First anniversary fun, part II: Evergreen Aviation and the Spruce Goose
What flying vacation is complete without some air museum time? After a glorious day in McMinnville (see here for photos), we headed over to Evergreen Aviation, home of the Spruce Goose. It wasn’t just an ordinary museum trip. Evergreen boasts three separate buildings, one dedicated to space exploration, one for airplanes and one for water. Yes, water. Topped with a 747, there is an enclosed waterpark and “H20” museum. Just wild (so I hear)! (There’s also an IMAX theater in there somewheres)
Immaculate grounds and facilities at Evergreen Aviation.
U.S. copy of the V-1, the German flying bomb. Basically the first cruise missile. (All of this said matter-of-factly by Mr. T, off the top of his head. I’m telling you, he’s a walking aviation encyclopedia.)
A gigantic missile.
Two flights down to the base of the gigantic missile.
The beauty of visiting friends: pictures of us that are not self-portraits.
Helicopters were used to retrieve capsules from the ocean. I love the conveniently placed directions for those wearing parachutes.
A giant computer if memory serves.
I admit, the space stuff has been historically less engaging for me, but I really enjoyed learning more about space flight.
Having seen the materials up close, I’m awed by the audacity and nerve of astronauts, especially those who went first.
Loved the many shapes and colors.
A photo nerd’s paradise.
Have never ridden in a copter.
Not sure I want to really!
I don’t see the appeal.
Yours truly and an F-15.
The front of a learjet I think.
SR-71 spy plane. Such a crazy looking contraption.
Mr. T and Taylor. The amount of aviation knowledge in those brains is astounding.
Pointy bits on the SR-71.
Fuselage of a Global Hawk. Looks like a whale to me!
A drone, the identity of which stumped Mr. T and Taylor.
After meandering the space museum, we wandered to the air museum side and I saw the Spruce Goose for the first time. Yikes, she’s a big girl!
The DC-3 looks DINKY nestled under the Hercules, aka the Spruce Goose.
This was someone’s 21st birthday present. Can you imagine?
B-17, one of my favorites.
Gigantor 400,000 pound wooden flying boat.
Would that every air museum have such beautiful natural light.
Went a little hog wild with the shooting. I can rarely help myself with such subjects.
The Hercules has a 320-foot wingspan and was commissioned by the U.S. government during World War II to transport cargo and troops. The rub? It had to be constructed with non-wartime critical materials aka using wood instead of metal.
That sucker has eight R-4360 engines, aka the engines that power Seafury and Reno Air Racer, Dreadnought. (Check out that beast here)
Inside shot, looking down toward the tail.
Looking down a wing. Apparently mechanics were stationed inside the wings to monitor the engines. What a ride!
Taylor arranged a private tour of the cabin and cockpit. TOO COOL!
Most of the plane is painted grey and looks like metal, but in places you can see the wood grain. Bizarre.
Spruce Goose cabin.
The docent dared me to wear the Hughes fedora. I couldn’t disappoint.
Lookin’ doofy in a hat.
I *might* have touched the knobs and buttons, but you can’t prove it.
She flew one time for approximately a minute after barely getting into the air.
The plane featured autopilot.
Mr. T and Taylor were kind to the docent who was on his very first day leading tours.
View from the cockpit hatch.
Just give it a little tappy tap.
Wish McMinnville was closer to Sac. We’d probably hang out with this guy and his lovely wife more often!
Mr. Hughes’ personal airflow tube.
I told you I get carried away, didn’t I?
Caption quality goes down when I don’t have Mr. T to supply airplane identifiers and factoids.
Since I couldn’t quite capture the grandeur, check out the flying boat above.
That tail is 80 feet in the air!
We ran out of time to view the waterpark, but just the 747 on top was a sight to behold. Apparently it has waterslides hooked up to it!
Next up: A visit to the place so nice, they named it twice!
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