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Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) in California

History of the City of Mojave

Mojave, California was established in 1876 when the Southern Pacific Railroad laid out the original plat for a town on its line between Los Angeles and San Francisco over nearby Tehachapi Pass. Mining and transportation have played key roles in Mojave's history, and gold was discovered in 1894 on Soledad Mountain and at other nearby locations.

Aircraft scrapping at Mojave Airport in CaliforniaAircraft scrapping at Mojave Airport in California
Photo by the PlanesOfThePast Staff

Borax also played a role in Mojave's history, especially between 1884 and 1889 when the famous 20-Mule Team Wagons hauled borax between mines in Death Valley and the railroad in Mojave, a 160 mile, 15-day trip.

The city of Mojave is located about 95 miles north of Los Angeles, near Edwards Air Force Base, on Highway 58 between Barstow and Bakersfield.

The Early Days of Flight at Mojave

The Mojave Airport was first opened in 1935 as a small, rural airfield serving the local gold and silver mining industry.

With the advent of World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps took over the field in 1942, and expanded it into a training facility known as the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station (MCAAS) Mojave. During World War II the field trained thousands of Navy and Marine pilots for combat, using SBD dive bombers and F4U Corsairs.

FAA Airport diagram of the Mojave Air and Space Port
FAA Airport diagram of the
Mojave Air and Space Port

MCAAS was decommissioned in 1946, and became a U.S. Navy airfield. At the end of 1953, the USMC reopened MCAAS Mojave as an auxiliary field to MCAS El Toro. In 1961, Kern County obtained title to the airport.

Mojave Airport (MHV) Today

Today, the Mojave Air and Space Port and industrial park is home to more than 60 companies engaged in flight development, highly advanced aerospace design, flight test and research, the wind industry, and heavy rail industrial manufacturing. A major tenant is the Civilian Flight Test Center.

It uses FAA Identifier MHV, and is located at 2,801 feet above sea level. Runway 12/30 is 12,503 feet in length.

It is the first facility to be licensed in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft, being certified as a spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2004. The development and launch of the experimental SpaceShipOne was arguably the biggest ‘first’ in the history of Mojave Air and Space Port.

It is also the location of the filming of many major film productions, such as Die Hard 2 and Dragnet.

The Mojave airport is also a storage facility for commercial airliners, due to the vast area and dry desert conditions.

Large Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, and Airbus aircraft owned by major airlines are stored at times at Mojave. Some aircraft reach the end of their useful lifetime and are scrapped at the Mojave aircraft boneyard, while others are refurbished and returned to active service.

For more information, contact the East Kern Airport District, 1434 Flightline, Mojave, CA 93501. Phone 661.824.2433.

Touring the Mojave Air and Space Port

The Mojave Air & Space Port does not offer tours to the public. However, they do invite visits during the monthly “Plane Crazy Saturdays" to see the airport, static displays and possible fly-ins. Contact the Mojave Chamber of Commerce for dates and details. The Voyager Restaurant is located onsite at the airport..

During official, major events, visitors should enter the airport property from the south on Airport Boulevard at the Highway 58 entrance. They will be directed to specific areas for parking and viewing.

For directions to the Mojave Air and Space Port, see the interactive map at the bottom of this page.

Photos of Mojave Airport

Welcome to the Mojave Airport
Operated by the East Kern Airport District, and home to the Civilian Flight Test Center
(Photo by PlanesOfThePast Staff)
Welcome to the Mojave Airport - Operated by the East Kern Airport District, and home to the Civilian Flight Test Center
Convair 990 Jetliner gatekeeper on display at the entrance to the Mojave Airport
NASA's N810NA Space Shuttle landing gear system test aircraft
Convair 990 Jetliner on Display at Entrance to Mojave Airport
Airliners in storage at Mojave Airport in the California desert
Airliners in storage at Mojave Airport in the California desert
Aerial view of the Mojave air field in 1943 (Photo by the Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the air field in 1943 (Photo courtesy of the Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the Mojave Airport with airliners in storage (Photo by the Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the air field with airliners in storage (Photo courtesy of the Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the Mojave Airport with jetliners in storage (Photo by the Mojave Transportation Museum)
Aerial view of the air field with airliners in storage (Photo courtesy of the Mojave Transportation Museum)

Aerial view of airliners in storage at Mojave Airport
Aerial view of airliners in storage at Mojave Airport
Close-up, aerial view of airliners at the Mojave Airport boneyard in California
Close-up, aerial view of airliners at the Mojave Airport boneyard in California

Links and More Resources about the Mojave Airport

Mojave Air and Space Port

Mojave Transportation Museum

Interactive Map of Mojave California

Map of locations of active and post-WWII airplane boneyards and plane storage facilities in the United States

click to view interactive map of airplane boneyards and aircraft storage facilities in the United States
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