Line 1 Adventures - Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, OR
The main attraction at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is the Hughes H-4 Hercules, better known as the Spruce Goose. The museum is located in McMinnville, OR and is easily accessible by a tractor-trailer with plenty of parking. The Museum was established in 1991 and is impressive, featuring a water park in one building, the Spruce Goose and other older planes in another building, with one more large building featuring Space.
The Spruce Goose took up residence in the museum in 1993 and was once again on display to the public in 2001. The "Goose" made the journey from Long Beach, CA to McMinnville, OR in 38 major pieces by boats with the last seven miles by trucks.
The building was designed around the dimensions of this plane and once the body of the plane was inside the wings where then reattached. With a wingspan of 320', and a length of 218' and a height of over 79' this is a big building surrounding the H-4 Hercules. The front and rear of the green building consists of glass panes and they are very impressive.
Some of the facts about the H-4 Hercules is that the plane is made of mostly birch wood and was built by carpenters. . Carpenters built the plane as the government had placed restrictions on the funds saying that the builder due to wartime restrictions could not use aluminum or skilled aircraft builders. Hughes used carpenters and a process called Duramold. The process used 1/32 wood veneer, laid in alternating wood grain directions for strength and glued them together and then shaped the pieces using steam. It was impossible for me to tell the plane was not made of metal. The completed cost of the plane was around $23 million in 1946 and flew one time at a height of 70' about the water for one mile at a cruise speed of 135 mph.
The Spruce Goose had on board around 450 beach balls that were strategically placed with the theory that if the plane went down the balls would help the "Goose" to float. Our tour guide also discussed when the plane flew it did not have a fire suppressant system. This must have been of concern for Hughes so he had eight firefighters with fire extinguishers in the wings of the plane hanging on for dear life to put out any fires. What a flight they must have had.
We paid $25 each to tour the museums and watch one movie. We were able to take guided tours for free and we found the tours to be worth our time. Seeing the Spruce Goose in person was one more item off of the bucket list!