Ardmore, Oklahoma
Ardmore Industrial Airpark (ARD)

This former USAF base has been a salvage airport for a number of years.  For quite some time the pace of change there was very slow, but of late the salvage business has picked up considerably and now one can see over 20 airframes on the airport.

ARD has always been a good place for spotting and taking photos.  A number of the airframes are lined up along the south perimeter fence, and are easy to photograph.  For the airframes that aren't easily visible over the fence, the Airport Fire and Security Department can help.  Drive over to the firehouse (near the airport's control tower) and ask for a ride on the ramp; in 10 years of visiting ARD I have never had a request for this turned down!  I even had one of the guys invite me to go on the ramp on a visit where I wasn't planning to go out!  Note, though, that if you want extreme close-ups or detail photos of the aircraft, you will probably have to ask Mr. Joe Turner at Aviation Sales for permission; it is best to try for that during the week.

Another "hazard" to visiting ARD are training flights by the USAF in both tactical and transport aircraft.  The transport flights can be especially good, since they often use ARD to practice low-level cargo extraction techniques.
I've never run across this on my visits to ARD, but the Fire and Security people have told me it's quite a show!

In short, ARD is a great place to visit, and well worth the stop if driving between the DFW area and Oklahoma City.  I've made it part of my routine any trip to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Fast facts:

Airport:  Ardmore Industrial Airpark is located approximately 10 miles east of Interstate 35, approximately 100 miles north of Dallas and 100 miles south of Oklahoma City.  Take exit 40, the Springer/Gene Autry exit, and drive east.  After about 9 miles you will get to the top of a hill, and see the airport in the distance.  One mile from the top of the hill, the highway will make a sharp bend to the left, and right there is the ARD entrance.  Drive on through and have a good time!

Air Service: none.  Your only hope is to rent a car, or charter a small plane to visit.

Contact number:  I don't have any phone numbers because I've never had to arrange visits on the ARD ramp in advance.  If you're wanting detail photos of the hulks, you will need to contact Aviation Sales.

January/February 1998 visits:
All photos are by Andrew Abshier

The south perimeter fence can provide much interesting viewing, and photos are easy to take over the 6 foot high fence, if you have something to stand on.  Here is a  view of the south sides longest-standing hulks at present:  an ex-United Airlines (UA) DC-10-10 (N1805U) and an ex-UA 747-122, Justin Dart.

Justin Dart had lost its tail at some point, and this photo of the aircraft shows a rare view of the 747's fuselage in transverse section.

A more recent arrival on the south side is this ex-UA new colors 747-122, N4717U

An ex-Korean Air A300B4 is parked next to longstanding ARD hulks, ex-UA 727-222 and ex-UA DC-10-10.

One of the Korean Air A300B4s, after being parted out, was moved to a distant part of the airport.  There it will be burned to provide training for airport fire crews.  Here are two views of it, from the nose, and near the tail, where some graffiti was added by the scrapping crew.

I took this late-afternoon photo of these two ex-Pan Am and UA 747SP-21 hulks from the parking lot at Aviation Sales.  These two aircraft, N144UA (foreground) and N142UA, are the last two 747SPs still intact at ARD; the other three that were there have been totally scrapped.

An ex-Continental (CO) 737-217 tail sets off a second UA new colors 747-122, N4727U, parked at midfield.

With the arrival of the line's new 737-724 and 737-824 aircraft, CO retired a large number of their oldest 737-100s and 200s.  A group of them are pictured here, at the Aviation Sales main ramp.  The foreground 737 still appears to be complete, but won't last long in that state.

Here's a closer view of the intact 737.

The end stage is well underway with this ex-CO 737-130, N44214, orginally delivered to Lufthansa back in 1967.

Nose and tail: 737-130s await total scrapping.

I have many more ARD photos, and I will post them as I run across them.

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