Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, August 15, 2014

Visiting the Spruce Goose and the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Spruce Goose ©Mary Montague Sikes
It wasn't in the original plan, but during our visit to Crater Lake National Park in July, we took a side trip to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. That's where the famous Spruce Goose is housed. Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules huge wooden airplane has the widest wingspan in the world--320 feet.

If you saw the movie "The Aviator," you know a little about the strange reclusive life that Howard Hughes led. The Spruce Goose, built at the end of World War II, was designed to carry over 700 troops. Hughes piloted the seaplane's only flight. That was in 1947 in Long Beach Harbor when it traveled a mile at about 70 feet in the air. The war had ended and the plane was never certified to fly. For a while it was housed in a dome at Long Beach near the luxury liner Queen Mary where it was a tourist attraction.

Spruce Goose interior © Mary Montague Sikes
In 1992, the Aero Club of Southern California which then owned the plane made a deal to sell it to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. A 138-day trip by barge along the West Coast followed. The Spruce Goose now resides in a specially designed Aviation Building at the museum. The other planes that surround it are dwarfed by the magnificent craft.

I could have spent a day in the Space Museum building. The history of space exploration is beautifully documented in numerous ways. I learned more about Russia's space endeavors than ever before.

The SR-71 Blackbird was another fascinating part of the displays.Video presentations were available for many of the planes in the museums, and we enjoyed the one for the Blackbird.

SR-71 Blackbird      ©Mary Montague Sikes
Our family enjoys everything related to aviation, so the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum was a very special stop for our vacation. If air and space travel fascinate you, a visit to this museum is a must!

Boeing 747 greets visitors at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum - Mary Montague Sikes


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The infamous Spruce Goose...
I like aviation museums. Have you been to the one at Kittyhawk?

Murees Dupé said...

Wow, I would like to visit an aviation museum. Great pictures.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, I have not been to the museum at Kittyhawk. Will have to add it to the bucket list!

Murees, thank you. Hope you get to an aviation museum. They are fascinating.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The Spruce Goose arrived in Oregon after I'd moved, so I never got to see it.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

You should go back and take a look, Diane. The museum is awesome. Even the food in the cafeteria at the space museum building was good!