Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) in California


The Early Days of Flight at Mojave

Aerial view of the Mojave air field in 1943

The city of Mojave is located in the California desert about 95 miles north of Los Angeles, near Edwards Air Force Base, on Highway 58 between Barstow and Bakersfield.

The Mojave Airport was first opened in 1935 as a small, rural airfield serving the local gold and silver mining industry.

With the advent of World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps took over the field in 1942, and expanded it into a training facility known as the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station (MCAAS) Mojave.

During World War II the field trained thousands of Navy and Marine pilots for combat, using SBD dive bombers and F4U Corsairs.

MCAAS was decommissioned in 1946, and became a U.S. Navy airfield. At the end of 1953, the USMC reopened MCAAS Mojave as an auxiliary field to MCAS El Toro. In 1961, Kern County obtained title to the airport.

Entrance sign at the Mojave Air & Space Port ... "Imagination Flies Here"
Entrance sign at the Mojave Air & Space Port ... "Imagination Flies Here"

 

Mojave Airport (MHV) Today

Today, the Mojave Air and Space Port and industrial park is home to more than 60 companies engaged in flight development, highly advanced aerospace design, flight test and research, the wind industry, heavy rail industrial manufacturing, and airliner storage and reclamation.

Tenants include the National Test Pilot School, Virgin Galactic, BAE Systems, Orbital ATK, Scaled Composites, ASB Avionics and many more. Related facilities include the Stuart O. Witt Event Center, Monster Fitness and the Voyager Restaurant.

The airport is assigned FAA Identifier MHV, and is located at 2,787 feet above sea level. Runway 12/30 is 12,503 feet in length, 200 feet wide.

The tower at Mojave Air and Space Port in the California desert
(photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)
The tower at Mojave Airport in the California desert

 

It is the first facility to be licensed in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft, being certified as a spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2004. The development and launch of the experimental SpaceShipOne was arguably the biggest "first" in the history of Mojave Air and Space Port.

Mojave is also the location of the filming of many major film productions. The Mojave Air and Space Port website offers details about movie production and includes an extensive location/set gallery.

 

FAA Diagram of the Mojave Air and Space Port

FAA Diagram of the Mojave Air and Space Port

 

Airliner storage area at the Mojave Airport in the California desert
(photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)
Airliner storage area at the Mojave Airport in the California desert

 

Airliner Storage and Reclamation at Mojave

The Mojave airport is also a storage facility for commercial airliners, due to its vast area and dry desert conditions.

Large Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell-Douglas, and Lockheed aircraft owned by major airlines are stored at times at Mojave.

Some aircraft reach the end of their useful lifetime and are scrapped at the Mojave aircraft boneyard, while others are refurbished and returned to active service.

Boeing 747 airliners from Atlas Air and Southern Air in storage at the Mojave Airport in the California desert
(photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)
Boeing 747 airliners in storage at Mojave Airport in the California desert

Airbus airliners stored at the Mojave Air and Space Port in the California desert
(photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)
Airbus airliners stored at the Mojave Airport in the California desert

Boeing 747 being reclaimed at the Mojave Airport in California
(photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)
Boeing 747 being reclaimed at the Mojave Airport boneyard in California

 

Touring the Mojave Air and Space Port

Aircraft scrapping at Mojave Airport in CaliforniaAircraft scrapping at Mojave Airport in California
Photo by the AirplaneBoneyards.com Staff

The Mojave Air & Space Port does not offer tours to the public. However, they do invite visits during the monthly “Plane Crazy Saturdays" to see the airport, static displays and possible fly-ins. Contact the Mojave Chamber of Commerce for dates and details.

The Voyager Restaurant is located in the airport terminal building, under the old tower adjacent to transient parking. It is open 7 days a week, for breakfast and lunch.

During official, major events, visitors should enter the airport property from the south on Airport Boulevard at the Highway 58 entrance. They will be directed to specific areas for parking and viewing.

For directions to the Mojave Air and Space Port, see the interactive map at the bottom of this page.

As always, we recommend obeying all warning signs and avoiding restricted areas.

For more information, contact the East Kern Airport District, 1434 Flightline, Mojave, CA 93501. Phone 661.824.2433. Or visit the official website of the Mojave Air and Space Port


Mojave Air & Space Port in the News

Oldest Qantas 747 Retires to the Desert

Boeing 747-438 VH-OJM of Qantas has operated its last revenue flight, and is being retired to the Mojave Airport.

Read the full story at Australian Aviation
7/31/2017

Bigger Than the Spruce Goose

A look at Paul Allen's giant Stratolaunch rolled out at the Mojave Airport.

Read the full story at KQED
6/2/2017

 

Need Help Spotting Airliners Stored at Mojave?

Many are experts at identifying airliners, but others are just getting started and their knowledge of individual airliner models is limited.

With the wide variety of jet airliners in service today and in storage at places like Mojave, identification can be a challenge.

We have a new website dedicated to spotting airliners, with easy to follow spotting guides, and lots of photographs and spotting tips. We feature airliners from Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier and other manufacturers.

... at AirlinerSpotter.com

Spotting Guides for Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Bombardier jet airliners


Photos of the Mojave Airport in California

Welcome to the Mojave Airport sign ... circa 2004
Operated by the East Kern Airport District, and home to the Civilian Flight Test Center
(Airplane Boneyards staff photo)
Welcome to the Mojave Airport - Operated by the East Kern Airport District, and home to the Civilian Flight Test Center

Convair 990 Jetliner gatekeeper on display at the entrance to the Mojave Airport
NASA's N810NA Space Shuttle landing gear system test aircraft (Airplane Boneyards staff photo)
Convair 990 Jetliner gatekeeper on display at the entrance to the Mojave Airpor

Lockheed L-1011 "Stargazer" of Orbital ATK parked at the Mojave Airport in California
(photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)
Lockheed L-1011 "Stargazer" of Orbital ATK parked at the Mojave Airport in California

Rows of airliners in storage at the Mojave Airport in the California desert
(photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)
Rows of airliners in storage at the Mojave Airport in the California desert


McDonnell-Douglas jetliners being disassembled at the Mojave Airport in the California desert
McDonnell-Douglas jetliners being disassembled at the Mojave Airport in the California desert

Airliners of the world being reclaimed at the Mojave Air and Space Port in the California desert
Airliners of the world being reclaimed at the Mojave Airport in California

Panoramic view of airliners in storage at the Mojave Airport in the California desert (staff photo)
Panoramic view of airliners in storage at the Mojave Airport in the California desert

Aerial view of the Mojave Air & Space Port with airliners in storage (Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the air field with airliners in storage (Photo courtesy of the Mojave Transportation Museum)

Aerial view of the Mojave Airport with dozens of jetliners in storage (Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the air field with airliners in storage (Photo courtesy of the Mojave Transportation Museum)

Close-up, aerial view of airliners being disassembled and reclaimed at the Mojave Airport boneyard in California
Close-up, aerial view of airliners at the Mojave Airport boneyard in California

Aerial view of runways and airliners in storage at California's Mojave Air and Space Port
Aerial view of runways and airliners in storage at Mojave Airport

Aerial view of the Mojave air field in 1943 (Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the air field in 1943 (Photo courtesy of the Mojave Transportation Museum)


History of the City of Mojave, California

Mojave, California was established in 1876 when the Southern Pacific Railroad laid out the original plat for a town on its line between Los Angeles and San Francisco over nearby Tehachapi Pass. Mining and transportation have played key roles in Mojave's history, and gold was discovered in 1894 on Soledad Mountain and at other nearby locations.

Borax also played a role in Mojave's history, especially between 1884 and 1889 when the famous 20-Mule Team Wagons hauled borax between mines in Death Valley and the railroad in Mojave, a 160 mile, 15-day trip.

Links and More Resources about Mojave

Mojave Air and Space Port

Mojave Transportation Museum

Mojave Chamber of Commerce

Visit Mojave

Kern County Tourism Bureau

Interactive Map of Mojave California

Map of locations of active and post-WWII airplane boneyards and plane storage facilities in the United States

click to view interactive map of airplane boneyards and aircraft storage facilities in the United States


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