Wednesday, 21 January 2015

DAY 41 - McMinnville To The McMax

Hi y'all and greetings from beautiful Portland, Oregon, home of Nike and as mentioned in yesterday's Blog, a place with many bridges that span the Willamette River. In fact, Portland is also called 'Bridgetown'...I have the t-shirt to prove it. We thought about trying to locate a Nike Factory Tour, but since no Nike shoes are made in the USA, we figured the tour would comprise a bunch of offices with drawing boards.

Today we headed south west of Portland to a small town called McMinnville to visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. According to one of the museum's Docents, she was surprised to see a bunch of Australians at the Museum, because '...this place is nowhere near anywhere'. I told her that this is our second time here and we weren't going to miss coming here. McMinnville is around 52 miles (85 km) south west of our Hotel in Gresham and around one hour's drive. The drive there is a nice change from the usual four-six lane freeways we generally see, so there is more opportunity to take in the beauty of upstate Oregon.

Yes, I know it's a four-lane highway, but it is quite pretty.
Gresham to McMinnville

The museum is pretty huge housing military and civilian aircraft and spacecraft; but, the prized display and almost the museum's reason d'etre is the incredible, huge Hughes H-4 Hercules 'Spruce Goose', the brain-child of Howard Hughes. This aircraft is pretty much on par with the Airbus A380 and Boeing B747 in terms of size (it certainly has a greater wingspan by a considerable margin), which is amazing when you consider that the aircraft structure is made entirely of wood.

The Spruce Goose was intended to be a transport aircraft to support the war effort during WWII. It only made only one brief flight on November 2, 1947, and the project never advanced beyond the single example produced. An interesting fact is that the aircraft is not made of Spruce, it was mainly built with Birch and this was due to the restriction on the use of Aluminium during the war.

Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules 'Spruce Goose'

A model depicting the aircraft's manufacture. The detail is amazing.

Inside the fuselage, looking aft

A blurry Schuyler stands under the tail, showing just how big this aircraft is

Four of the Eight Pratt and Whitney R4360 Wasp Radial Engines

It's pretty much impossible to photograph the entire aircraft in its current setting
But the museum has a lot more than just the Spruce Goose. Lots of aircraft and some amazing space stuff. They actually have two Titan Rockets/Missiles, an SR-71, MiG-23, DC-9, Boeing B747-200 (x2) and other stuff housed inside and out.

Republic RC-3 Seabee

Douglas DC-3A

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress

Republic F-84F Cockpit

North American FJ-3

Boeing Stearman E-75B Kaydet

Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3 Canary

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Messerschmitt BF-109G-10

Messerschmitt Me-262

Goodyear FG-1D Corsair

Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune - Fire-Bomber

Douglas AD-5N Skyraider

Convair F-102A

Convair F-106

Grumman F-14D Tomcat

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum

Northrop F-5E Tiger II

Boeing B-747-100

North American T-2C Buckeye

Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat

Boeing B747-100


The giant Titan Rocket...still dwarfed by the Saturn V

I had to lay on the ground for this shot

Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King and Apollo Capsule

Apollo Saturn V Instrument Unit

Piasecki H-21 Shawnee

Some may recognise this aircraft, the Lockheed F-104N Starfighter as my Facebook cover picture aircraft

Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird

McDonnell F-101 Voodoo

McDonnell F-101 Voodoo

Lockheed F-104N Starfighter

McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II

Grumman OV-1D Mohawk

McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 MF Fishbed-J

Lockheed F-104N Starfighter

Lockheed F-104N Starfighter

Oh, and they have a waterpark with a Boeing B747-100 on the roof from where you waterslide out of
The drive back to the Hotel gave us an amazing view of Mount Hood.

Beautiful Mt Hood

We followed up the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum visit with a revisit to Powell's City of Books for a few leisurely hours.

It's an arty Portland shot
Well that's it for today. I realise that I am a day behind, but that's how it goes at the moment.

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