Victorville - Southern California Logisitics Airport
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The Southern California Logisitics Airport was formerly George Air Force Base. It is home to a Boeing test facility, Heavylift Helicopters, and a large number of retired airliners.
On my journey to and from the Saline Valley, I stopped by the Southern California Logistics Airport to photograph the stored airliners. I stayed the night at the Mariah Country Inn adjacent to the Convair 990 gate guard at the Mojave Airport.
General Electric's Boeing 747-121 Engine Testbed departed from the Southern California Air Logisics Canter for Fairbanks, Alaska shortly before noon on August 5. It flew to Hong Kong on August 6.
On Tuesday, March 14 a pair of Volga-Dnepr An-124 Ruslans flew from Wheeler Sack AAF, New York to the Southern California Air Logistics Center at Victorville, California. Flight VDA3424 arrived at 12:35 PM PST and flight VDA3400 arrived at 2:20 PM.
The Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 737-7ES Wedgetail AEW&C prototype flew from Boeing Field, Washington to Boeing's facility at the Southern California Logisitics Airport at Victorville on Saturday July 9, 2005.
link to the Southern California Logisitics Airport web site
DC-10 Tanker Air Carrier, N450AX returned to Victorville from its performance at the Paris Air Show on June 17, 2005. It is the first DC-10 modified to fight wildfires. It can carry up to 12,000 gallons of water.
Gene Tyler Sendlewski has written a history of the Southern California Logistics Airport:
Southern California Logistics Airport is located in northern Victorville, CA and was redevelop from George Air Force Base which closed in December 1992. George Air Force Base opened in 1941 as Victoryville Army Airfield. In 1950 the airfield became George Air Force Base named after Brigadier General Harold H. George.
George Air Force Base had two runways one 9,116 feet and the other was 10,050 feet. The base overspread 5,339 acres of Mojave Desert. As many as 6,000 service personnel plus civilian worker's were on duty and worked at the base daily. George Air Force Base was a training base and was home to the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing. George Air Force Base was home to such military aircraft as the P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, F-84 Thunderjets, F100 Super Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, B-26 Invaders, F-105 Thunderchief and the F-4 Phantom from 1950 to 1992.
The base was announced to close under the Base Realignment and Closure Act known as "BRAC" in 1988. In December 1992 George Air Force Base was decommissioned. On July 2,1993 President Clinton announced a five part program for communities near military bases slated for realignment or closure under BRAC. The idea was to give economic redevelopment over to local control. The fast track clean up program would make reuse of the site quick, so redevelopment could start and job creation could begin.
After environmental cleanup of George AFB by the Government, Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) opened in October 1994. In February 1995 SCLA received part 139 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. In April 1996 the US Army began transferring about 60,000 troops a year through SCLA for training at Fort Irwin. Southern California Aviation (SCA) began working out of SCLA in 1998. SCA stores over 170 aircraft on 430 acres, SCA also ready's aircraft to be put back into service. Plus SCLA recycles airframes that are written-off since 1998 it has recycled over 500 airframes. SCA is owned by Pratt & Whitney and Aviation Assurance Company.
On September 1,1999 Stirling Development Corporation began developing the 5,000 acre Global Logistics Center at SCLA. In July 2000 SCLA became a foreign Trade Zone, also the Department of Transportation granted $4.9 million dollars to extend the 10,000 foot runway to 13,00 feet, to allow fully loaded cargo planes to take off.
In 2001 BAE Systems opened a civil aircraft modification, maintenance and repair facility for commercial passenger aircraft at SCLA Victorville. Additionally in 2001 the 13,000 foot runway was extended to 15,000 feet.
In 2002 Victorville Aerospace took over BAE Systems civil aircraft modification, maintenance and repair facility at SCLA. Victorville Aerospace supports commercial aircraft makes such as Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed, and McDonnell Douglas in their 140,000sqf and 90,000sqf hangars at SCLA. In 2002 Victorville Aerospace began to modify a DC-10 Commercial passenger aircraft to a fire fighting DC-10 Tanker at SCLA for 10 Tanker Air Carriers. By 2006 a second DC-10 was modified by Victorville Aerospace, today the 2 DC-10 Tankers fly for 10 Tanker Air and have a contract with CAL FIRE. Both DC-10 Tankers have a 12,000 gallon capacity to carry fire retardant or water.
On June 25, 2007 one of 10 Tanker Air's DC-10 aircraft's hit severe turbulence, lost altitude and struck several trees. The DC-10 regained altitude and returned to its base in Victorville CA for a emergency landing, it landed without incident.
In August 2002 General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE) broke ground for a 15 million dollar 161,700sft research, testing and maintenance facility on 13.1 acres at SCLA. Part of GEAE's complex was built to house the GE Aircraft Engines 747-121 flying test bed. This 747 flying test bed is used to test GEAE and other aircraft engines for FAA Certification. The facility opened in the summer of 2003, the GE 747 was then moved from Mojave, CA to SCLA. The GEAE flying test bed has tested such engines as the GEnx, CF34 and the GP7200 out of SCLA Victorville. The GEnx engine will go on the new Boeing 787 and the 747-8, the GP72 engine from Engine Alliance is in place on the new Airbus A380.
Leading Edge Aviation thought in 2004 that SCLA was a great location to expand and they opened their 4th facility at Victorville. Since 2004 Leading Edge has painted hundreds of airframes for Air Canada, Delta, Southwest, Continental, United, Northwest, Boeing and more at SCLA. Leading Edge Aviation has two other locations in Mississippi and South Carolina.
Cargolux began operating out of SCLA with their fleet of alike Boeing 747-400 freighters in February 2005. The Volga Dnepr cargo company at SCLA transports oversized parts, like aircraft components Volga Dnepr cargo has aircraft such as the Antonov An-124, IIyushin II-76, Yakovlew Yak-40, Antonov An-148 and the Boeing 747-400 ERF. Other cargo company’s at SCLA are Atlas Air which has a large fleet of Boeing 747-400 freighters, MK Airlines has a fleet of Douglas DC-8 62 and Boeing 747-200's, Swiss Global Cargo has a fleet of 747-400 cargo aircraft's and FedEx has a fleet of MD-10's and DC-10's.
For three weeks in July 2005 Boeing and Northrop Grumman tested the Boeing 737 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning &Control) Wedgetail out of Victorville. The Boeing 737 Wedgetail was being developed for the Royal Australian Air Force, Turkish Air Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force. Boeing also tests the un-manned Boeing A160 Hummingbird out of Victorvile. Lockheed-Martin, Bell and Textron August Westland is currently test flying the US101 Presidential helicopter, however the Department of Defense may cut the US101 Program due to defense funding cuts.
In 2006 the C-17 "Spirit of Ronald Reagan" flow into SCLA. The C-17 did not fly into Victorville for maintenance or to pick up a payload but, to practice taking of and landing at night. Since SCLA is not a passenger airport, the airport has the ability to turn the runway lights off. This gives the Air Force the opportunity to practice taking off and landing using night vision, like they do in combat. SCLA is the only airport in the US that will assist the US Air Force with night vision take off and landing practice.
In May 2006 Orbis flying eye hospital DC-10 flew into Victorville for annual maintenance by Victorville Aerospace. The orbis DC-10 flies around the world giving the gift of sight.
In August 2006 Aircraft Recycling Corp began recycling aircraft at SCLA. Some of the aircraft recycled at Victorville are three Tower Air 747's, MD-88, 727, A300 and many more.
SCLA began as George Air Force Base, it was decommissioned in 1992 and became SCLA in 1994. SCLA is home to many fortune 500 companies, many in the aerospace industry. Southern California Logistics Airport is a world class Logistics Airport that will evolve with the future of areospace.
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