flamedude707
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Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:03 am

I will be making a trip down to LA and then on to vegas in a couple of weeks. So, is it worth spending a day/ half a day driving there? DO they give you tours inside the fences? Do you actually get up close to the planes? The airport website is extremely unhelpful. Also, how long is it from LA or Vegas, and is it on the way?
Thanks
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United_fan
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:15 am

I was out there last month but it was too hot for a tour (for me) besides heat haze would be terrible. It was 113 according to the car. I belive they still do tours. I went on one in Dec 2003 and got to go up in the tour.
You don't get taken out to the scrapping area,but it's better than nothing.

I'de say it's like 1 - 1 1/2 hour drive from LAX,2 - 2 1/2 from LAS.
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EMBQA
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:18 am

From what I've read here on the A.net you are not allowed to leave the van. It is also not a fixed tour, but only available if the ramp services people are not busy. Try a search... there are tons of threads on this subject

[Edited 2006-08-23 01:19:44]
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United_fan
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:21 am

I meant I got to go up in the tower. A security guard took me around.
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RayPettit
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:17 am

The one and only time I went there was in October 2000, and after a wait of around 40 minutes, the fuel truck driver found time to take us around, but only to some of the nearer stored stuff. But it was still good.

We were allowed out of the van, but only a few feet if I recall.

Still, that was six years ago....
 
SJCRRPAX
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:44 am

If you use Yahoo maps you might have better luck if you spell it Mojave. If you go I think you should just keep driving on to Vegas. Its like 100 miles from LAX to Mojave, and than Mohave to LAS is another 225 miles, Those can be very fast miles too, at times that stretch of road makes the Autobaun look slow. Good if you use a rental car too, doing 90 MPH when the outside temp is like 120 degrees can be hard on a car. I've never stopped there, but its pretty cool just looking at all those old planes as you zoom through there.
 
PanAm747
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:04 am

If you have pre-arranged for a tour, then I would say go ahead and go!

However, if you have not, Mojave is not for the faint of heart. MHV airport is 220 miles from Las Vegas, 98.2 miles from LAX, and approximately 65 miles from Bakersfield, the nearest major city.

If you drive from Las Vegas, you will be driving across some of the most treacherous climate extremes on the continent. Interstate 15 not only crosses the Mojave desert, but at Baker, virtually the only sign of civilization between Barstow and Las Vegas, is the turn-off for Death Valley, where the thermometer once recorded 134 degrees. At Barstow, you will cut over to highway 58, the road that the Joad family took in The Grapes Of Wrath. And sad to say, the state of California has done little to improve it in San Bernardino county - it is still a slow two-lane highway highway that still gets stopped by trains.

Driving up from Los Angeles, you will pass through the high desert of Lancaster and Palmdale on highway 14 (a much easier drive).

From the roads, Mojave airport is rather difficult to see. Whether you are in the town itself or on the highway 58 bypass, it is hard to get close. I have tried several times, but have had no luck. If you have a pre-guided tour, you will get closer than I ever could. I would STRONGLY recommend, however, that unless you like 100+ degrees and a relentless blowing wind, re-schedule your trip for another time.
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jrosa
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:10 am

I tried to do the tour two times, one in 1995 when the airport had no personnel available to drive me around, the second time I tried it (2000) the tour guy had left for a dialysis session. Both times The tours were not scheduled, so you must be lucky enough to have someone available to take you on a tour.

The first time I tried the tour at Mojave (1995) I ended up visiting Edwards Air Force Base, which had a tour that was very enjoyable (I've seen the SR-71 Blackbird, Nasa 747 shuttle transporter, some F-18, F-16 and F-15 and a few other types).
 
flamedude707
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:04 pm

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 5):
Yahoo maps you might have better luck if you spell it Mojave

oops! stupid mistake.
I'm guessing though that it's not worth aday out ofa three day trip to see it. Guess I'll try to head out to LAX and the IN N Out.
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BigOrange
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:11 am

If you are driving from LAX to LAS, then it's definitely worth the stop at Mojave.

I did it in July last year, and while it was hot, it wasn't unbearable. I got a tour round in the van. It stays on the taxiways pretty much now, unlike in 1995 when they went down each line of parked aircraft and you could get out and take photos etc.

It's not going to take you all day to do it either. It will take you only 1 or 2 hours out of your day. Time it around lunchtime and have a snack and pee stop in the excellent cafeteria there.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:20 am

There are not many planes in MHV these days, but the tour, if Javier is available, is still a nice way to spend 30 minutes.
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:08 am

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y164/arbern/map.gif


Ok, here is a map of the Los Angeles basin and the desert which is behind those green mountains. I have shown the direction to Las Vegas and the 2 major scrap airports Mohave and Victorville. As you can see MHV is completely on the other side of the high desert and it is not on the way to Vegas. However I recommend going to Victorville as that is on the way and freeway 15 you take to go to Vegas passes right next to Victorville city. Plus VCV is definitely a more active airport, MHV is pretty much deserted. I have been to MHV and can tell you it's not a big deal, it's just a sqare mile of land with rows of old planes. After a few minutes it gets very old and we couldn't even get close to the planes because there weren't any roads. We spent maybe 10 minutes. I have never been to VCV but I suspect it's much better.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 6):
If you drive from Las Vegas, you will be driving across some of the most treacherous climate extremes on the continent. Interstate 15 not only crosses the Mojave desert, but at Baker, virtually the only sign of civilization between Barstow and Las Vegas, is the turn-off for Death Valley, where the thermometer once recorded 134 degrees. .

Don't worry about this statement, 15 is very well traveled and there are many cities. The only point where it gets quiet is the last 50-100 miles to Vegas but there are many cars and police patrols to help you, it's just like any other highway in the U.S don't know where PanAm go the treacherous driving idea.
 
SJCRRPAX
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:29 am

If you have the program "google" earth installed you can see the airplanes at the airports. It looks like Victorville has about 100 Aircraft and Mojave has around 200 (got tired of counting) From the Bay Area Mojave is on the way to LAS (although I'm not sure how many a-netters would drive) I've driven the route a couple of times (never stopped to look at planes though).
I usually stop for gas at the 395/58 intersection, and let me tell you it can get HOT there. I think PANAM747 was talking about Hwy 58 and not I15. IN any case driving that highway can be dangerous without precautions. Carry extra water for sure. I'm pretty sure my blown transmission was because of the weather + speed (It's tempting to do a 100 mph+ in sections). So if you've ever sat on the side of the road with a broken transmission, and its a 120 degrees out, and nobody is stopping for you, and you're crawling under the car to try to get out of the sun than you might know what PANAM747 is talking about. It is a better trip better when its not summer, or at least not made during daylight hours.
 
aviateur
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:36 am

Ah, Mojave. I was recently there helping film a Discovery Channel segment on the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tenerife accident. It's definitely worth a visit, but dealing with the "Mojave Mafia" can be tricky. You might try a guy named Mike Potter, who is one of the proprieters and sometimes takes folks out to the boneyard. Send me an email, and I'll give you his contact info.

Here is an article I wrote about my visit to MJV. It has some cool photos....

Letter from Mojave: The Deeper Meanings of an Airplane Graveyard
http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/08/04/askthepilot197/

(You can read the story for free by watching a brief advertisement)

PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
PanAm747
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:26 am

Quote:
don't know where PanAm got the treacherous driving idea.

Treacherous in that 110+ degrees and the speeds people drive on I-15 from Las Vegas to Barstow can be tough on the car. Modern cars fare much better than older cars, and the highway itself is fairly good, but if you stop somewhere, the heat can be almost indescribable.

Quote:
think PANAM747 was talking about Hwy 58 and not I15.

Actually, I was referring to both of them...they both are part of the same desert.

My family used to drive this route frequently, along with I-40 to Arkansas, in a 1970 VW camper. A/C? A luxury only dreamed about. That 30-horsepower camper barely ever got to 50 mph...not even fast enough to get a good breeze!

The only time in his life I ever saw my dad give up on anything was when we tried to have a picnic lunch in Needles, CA, along the Colorado River. As we drove off in the mid-afternoon BLAZING heat, the bank temperature sign said "126 degrees". Yes, that was in the sun, but that should give you an idea of what you can expect to find in the deserts of Southern California.
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avianca707359b
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:34 am

Very informative site:

http://www.mojaveairport.com/
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SJUSXM
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:42 am

When we went on a vacation out to death valley (quiet neat 109 the day we got there, sand storm the day we left, also, too my only 777 trip from LA to MIA) we stopped in Mojave. It was neat, we got taken on a tour. We didn't get to see all the planes, as we mostly stayed on the ramp, but we did get to go inside a Convair 990 that was by the entrance to the airport. That was awesome. Even got to sit in the pilot's seat. Unfortunately i believe that this plane was scrapped. Later we stopped in Victorville. They were less helpful and we only got to see it from outside the fence.
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EMBQA
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:52 am

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 12):
you have the program "google" earth installed you can see the airplanes at the airports

Just remember the images on Google Earth can be 4-5 years old. A lot can change in that time...
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N1120A
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:00 am

Quoting Flamedude707 (Thread starter):
I will be making a trip down to LA and then on to vegas in a couple of weeks. So, is it worth spending a day/ half a day driving there?

It doesn't take anywhere near a day or half a day to get there, particularly if you are doing Mojave along the way to Vegas. BTW, the old "back way" to Vegas from Ventura County and the Northern parts of L.A. County goes right through the area, so it isn't much of a detour

Quoting Flamedude707 (Thread starter):
DO they give you tours inside the fences? Do you actually get up close to the planes?

Yes, if they are available.

Quoting Flamedude707 (Thread starter):
Also, how long is it from LA or Vegas, and is it on the way?

Not far and like I said, it is on the way if you want to avoid the Inland Empire and L.A. traffic.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 14):
Treacherous in that 110+ degrees and the speeds people drive on I-15 from Las Vegas to Barstow can be tough on the car. Modern cars fare much better than older cars, and the highway itself is fairly good, but if you stop somewhere, the heat can be almost indescribable.

It really isn't that bad. Sure it is hot out there, but it is the old cliche of being a "dry heat" and really isn't all that bad. Beyond that, if you are driving a modern car, it should be able to take the heat without a problem. I know my car has cruised through the desert many times with its AC going and had no problem at all.
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474218
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:55 am

I would say Mojave would be a great side trip. From LA take the Interstate 5 or 405 north to Highway 14 (see reply 11 map). Highway 14 will take you through Palmdale, get off at Ave P and go east approximately 2 1/2 miles to the Blackbird Park, SR-71, A-12 and D-21 plus several other military aircraft on display. Lockheed facility where they built the L-1011's is also just off Ave P (turn left at 10th Street East) and there is a F-117, F-104 and an F-80 on display, that can be seen from public roads. If you get lucky there may be some aircraft doing circuits, could be anything from a KC-135 to a B-2.

Get back on Highway 14 and go north about 40 miles to Mojave. Turn on to Highway 58 (to Barstow). Airport entrance is off Highway 58. Tours are available but you can see some aircraft from the highway.

Highway 58 takes you to Barstow, it also passes just north of Edwards AFB and again if you get lucky some thing may be in the air. At Barstow you will pick up Interstate 15 and Los Vegas is about 1 1/2 hours away.

A second option would be from Palmdale take Highway 138 east to Victorville, about 45 minutes. Check out the stored aircraft at Victorville and pick up Interstate 15 there.

Taking Interstate 10 to 15 would be quicker but not as interesting.
 
flamedude707
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:55 am

I have driven through the Mojave Desert three or four times, and yes I am aware of the heat. Treacherous, I don't know... It's been a while, but last time it seemed like a fairly easy ride from the backseat of a car. Does anyone know if Victorville gives tours. I am trying to minimize the driving since I would be in the car for 5-6 hours on trip from San Jose to LA. If VIctorville has tours, I would definetly go. I know they have quite a large quantity of planes parked there.

Thanks
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HT
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:24 pm

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 12):
If you have the program "google" earth installed

maps.google.com does it as well - and there is no need to install anything.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 11):
15 is very well traveled and there are many cities. The only point where it gets quiet is the last 50-100 miles to Vegas but there are many cars and police patrols to help you, it's just like any other highway in the U.S don't know where PanAm go the treacherous driving idea.

I've used that stretch of road (Barstow - Baker - Primm) a number of times and it was busy every single time. In fact, this stretch is best avoided during the Friday and Sunday rushes to/from Las Vegas as it can become very busy of this 2+2 lane interstate.
And when stopping in (or passing) Baker, watch out for "The worlds biggest thermometer" ...
Serious: Tune into the High-desert radio (frequenciy advised on signs), as they can get you the latest road- and weather-information !

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 12):
I usually stop for gas at the 395/58 intersection,

Confirmed, as it is the only settling (called "Kramer Jct") you will drive through between the intersection of CA14/CA58 to the west and Barstow to the east.

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 12):
(It's tempting to do a 100 mph+ in sections).

Might be tempting but surely the CHP has a different view of this ... Big grin

Quoting 474218 (Reply 19):
A second option would be from Palmdale take Highway 138 east to Victorville, about 45 minutes. Check out the stored aircraft at Victorville and pick up Interstate 15 there.

Taking Interstate 10 to 15 would be quicker but not as interesting.

For VCV go to the town of Adelanto (west of I-15).
I've made two circles in that map below:
The lower one is a sandy hill which offer good views (binoculars needed).
The upper one is a open space (parking possible) right outside the airports's fence. I had the luck to watch a C-17 from March ARB performing touch-and-goes 100 yards in front of me upon my last visit.

Access to I-15 is either via that yellow marked road on the lower right corner, or if driving from San Bernardino, fork off I-15 and use US-395.
That way it is only a little detour from the drive LAX to LAS (v/v) using I-10 (or parallel highways) and I-15 and makes for a good stopping point for a break.
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United_fan
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RE: Mohave Airport... Is It Worth It?

Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:11 am

There isn't much to see from the hill @ VCV. I was there last month. No scrapping or parking by there. There is the tail-section of a FF 747 near there .
Be aware,the road that the hill is on is a bad neighborhood,you don't want to get your car stuck or have it not start. People also dump thier garbage all around there,sofas mattresses,etc. Yay!
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