Amazing Abandoned Aircraft From All Over the World
Since the day they were built, aircraft have mesmerized us all. The idea that something so big and so heavy could glide across the air and travel from one destination to another is still a mind-blowing concept. However, their transportation method also makes them susceptible to being lost, damaged, or obsolete, meaning that there are a lot of abandoned aircraft all over the world. This is a shame seeing how these aircraft are such an innovative and beautiful innovation. If you are interested in seeing what these abandoned aircraft look like, scroll through this gallery and check them out.
The F4U Corsair is an aircraft a lot of people remember fondly courtesy of its robust airframe that allows it to absorb a lot of damage. It also helps that it was one of the quickest propeller-powered aircraft in a power-on dive.
The WWII-era bomber aircraft approached the sound barrier at speed under those circumstances, and it has been abandoned in this spot, where it is unlikely it will ever be deployed again. The good thing is it served a lot of time for the US Navy during its service.
C-121 Lockheed Constellation
This aircraft is an abandoned C-121 Lockheed that was nicknamed Pegasus because it was discovered in Pegasus Field in South Antarctica. Good thing the photographer took this picture of the abandoned aircraft when he did as the aircraft could have gone unnoticed for ages if he hadn’t.
This unit is the same model as Eisenhower's Lockheed Constellation presidential aircraft, the first plane to carry the Air Force One call sign officially. Built in Burbank, California, this plane served from 1953-1954.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning
This abandoned aircraft is a Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft that was shot down in Wales. It was shot down around 1942, and it has remained abandoned ever since. Legendary Lockheed engineer Clarence Johnson, the brain being the SR-71 Blackbird, is the genius that designed this aircraft.
The remarkable performance and unique design of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning made it a legendary single-seater fighter aircraft, supported by those who flew it, and capable of some remarkable devastation. Shame that this unit has been abandoned for decades.
This F4F-3 Wildcat plane was a prestigious war machine some decades ago but it’s only a sunken wreck next to the USS Lexington now. Until late 1942, the Wildcat’s heavily-armed and rugged frame provided a reliable weapon for the Naval and Marine Corps.
The carrier-based fighter aircraft entered into service with the United States Navy, and the British Royal Navy in 1940 but it was known as the Martlet in Britain. During the early bits of WWII, the Grumman F4F-3 was the only reliable fighter the Marine Corps and US Navy had.
In this picture is another forgotten/abandoned aircraft being pulled up to the surface from the ocean floor. It belongs to the Douglas C-47 family of planes that were predominantly used during WWII; these planes were also used during the Korean War.
They were mostly used for unusual kinds of missions as they were equipped to land on the most remote portions of the jungle and even mountain strips. C-47s were used to transport both military personnel and cargo, yet this abandoned unit was left to rot on the ocean floor for years.
This abandoned C-46 Commando stands out among abandoned aircraft because it's somehow been made to look pretty. This former military transport/cargo aircraft was prominent in the mid-1940s but this abandoned unit was converted to an art display in Churchill, Canada.
The Commando aircraft was one of the first military planes to feature pressurized cabins, as the concept was still new at the time. This abandoned art display unit hasn’t been in use in decades but the pressurized cabin concept is still used in remote places.
Air Force PV-1 Ventura
This abandoned aircraft is a WWII-era New Zealand Air Force PV-1 Ventura. It has since been abandoned in a rainforest, and its body was eventually scrapped for parts.
Both the British Air Force and the United States Air Force used the PV-1 Ventura as a patrol bomber in different encounters. After flying for the first time in 1941, the PV-1 Ventura are nearly extinct now, existing mostly in museums and only a few of them remain in flight today.
Vietnam-War Era Aircraft
This abandoned aircraft looks like it could make a decent cameo in a horror movie. The conditions are foggy in the forest where it lays abandoned, and gives the Vietnam-war-era aircraft a creepy look.
It was shot down in this forest all those years ago, and it has been abandoned ever since. A look at its intake style gives a hint of the aircraft’s era, and the trees it's surrounded by are 50+ feet tall, which aren’t as common these days as they were some decades ago.
In Afghanistan, the wreck of this abandoned MiG-21 provided scavengers plenty to rip out and cart away. The unit was propped up and lots of its components were ripped out by scavengers.
The MiG-21, also known as the Fishbed in NATO circles, was produced as an improvement on the previous models, the MiG-17 and MiG-19 by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau. The model features a single engine and after entering service in 1953, so many units of the MiG-21 were made so it's not surprising that there are a couple of wrecks like this.
This abandoned aircraft is a B-24A-CO Liberator that has been left to rot on Atka Island for decades now. In 1942, this same aircraft had to make an emergency landing and 33 years later, the US Navy had its offensive armament removed.
However, the curious thing about the aircraft is that while it had to make a forced landing, it is apparent that it landed safely and the pilot was conscious of what he was up to. The area’s climate has also kept the Liberator well-preserved over the years.
This Boeing 737 aircraft serves as a tourist attraction in Indonesia’s Bali region. While the aircraft’s disarray makes it look like it has been abandoned for decades, the 737 has only been abandoned since 2007.
The famed Boeing 737 Max has brought attention to the 737 lines in recent times, and this abandoned one just adds a nice spin to it. This abandoned unit is clearly supported by stilts, and while the exterior isn’t in terrible condition, we wonder if the story’s the same on the interior.
Bell P39Q Airacobra
The Bell P39Q Airacobra wasn’t exactly the most famous or loved fighter aircraft during its service so it’s not perplexing that this unit was found at the bottom of Lake Mart-Yavr in the Arctic Circle of Russia in 2004.
The plane’s pilot was reportedly forced to make a quick landing in the lake, and unfortunately, the forced landing didn’t exactly end well. The entire Airacobra family didn’t do well against Soviet forces so they weren’t highly favored like other fighter families.
This C-54 aircraft has been abandoned on a rocky creek bed for a while now. According to reports, the aircraft’s pilot was forced to fly low to avoid detection from faraway people for unknown reasons.
Unfortunately, he flew close to a big pine tree and one of his engines got clipped as a result and he had to make an emergency landing in Ganes, Creek, Alaska. So much remains unknown about this aircraft’s story, including who the pilot was hiding from, and what he was carrying on board.
The thing about aircraft, and this is particularly true for service planes, is that regardless of how much they cost, their security clearance, the number of passengers they convey, and all that, it is more likely than not that they get phased out after a while.
And once that happens, they eventually end up in boneyards like the one that holds these abandoned F-16s. They were highly maneuverable multi-role fighter aircraft used in air-to-air combat but they now lay abandoned for good, due to newer models being much better and much more efficient.
Saab J-35F Fighter Jet
The Saab J-35F is a Swedish fighter jet nicknamed The Draken. It was designed and manufactured from 1955 to 1974 by Saab, and it was the first fully-supersonic aircraft to be used in Western Europe.
Its innovative double delta wing enabled it to seamlessly replace the previous generation of jet-powered fighter jets, and it was deployed by the Swedish Air Force in March 1960. The initial models were supposed to be used for air defense missions but the plan was aborted because of the high maintenance costs.
C-47 Cargo Plane
This C-47 Cargo Plane is an abandoned unit like nearly every other aircraft we’ve talked about so far but unlike the others, this one comes with a remarkable survival story.
The plane’s pilot had to land on the spot where the plane now lies in freezing -40 degree temperatures. The good thing though is he landed in a mountainous area in Yukon, Canada where he was able to hike down the mountain to the road and found his way to safety after.
P-57 Sea Prince
The Royal Navy used the P-57 Sea Prince family of aircraft for transport duties in the U.K., Thailand, and Australia. Unfortunately, the unit pictured here lies completely abandoned in the Logan Marston Airfield in Warwickshire.
It is one of the more than 75 P-57s that were produced in various models. From the 75 units made, 41 editions of the P-57 Sea Prince T1 were made with radar imaging so this is a standout abandoned aircraft.
This abandoned aircraft is a WWII-style one that is long forgotten and nearly lost forever. Commonly called the "Swamp Ghost," this famed abandoned aircraft was found recently after it had been lost deep in the forest for more than six decades.
The aircraft has become famous over the years as a result of the interesting discoveries found in it. A soldier’s thermos was found filled with coffee, which was probably meant for the final voyage, which is one of many interesting discoveries made.
This abandoned aircraft is the experimental Beriev VVA-14. It was strictly an experimental aircraft that was designed to be an amphibious, vertical take-off aircraft that would operate in anti-submarine defenses over long distances.
Unfortunately, only two units of the aircraft were ever built, and although they logged 103 flight hours over 107 flights, they never got the use they were intended for. After some retesting and further changes during the years from 1971 to 1975, both VVA-14s were eventually retired for good.
Pictured here is an abandoned Crop Duster aircraft in a farmhouse located in Gem Valley, Idaho. Crop Dusters are agricultural aircraft that are either built or converted for agricultural purposes, which might include aerial topdressing or hydroseeding.
These aircraft are typically equipped with turboprop engines or piston engines; no idea which engine powers this abandoned unit as the wings, fabric body, and engine have all been ripped away, and it's unlikely this unit ever flies again. This is a Piper Pawnee model.
Before this Tornado ZA466 aircraft crashed and became damaged beyond repair, it was used in the Gulf War in 1991. It belongs to a family of aircraft called Panavia Tornado which features variable-sweep wing multirole combat aircraft with twin engines.
These aircraft were jointly developed and manufactured by West Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy and they come in three variants, this being one of them. Lots of penetrating strike missions were conducted at low altitudes by the Tornado, and these aircraft were used in a host of other conflicts as well.
Curtiss Kittyhawk P-40
The Sahara desert is the location where this abandoned Curtiss Kittyhawk P-40 aircraft has been left to rot for years. Back in 1942, this unit was forced to land in the desert, and the wreck was eventually discovered by a Polish oil worker that found a new region in Egypt’s Western Desert.
The model is also known as Model 81, Gypsy Rose Lee, the Kittyhawk, and was one of the most prominent fighters in the US arsenal as it was actively used during WWII.
At Everest Base Camp lies an MI-17 Helicopter that sits abandoned and has been rendered useless over the years. The fate of the MI-17 serves to remind prospective mountain climbers that in some cases, the weather puts your fate beyond your control.
The MI-17 is a Kazan Helicopter produced Russian chopper that is still used in active service, and tens of thousands of units have been produced ever since its launch. This unit was designed for military transport, and it is a unique abandoned aircraft in its own right.
Lockheed Martin L1011
This abandoned passenger aircraft is an unusual sight on the floor of the Red Sea. It is a Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar aircraft powered by three engines. This unit sits on its tail fin beneath the surface of the sea.
It has been there since it was sunk to create an artificial reef to aid marine life in 2019 so becoming an aquatic liner wasn’t an accident but a careful decision. Underwater photojournalists and explorers have grown fond of this artificial reef/jet.
South American Passenger Plane
What is left of this South American passenger plane is a shadow of its former glamorous self as this plane has been abandoned for a while now. The strip of land where the airstrip used to be has since been taken over by a family, and this isn’t the only abandoned aircraft in the location.
You can see the front galley and cockpit of a smaller passenger plane that has been ruined. The bigger unit is in apparently better condition so there might be hope some of it gets salvaged.
B-17G Flying Fortress
This B-17G Flying Fortress was a US Bomber that was deployed in WWII but then it crashed off the coast of Vis in Croatia and it is nothing but a wreck now. British photographer Steve Jones swam about 230ft down the surface before finding the remains of the pilot who sacrificed himself for his crew’s survival.
Ernest Vienneau, a Second Lieutenant, had disappeared after he got hit by anti-aircraft guns and he wasn’t found for decades until Jones’ discovery many years later.
World Airways DC-10
As a result of wet volcanic ash on the site, this World Airways DC-10 aircraft sits on its tail. After flying through the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, this plane has been abandoned.
Its robust and large airframe inspired the design of the KC-10 Extender, which is currently in service. A brace has been placed beneath the plane’s nose in case it swings down, and there might be some valuable parts left on the plane since it hasn’t yet been scrapped for parts.
The Mitsubishi A6M is a Japanese Fighter Plane and WWII relic that was found off the coast of Palau. It is apparent that the abandoned aircraft is a Mitsubishi A6M Zero, a quintessential Japanese aircraft that was prevalently used during WWII.
It was co-produced by Nakajima and designed by Mitsubishi, together, these companies produced over 10,000 Zeros from 1939 to 1945. The A6M was regarded as the most reliable carrier-based fighter plane in the world when it was unveiled.
This right here is what’s left of what was once a multi-million dollar stealth jet that is now being removed from its abandoned state for complete demolition. For many long years, this abandoned jet was forgotten and left untouched at the Arizona Air Force base with no future in sight.
However, with time all the vital parts of the aircraft were removed, and once every valuable component was ripped out, wavers were cleared for it to be demolished. An unglamorous end for a remarkable machine.
Convair B-58 Hustler
An abandoned Convair B-58 Hustler is an unusual sight because Convair B-58s are hard to come by in any condition. Only 116 units of this model were ever built, and this is one of them here, sitting in the midst of the elements.
Convair B-58 Hustlers were the first jet bombers to attain Mach 2 flight. They were designed by Convair and supplied to the United States Air Force for Strategic Air Command service in the 1960s but this abandoned unit has reached the end of the road.
Right here in the airfield, two Boeing 747s were abandoned and left to rot. They were eventually scrapped for parts after the picture was taken which isn’t ideal since the proximity of the site to the city means they could have been an unusual tourist attraction.
In the picture, the climber of the plane on the right can be clearly seen to the left of the cockpit. Before they were scrapped, these two Boeing 747s were some good-looking abandoned aircraft. If left as is, we truly believe some people would have traveled to this site for a great social media picture.
Thanks to the foggy conditions of the forest where this aircraft lies, this is one of the spookier abandoned aircraft on our list. The sinister-looking aircraft was shot down in this forest and it has never been cared for since it went down.
Looking at its intake gives an idea of the aircraft’s era, and the trees themselves give an indication that the aircraft has been abandoned for longer than its life span. It is clearly a helicopter but the fogged-up windows give it such an eerie vibe.
The Ford Tri-Motor or Tin Goose or Ford 5-AT-C is a military aircraft that was part of the Royal Australian Air Force. During its service, this aircraft could lift 4,000 pounds of cargo while also accommodating 17 passengers and 2 pilots.
Roughly 200 units of the aircraft were made in the 1920s and 1930s but there might be as few as 15 serviceable units left today and you know for sure that this unit isn’t part of the serviceable ones.
The Beechcraft 18 family of planes were manufactured in Wichita, Kansas but this unit has been abandoned in New Hampshire. At the peak of the Beechcraft 18’s reign, this was one of the most famously-used aircraft in the world.
From 1937 to late 1969, several units of this model were built and as a result of their fame and wide adoption, hundreds of these aircraft are still used to date. Not this abandoned unit though, this one’s for the pictures and museums.
This abandoned aircraft used to be a Colombian plane that was used to smuggle illegal items before a forced landing caused it to land on a beach close to outposts of the Mexican Army.
The plane landed on this spot in the early 2000s, and sand has slowly taken over it as the years have passed. Most of it looks intact, so it might have been scrapped for only its best parts, and everything else remains untouched so this is one of the most memorable abandoned aircraft we’ve seen.
This is an abandoned Douglas that was left to the elements in the Gila River Memorial Airport. The DC-4 is a propeller-driven aircraft powered by four engines that was designed by the Douglas Aircraft Company.
During the Second World War, the C-54 and R5D military models were unveiled and deployed during the Berlin Airlift, and in the 60s. From the 1940s, airlines also operated the DC-4 civilian model of aircraft across the world because this is a reliable model that is still in service to date.
Dassault Mirage III
For some reason, France’s Chateaudun Aircraft Graveyard/Storage Facility is home to lots of abandoned aircraft, including this Dassault Mirage III fighter. The facility was used as a storage facility by France for many years after it was opened in 1934 but it’s only a scrap yard these days.
The Dassault Mirage III family features a single-engine, single-seat fighter aircraft that made history by becoming the first aircraft from Western Europe to cross Mach 2. Lots of Dassault Mirage III aircraft were produced, and they were deployed in a number of conflicts.
Soviet Union Spacecraft
This vehicle assembly building in Kazakhstan is one of many scattered throughout Russia and Eastern Europe since the fall of the Soviet Union.
This one is home to an abandoned spacecraft because funding stopped once the USSR got disbanded and the spaceship was halfway complete when everyone abandoned the assembly building and it has been completely abandoned ever since.
In a hangar in the Kucove Air Base in Albania lies an abandoned MiG-15 aircraft. The MiG-15 aircraft family is a family of jet fighters that were produced in mass by the Soviet Union. They were designed by Russian designer Mikoyan-Gurevich, and they took flight for the first time in December 1947.
The MiG-15s were created as a result of the desire of the Soviet Union to challenge the air dominance of the United States Air Force. Their MiG-15 model provided the kind of response they wanted at the time.
The PBY-5A is a remarkable aircraft that met an unfortunate end after it was abandoned between Saudi Arabia’s desert and the sea for roughly five decades. It has been on Saudi Arabia’s side of the Gulf of Aqaba entrance since its service ended.
The PBY-5A initially belonged to the US Navy but it was purchased by Thomas W. Kendall, who made it a luxury flying yacht instead. Kendall landed his aircraft on the Strait of Tirana but he was taken hostage along with his family shortly after and the plane has been abandoned since.
This abandoned USAF C-47 plane crashed at this spot in the Yukon and it has somehow remained well-preserved over the years since it crashed. The crash happened on the Gauli Glacier in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps in November 1946, and the crash became a landmark point in alpine rescue.
It had departed Tulln, Austria, and was headed towards Pisa, Italy when it collided with the Gauli Glacier as a result of poor visibility. Two high-ranking U.S. armed forces members, an 11-year-old girl, four crew members, and four women were all on board when it went down.
B-29 Superfortress Bomber
After making an emergency landing in northwest Greenland during a secret spying mission during the Cold War in 1947, this aircraft became marooned. It spent a couple of days in the deserted and isolated Arctic tundra before the entire crew was evacuated and the aircraft was abandoned at the site it landed.
The B-29 remained at the site until a mission was launched to repair it in 1994 but a fire outbreak hindered its restoration and caused the airframe on the ground to become lost.
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
The U.S. Air Force base barracks in Israel was flooded, and as a result, a host of costly equipment and aircraft were either ruined or damaged for good. This General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is one of the damaged aircraft as a result of the flood.
The single-engine multi-role fighter aircraft was developed for the U.S. Air Force by General Dynamics. More than 4,600 units of this aircraft have been built since their production was approved in 1976, and improved versions of the aircraft are still being made for foreign clients.
Soviet Ilyushin IL-76 Cargo Plane
The Illyushin IL-76 Cargo Plane is a Soviet multi-purpose four-engine turbofan airlift that was abandoned in the Umm Al Quwain desert. Before it went down, the cargo plane was associated with Viktor Bout, an arms dealer and former Soviet military translator that reportedly smuggled weapons with his multiple air companies.
Bout did so from the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe to Africa and the Middle East, and he was nicknamed the Merchant of Death and Sanctions Buster as a result of his extensive clientele, borderless operation, and disregard for embargoes. The unit pictured here has been abandoned in the Umm Al Quwain desert and it lies supported by stilts which has allowed the unit to remain in good condition.
Aero Commander 1121
This Aero Commander 1121 is a sorry sight because a legendary military and civilian aircraft like this shouldn’t be left abandoned, regardless of how well it’s withstood the elements over the years.
The Aero Commander is a Jet Commander aircraft that was used in different military operations across Ecuador, Chile, Israel, Uganda, the US, and more. In line with its history, this aircraft family is typically used as a commercial jet for the world’s richest, which is what makes the fate of this abandoned unit really sad.
Curtiss C-46 Commando
This Curtiss C-46 was one of Pablo Escobar’s drug planes before it crashed in the Bahamas en route to South Florida and became abandoned. The plane can be found right off Norman’s Cay in the Exuma corner of the Bahamas but it isn’t exactly easy to get to.
The curious thing about this aircraft is its grace to grass story, it went from being a military transport aircraft during WWII to becoming a transportation aircraft for the drug cartel. The Bahamas was partly under the control of criminals in the late 70s so the runway was secured with armed guards.
1955 Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor is a British jet fighter and the only Allied forces jet aircraft to engage in active combat duties during WWII. The unit pictured here is abandoned but in impeccable condition as there appears to be little rust and environmental decay on its frame.
The development of the Meteor relied heavily on its legendary turbojet engines that were designed by Frank Whittle and the Power Jets Ltd. They began developing it in 1936, and the first unit was flown in 1943.
The Khodynka Aerodome is a military airfield that was in service for roughly a century before it was shut down for good in 2003. This unit lies abandoned in the Khodynka Aerodome in Moscow which has been a public airfield since 1910.
These days though, it is simply a graveyard of sorts for forgotten military aircraft like this Khodynka Aerodome unit. This particular one pictured here went out of service shortly after the Aerodome was shut down.
MiG Fighter Jets
The Russian military helicopter we talked about above isn’t the only forgotten aircraft at the Khodynka Aerodrome. These MiG fighter jets also lay forgotten in the Aerodrome. Difficult to tell which exact model these MiG jets are but an educated guess would put their model as old MiG-21 jets.
Foreign Air Forces took a liking to this aircraft model because it is rugged, comes at an approachable price, and works with a ground coordinator. In this case, though, the units we see are simply rotting away on home soil.