Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in Oregon
My husband, Bill, is a former military pilot, so we always stop at airplane museums when we travel. On a recent trip to Oregon, we discovered the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville.
One of its star attractions is the legendary Spruce Goose, the huge wooden military cargo plane designed and built in 1947 by the Hughes Aircraft Company, owned by the late reclusive millionaire Howard Hughes.
Still the largest aircraft ever built, the Spruce Goose (which was made mostly of birch!) never went into full-scale production, doomed by design and engineering problems. It was airborne only once, for a test flight.
The museum also features more than 40 other military and commercial planes. Because of space limitations, they're not displayed all at one time, so call ahead if you're interested in seeing a certain plane.
Educational programs, lectures and other events are held throughout the year. And there's also a snack bar and gift shop. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and Bill saw plans that he's never seen at other air museums.
McMinnville is in northwest Oregon on State Highway 18, 40 miles southwest of Portland. The museum is 1 mile east of McMinnville on Highway 18. It's open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 6 p.m. from June 6 through September 2); closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days.
Admission is $9.50 for adults and $5.50 for youths ages 6-18. For details call 1-503/434-4180.