The Mojave and Sonoran deserts are home to a variety of civil and military aircraft “boneyards”—vast storage areas for craft too old or expensive to fly. Most airplanes that find themselves in such a location will be recycled in one way or another. Either a decades-long living death, cannibalised by parts for still-flying brethren, or—when there are no useful organs left to transplant—they may be cut up for scrap.
German photographer Werner Bartsch has taken a journey through these boneyards and amassed a collection of pretty, melancholic images. These were published in the book Desert Birds, whose first edition was released in Europe in October of 2010; the North American release is scheduled for September of 2011.