We visited Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum for the second time. The museum is located in McMinnville, Oregon. We just happened to pass by on our trip from Lincoln City to Portland where we were to spend a weekend visiting Jim's daughter, Pam. If it looks overcast and rainy, well, that is not unusual for this country.

The museum is best known for housing the Spruce Goose, built by Howard Hughes and earned the name "Spruce Goose" because it was constructed using mostly birch plywood rather than aluminum. The plane flew briefly in 1947 with Mr. Hughes at the controls and has never since been airborne.

The Hughes H-4 is a heavy-lift transport designed by Howard Hughes Aircraft Company.

It operated only on water and was the largest flying boat ever built. Its wingspan is longer than a football field and many smaller aircraft is stored beneath its wings in the museum.

Wikipedia has a good write-up on the aircraft.

Locheed designed the twin-boom aircraft to be an interceptor. It was the quietest fighter since the engines were separated from the center nacelle containing the cockpit. It was used for bomber escort and could also deliver bombs, ground strafing and reconniaissance.

Symbols on this aircraft indicate its role against the Japaneese during World War II.

Lockheed P-38 Lightning
Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Jim Points to Sputnik

On 4 October 1957, Jim was an instructor on America's first intercontinental guided missile carrying a nuclear warhead--the SM-62 Snark. The Snark uses celestial navigation so Jim was somewhat familiar with the heavens. When America was surprised by Russia's achievement of launching the first earth-orbiting satellite, Jim was whisked off to a desert in the Southwest to determine Sputnik's orbit and monitor its orbital changes by visually tracking its sun-reflected image during clear night sky of the desert as it drifted among the constellations. Things have changed today with the use of more sophisticated tracking systems which he knows absolutely nothing about.

The Curtis P-40 Warhawk first flew in 1938. It was built in Buffalo, New York and flew during World War II. Nealy 14,000 of these planes were manufactured and used by most allied Air Forces. A few of hese planes are still flying and can be seen at air shows.

We recommend going to Wikipedia for a discussion of these aircraft.

Curtis P-40 Warhawk
Curtis P-40 Flying Tiger Aircraft

Homepage for the museum is: http://www.sprucegoose.org/

This page was created 10 January 2010