A version of this article first appeared in the July 2019 edition of our free newsletter, to subscribe click here

While vacationing over on the west coast (British Columbia and Oregon) we noticed a huge aircraft museum just off the highway in Oregon. My beautiful wife Anna was nice enough to suggest we pull of the highway to see what it was.

It turned out to be the astonishing Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum (https://www.evergreenmuseum.org/)

Despite being in the industry for decades I had never heard of this. While we were buying our tickets the lady at the desk pointed out the gigantic grey aircraft behind her that so far we had failed to notice. This was the Spruce Goose.

This was an unexpected surprise – and so I spent the next couple of hours like a kid in a candy shop. As well as the singular spruce goose they have hundreds of other aircraft

Beech Starship
Spruce Goose
Fairchild Republic A-10

To name a few aircraft on display (with some help from the museums wikipedia page): Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, de Havilland DH.100 Vampire Mk.52, Douglas A-1 Skyraider, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, Douglas C-47, Douglas DC-3A, Foton-6 Space Capsule, Unmanned version of the Vostok spacecraft (Russian space capsule), Grumman TF-9J Cougar, Hughes H-4 Hercules, North American T-39 Sabreliner, Rockwell Collins’ 1964 Sabreliner Model 50 (tail number N50CR), Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird, Martin Titan II SLV Space Launch Vehicle, Titan IV, McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Mercury Space Capsule, Messerschmitt 262 (Reproduction by Legend Flyers), Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-17 A “Fresco” (true Russian version), Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-21MF “Fishbed-J”, Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum-A”, NASA X-38 V-131R, Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVI.

The museum is crammed with hundreds of spacecraft, helicopters, autogyros, UAVs, missiles, aircraft  (prototypes, oddities, classics) and general stuff to get engineers and kids excited.
We had to get to Newport, our stop for the night, and I had imposed for long enough on my wife’s good nature. After an hour we hit the road again.

If I am ever anywhere near McMinnville, Oregon I will put half a day aside to spend more time with the remarkable array of exhibits. I recommend you do too.
If you have kids, they also have a waterpark with a waterslide integrated with a Boeing 747 freighter

How cool is that?