Friday, October 25, 2013 (Olde Stone Village RV Park, McMinnville, OR)

Our neighbours from across the street, Dave, Alison, Jeff and Lynn, are leaving this morning, so we wished them safe travels and then headed over to the Evergreen Aviation Museum.  It was another foggy morning...

The whole complex is huge!  The Space Museum building is closest to the RV park...this is the front of it (the back of it is in the picture above)...

Directly opposite...and quite a distance away is the Aviation Museum...between the 2 buildings, set off to the side, is another huge building that houses the theatre.  There is also another building that contains a water park and they plan on building a lodge soon. There is plenty of parking between the buildings.  This is the front of the Aviation Museum.

After purchasing our tickets ($25 each which includes admission to the Aviation Museum, the Space Museum and one IMAX Theatre movie), we went over to the theatre for the 10:00 movie..."Fighter Pilot" was playing and that was the one we wanted to see. 

We entered the theatre to find only one other couple...not very busy this time of year.  We waited...and waited for the movie to start and then at about 10:10 a theatre worker came in to say that the projector for Fighter Pilot...Operation Red Flag was broken. We could either come back later for one of the other movie showings or return tomorrow morning at 10:00, hopefully the projector for that movie would be fixed. We decided to return tomorrow.

So we went back to the Aviation Museum where we learned that there was a guided tour starting at 11:00.  Since we had a little time to spare, we headed right over to the Hughes H-4 Hercules better known as the Spruce Goose to take a look. It's actually made of Birchwood. It is the main draw at the museum and is absolutely huge!

We climbed the stairs up to the viewing area for the cargo bay. It feels like you are boarding a ship rather than an aircraft.
This is the view looking towards the tail section. That dark spot at the far end is a 5 1/2 foot tall door and the mannequin on the right is 6' tall. The red canisters are for the CO2 fire suppression system. The beach balls were used in the wings and wing floats for extra floatation just in case.
Looking towards the nose section...spiral staircase goes up to the flight deck...

There was the miniature set used in the filming of The Aviator movie...

They also had a firearms display...
We took the tour with guide, Wayne...another full timer.  He was very informative, giving an almost two hour tour of the airplanes starting with the Wright brothers first flight all the way to the first jet fighter in WWII.  By the time it was over, our feet and backs were absolutely killing us from standing, so we sat down in the cafeteria with a coffee. I got Steve a gooey gluten free cookie that dislodged a filling. Sheesh...we just saw the dentist a few weeks ago! 
Steve had put on different shoes this morning and they seem to be aggravating his back so we walked back to the trailer to change them. 
On our way, Steve took this picture of the walkway.  Last evening we had been sitting outside when I noticed a motorhome (with a tow car) where there was no road.  Well apparently this old fart had mistaken this walkway for the road to the RV park!  Too funny!

You can see where he drove off the walkway...he ended stopping where the walkway curves to the right.  I guess he finally realized that he was where he wasn't suppose to be...he ended up slowly walking, somewhat stooped over, to the park office.  We heard him say to another fellow...guess I'm gonna need a tow truck. We didn't see him get out of his predicament...I guess he had help backing out..

There was an additional tour of the Spruce Goose that you can take...for $25, you are guided up into the flight deck and cockpit and get to sit in the pilot/co-pilot seats and get your picture taken.  We decided to do it...not sure if it was really worth the extra money. However it is a real piece of history and Howard Hughes sat there.

Looking out the cockpit window...Wow...look how far down those planes are!

Listening to the tour guide...

Flight Engineers position. Look at all those gauges!

Welcome aboard!

You can stand up and look out of the roof hatch above your seat. Peek-a-boo!

Looking back from the pilots seat. The flight deck is huge!

Wing access...

Inside the wing...during the flight test there were men with fire extinguishers inside the wing behind each engine! How would you like that job.
Flight Deck looking towards the cockpit...

Access to the fuel tanks...

After the tour of the cockpit and flight deck, we wandered around the museum...Steve taking more pictures.  This is the British de Havilland DH 100 Vampire (1966)

Boeing B-17 Bomber (1938)

German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Fighter (1941)

Worlds first jet fighter - German Messerschmitt Me 262 (1944)

Grumman TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber (1945)

 Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (1943)

Lockheed P-38L Lightning (1944)

 German Messerschmitt Bf 109 (1944)

British Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI (1945)

It was going on 3:00 and with the museums closing at 5:00, we thought we had better head over to the Space Museum.  It would really have been nice if the admission fee was for a 2-day pass. It's a lot to see and read in one day plus see a 45 minute movie.

Titan II ICBM carried a nuclear warhead 600 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima...

Nose cone...

Retrieving the Space Capsule...

Lunar Module and Moon Buggy...

WWII German V2 Rocket...

See the Rotor-cycle beside the yellow chopper...

Grumman OV-1D Mohawk (1967)

Corsair FG-1D (1945)

P51-D Mustang (1944)

Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird (1966)

McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II (1963)

Russian MiG 21MF (1975)

Russian MiG-17A (1953)

Russian MiG-23ML (1967)

McDonnell Douglas F-15A (1977)

Just before 4:00...after 5 1/2 hours, I'd had enough, so I left Steve to finish his tour of the Space Museum and walked home. felt good to sit down in my recliner!  About an hour later, Steve arrived home...we were both exhausted...and still hadn't looked at all the aircraft parked outside!  Needless to say, we didn't stray far from our recliners for the rest of the evening! 


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