Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

I have not been to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon in at least six years. I’ve driven by many times, but never had the time to pay another visit so this one was long due. In fact last time I was there, it was only the Evergreen Air Museum!

The crown of their collection has to be one of the most distinctive planes in existence, Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose. This plane is famous for having flown a grand total of one time with Mr. Hughes himself at the stick, and being the largest all wooden plane ever built. Even the bolts were removed after the glue had set.

Spruce Goose

This plane is so big, and so completely fills the museum building that I think it sneaks up on a lot of people. Other airplanes are tucked underneath it’s immense bulk and the entrance is nearly under one of the wing tips.

Evergreen also has two of my favorite airplanes. The General Motors TBM-3E Avenger, a dual purpose fighter/bomber equipped with torpedos for air to surface attacks against ships. I will admit that part of my interest is in the name.

General Motors Avenger

My other favorite plane being the B-17 bomber. Evergreen’s is nice, but is so surrounded by other planes that getting a good picture is near impossible. But you can go inside it on certain days for an extra $4 which is pretty cool.

Next door is the new Space wing. This building looks like it’s even bigger then the other one. This is with a reason as the Museum is on the short list to receive a decommissioned Space Shuttle as NASA has been working over the past couple of years to put together a list of equipment to be put on display. One of the requirements is the museums suitability both financially and physically to house the equipment. If they do get a Space Shuttle, it’ll probably be the Enterprise which was a non-flying equipment test bed and mockup.

For now the building is filled with a variety of space related equipment such as a German V-2 Rocket and TWO different Titan Rockets. I assume the nuclear warheads have been removed.

V2 Rocket

Missiles at Evergreen Air Museuem

And of course what space museum would be complete without an actual space artifact or two? In this case a Gemini capsule being hoisted by a rescue helicopter, with the whole thing suspended from the ceiling.

Gemini Capsule carried by a rescue helicopter

And there is even a moon lander in the background!

Over all this is one air museum that is worth checking out in my opinion. In this one visit I believe it has surpassed the Boeing Field Air Museum in Seattle for best Air Museum on the West Coast.

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