against us – it’s just so rare to see something like this that we couldn’t help ourselves. This hovercraft sits at a former US Navy base in Green Cove Springs – south of Jacksonville, Florida. The hovercraft was never used and never finished.
This MiG-15 was found in a hangar in the Kuçovë Air Base in Albania. The MiG-15 was a jet fighter being mass produced by the Soviet Union. Russian designers Mikoyan-Gurevich created the MiG-15 in 1946 with its first flight conducted in December of 1947. Russia’s desire for an aircraft to combat the devastating efforts by the massive but sluggish B-29s was answered. It was Russia’s first “all-new” aircraft and it challenged the United States’ air superiority.
This Antonov An-2 was found abandoned. These planes were mass produced by the Soviet Union for over 50 years. It’s first flight was in 1947 and the Russian plane-maker produced the An-2 up until 2001. The primary use of this abandoned Russian aircraft was in agriculture. But the aircraft was also used in limited military roles during the 1950s.
This MiG-25PU Two-Seat Trainer was found abandoned in Russia. It was found in the Khodynka Airdrome located in Moscow. When the MiG-25 entered the air for the first time, it was in the middle of the Vietnam conflict and American strategists were worried a new Soviet fighter aircraft would soon become available to the North Vietnamese.
We’re picking up on something of a theme here. This is far from the first Douglas C-47 that was found abandoned and included on this list. Not knocking the C-47, we’re just pointing out a trend. It probably has something to do with the fact that over 10,000 of the aircraft were built…so it’s just a matter of time until several become abandoned and then end up right here!
This aircraft was discovered by a drone flying over the area. It’s located on an airfield in Bryson City, NC – the Sossamon Airfield to be exact. Bryson City, North Carolina sits in some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Nestled in between the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and right on the edge of Fontina Lake’s egress rivers – it’s a seldom traversed area of the country. No popular roads. If you end up there, you were looking for it.
This abandoned Douglas DC-3 was discovered in the Zeljava Air Base on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. Looking back on it, the DC-3 was one of the aircraft that really changed the industry. The cargo/transport aircraft took that duty to new heights – carrying 21 to 32 passengers or 6,000 pounds of cargo with a range of 1,500 miles – something that previously was not an option. Civil production on the DC-3 ended in 1942, but several hundreds if not thousands are still in flying condition today. But not this completely abandoned DC-3.
Vought F7U Cutlass
The Vought F7U Cutlass! This one sits abandoned in the hills of the Appalachian Mountains. This U.S. Navy multirole fighter was produced from 1948 – 1955 and over 300 were built during that period. The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, flew two F7U-1 Cutlasses as a side demonstration during their 1953 show season in an effort to promote the new aircraft. Now, at least one of the planes sits abandoned.
This abandoned plane was found with tie-downs holding it in place in Tampa, Florida at Peter O. Knight Airfield. Someone definitely had plans for it, until they didn’t. The tail is completely missing which suggests a nasty storm or some opportunistic scavengers. The small, light aircraft probably could be renovated and become serviceable with enough TLC, but for the price of that you could probably just buy your own and forget about this abandoned plane.
Abandoned Plane In Puerto Rico
This abandoned plane was discovered in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Aguadilla is a small, remote city in the very northwestern part of Puerto Rico. How a plane that size came to rest in a coastal town that small, is unknown. What is known is that the constant exposure to the tropical elements has all but eroded this abandoned aircraft. It looks like the inside is quite accessible, though.
WWII Plane Found Off Icelandic Coast
This abandoned aircraft flew in WWII and was discovered off the Icelandic coast. This beat-up old abandoned plane seems large enough to be a passenger aircraft or even some kind of light cargo duties. We don’t know it’s make and model, or how long it’s been downed – but we do know that it is completely abandoned off the coasts on the south east side near the Skaftafell National Park.
This Soviet An-12 is a sight to behold. Not only has it been graffitied nearly beyond recognition, but the aircraft is sitting on tracked wheels! So, using critical thinking skills…this aircraft probably was immobile, yet someone wanted it moved somewhere, for some reason. How do you move an immobile aircraft without a tug? Put it on tank wheels and push. This abandoned plane sits at Bagram Airport in Afghanistan.
Convair B-58 Hustler
This is a rare find! Only 116 were built, so to see one sitting all alone in the relative open air is surprising to say the least. The Convair B-58 Hustler was the first operational jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. Convair designed this abandoned B-58 Hustler and developed them for the United States Air Force for service in the Strategic Air Command during the 1960s. But look at it now….sad!
Aero Commander 1121
This 1965 Aero Commander 1121 sits on display at the McVille Airport in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. The Jet Commander has been used in military operations by Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Israel, Mexico, Panama, Uganda and the U.S.A. However, given it’s civilian and military history – it is now used almost exclusively as a commercial business jet for white-collar elites. But not this one. This one is just plain old abandoned.