Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Evergreen Aviation - Home of the Spruce Goose

Last Monday was aviation museum day.

Evergreen Aviation is located in McMinnville Oregon (not to be confused with McMenamins - but there is a McMenamins pub in McMinnville in case you are thinking of a visit).

The site is home to a HUGE hangar filled with all kinds of aircraft on display. The displays have just enough information to hold the interest of us non-aircraft buffs. They are in progress of building an identical huge hangar on the property - this will be for all of the space related items on display, opening up space in the aircraft hangar.

The museum was filled with docents who seemed to all be war veterans. I managed to get deep in conversation with Lester, a veteran of WWII. He was trained in artillery and photography for the Army. While he was waiting to be deployed to the South Pacific he was picked by the Air Force to work in Hawaii and process photos taken from spy planes. He said the Air Force saved his life. He probably would have gladly shared more stories with me, but we had tickets to the IMAX show on the moon landings.

Did you know the Spruce Goose is made almost entirely of birch, not spruce wood? A newspaper reporter (probably a descendant of Christopher Columbus) gave it the name 'Spruce Goose'. Howard Hughes despised the nickname - he called his plane 'Hercules'.

The pix below shows one of the wings.

The tail section in the background and I think a B-52 bomber in the foreground.

B-52 bomber tail pipe.

Spruce Goose and a replica of the Wright brothers plane.