These Aerial And Satellite Photos Of An Airport Absolutely Stuffed With Airliners Are Nuts

Nowhere has received more airliners for storage during this crisis than Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. 

Gabriel Zeifman/PHOTO © 2020 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION

The Southern California Logistics Airport (VCV) in Victorville, California is an interesting aviation landmark, to say the least. It was once George Air Force Base, which hosted rows of fighter jets up until it was closed 1992. It then morphed into a fairly unique multi-use airport that supports everything from jet engine development to flight testing exotic aircraft. What it is best known for is for being a place where operators and manufacturers can store airliners where they'll be dry and safe. So, when COVID-19 swept the planet and airlines needed space to store their soon to be mothballed fleets, VCV was at the top of their lists.

VCV started this crisis with many airplanes already stored around its sprawling grounds, but just how many planes have joined their ranks is astonishing. Keep in mind, that the airfield already had a mass influx of Boeing 737Max jets that have been grounded for over a year before the epidemic struck. 

In satellite images that The War Zone obtained from Planet Labs, the first taken on May 20th, 2019, and the second taken on April 14th, 2020, you can see the throngs of airliners that have been put into storage at the big Mojave Desert airfield. 

PHOTO © 2020 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION
PHOTO © 2020 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION

Zoomed-in comparative crops of the southern portion of the airport where the vast majority of the newly arrived airframes are stored:

PHOTO © 2020 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION
PHOTO © 2020 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION

You can check out the full resolution satellite images from May 20th, 2019 here and from April 14th, 2020 here for yourself.

The War Zone also obtained exclusive aerial images from pilot Gabriel Zeifman of VCV that were taken on April 19th, 2020, showing a whole new perspective on the mass migration of airliners to Victorville for storage during the pandemic:

Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman
Gabriel Zeifman

You can check out all the images from the aerial photo flight of VCV in their native resolution at this Google Drive link. 

Although Southern California Logistics Airport is just one of a vast number of airports around the globe that have disused airliners littering their aprons and runways during the COVID-19 nightmare, it appears to have received the most aircraft by a substantial margin.

It remains totally unclear when the airline industry will rebound or just how much long-term damage has been done by the pandemic, but it is almost impossible to imagine a situation where it won't take years to recover.

With that in mind, those airliners may be sitting idle on VCV's runways and aprons for a long while to come.

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com