Near Portland there is a great aviation and military museum called the “Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum“. I highly recommend that you visit this campus, which includes an IMAX theater, if you ever visit Oregon.
The highlight is the “Spruce Goose“, the immense wooden plane designed and built by Howard Hughes which resides inside the facility. It is fantastic that the museum was built at a large enough scale to keep this plane indoors else it would likely soon be lost to the elements.
They also have a large selection of rare FLYABLE WW2 era warbirds, particularly some of the German planes. I’ve only seen an FW 190 in flyable condition at one other location.
And here’s another very rare one, an ME109.
This is a place for the whole family and you can easily spend a day there. They have tanks out behind the facility (particularly Soviet late WW2 and post war models), a huge display of modern NASA exhibits, a movie theater, and a water park. I can’t recommend this museum enough.
Cross posted at LITGM
5 thoughts on “Evergreen Aviation Museum- Spruce Goose”
Sounds like a great museum!
At an airport in Georgia recently, I visited the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. They were rolling out a P-63 King Cobra, which had just completed restoration, for taxi tests. FAA certification to fly the airplane is expected soon.
3300 of these airplanes were produced, the majority of them went to the Soviet Union. They were apparently pretty popular with the Soviet pilots.
I was there in August as my wife’s oldest son lives in McMinnville, the town where the museum is.
It is an amazing place with 747s perched on the roofs of two buildings.
Another exhibit is some pieces of the wreckage of Yamamoto’s plane salvaged from the jungle where he was shot down.
I’ve been there and it is a fascinating museum. Although not really discussed at the museum, Evergreen Aviation was (is?) a long-time private aviation contractor for various government agencies including the DOD and (probably) the CIA. Think “Air America” and you’ll probably not be too far off. I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting stories involving their activities, but we’ll probably never hear them.
The McMinnville airport is just across Highway 18 from the museum and is the source of endless local speculation. My best friend owns a farm a couple of miles from the airport (and museum) and it is not unusual to hear intense air activity overhead in the middle of the night, but absolutely no lights on any of the aircraft! It is rumored to be a Black Ops training facility. One night, coming back to the farm at about 2am, we saw a tremendous amount of activity and lights on the far side of the airport, but couldn’t really make out any details. Unlighted helicopters went back and forth over the farm for several hours that night. The next morning, no sign at all of any unusual activity at the airport. Another night, I’m absolutely positive I heard multiple A-10’s (they have a rather distinctive turbine whine) making low passes over the farms in the area. It certainly wasn’t civilian air traffic!
McMinnville is a nice little town, about an hour by car from Portland. At the north end of the Willamette Valley, there are a lot of wineries and the local beer is pretty good too. They grow a lot of grapes, Christmas trees and hops in the surrounding area. We’ll be visiting again in August when the path of totality of a solar eclipse goes over McMinnville.
Lots of farms growing grass seed there.
The kids live toward Amity, They are on the other side of the airport from the Museum.
I remember seeing it in Long Beach. The size just takes your breath away. And I think for decades Howard Hughes had this just stored. I read somewhere that the wing was so thick there was actually a walkway allowing mechanics to service the engines in flight
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