Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is an aviation museum. Among its military and civilian aircraft and spacecraft is the Hughes H-4 Hercules, popularly known as the Spruce Goose. The museum is in McMinnville, Oregon, across the street from the former headquarters of Evergreen International Aviation and across Oregon Route 18 from McMinnville Municipal Airport (KMMV). An IMAX theater opened in 2007, and a second exhibit hall focusing on the Titan II ICBM and space technology opened in 2008.
|Established||1991 (as the Evergreen Museum)|
|Location||McMinnville, Oregon, United States|
|Founder||Delford M. Smith and Michael King Smith|
First envisioned by Michael King Smith, a former captain in the United States Air Force and son of Evergreen International Aviation founder Delford Smith, the Evergreen Museum opened in 1991 with a small collection of vintage aircraft in a hangar at company headquarters.
In March 1990, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would close the Long Beach, California, exhibit of the Spruce Goose. The Aeroclub of Southern California began looking for a new home for the historic aircraft. In 1992, the Evergreen Museum won the bid with a proposal to build a museum around the aircraft and feature it as a central exhibit.
The disassembly of the aircraft began in August 1992. The parts were sent by ship up the Pacific Ocean, Columbia River, and Willamette River to Dayton where it was transferred to trucks and driven to Evergreen International Aviation. It arrived in February 1993. For the next eight years, the plane went through detailed restoration. Volunteers removed all the paint, replaced worn parts, and repainted the entire aircraft, among many other tasks. In September 2000, the main aircraft assemblies were complete. The fuselage, wings, and tail were transported across the highway and into the new museum building, still under construction. Over the next year, crews assembled the wings and tail to the fuselage. These were completed in time for the museum's opening on June 6, 2001. The control surfaces (flaps, ailerons, rudder, and elevators) were assembled later. The last piece was put into place on December 7, 2001.
The name of the museum has evolved. Initially known as the Evergreen Museum, it changed in 1994 to the Evergreen AirVenture Museum. In 1997, the facility was renamed the Captain Michael King Smith Evergreen Aviation Educational Center in memory of Smith, who died in an automobile accident in March 1995.
In September 2006, work began on the space museum building, a twin to the aviation museum. By this time, the museum had acquired several space-related items, and the original building was running out of room. The new building was completed in May 2008 and had its grand opening on June 6, 2008, exactly seven years after the aviation museum opened. In 2009, the museum became an affiliate in the Smithsonian Affiliations program.
In early 2016, Michael King Smith Foundation officials announced they were filing for bankruptcy. In July 2016, the campus was purchased for $10.9 million by The Falls Event Center, a company owned by Steve Down.
As of 2019, two exhibit centers are open to the public: The original structure is the aviation center with the Spruce Goose as centerpiece. Other aircraft, spanning the entire history of aviation, are arranged in the building, some parked under the wings of the Spruce Goose or suspended from the ceiling.
The space flight center is in a building the same size as the aviation center. Because there are fewer space-related holdings, the center includes a large number of panels and other displays that chronicle the history of space flight. Visitors can operate flight simulators for landing the space shuttle as well as for docking a Gemini capsule and performing a moon landing of the Lunar Excursion Module. The building also exhibits overflow holdings from the aviation center, usually the higher-performance jet aircraft.
Two of the main attractions of the space flight center are a Titan II missile and a SR-71 Blackbird. The Titan II sits upright in a specially constructed display extending two stories below the floor, silo fashion. The exhibit includes a re-created missile control room furnished with furniture and equipment donated from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The museum's many volunteers include former aviators who flew the planes on display. Their detailed descriptions and real-life commentary help bring the planes and their days of flight back to life. The museum also offers a number of film presentations on the development and use of the aircraft, along with hands-on displays demonstrating various principles of avionics.
An F-15 Eagle is displayed on a pedestal in front of the EIA headquarters across the highway from the museum. A bronze statue stands by on the pathway between the aviation and space museum. Both are marked in Smith's memory.
A smaller building has a seven-story IMAX theater. A radio control air flight field is located behind the aviation center, near a group of Soviet-built armored vehicles, including two T-34/85s, a T-55 and two armored personnel carriers.
Wings and Waves WaterparkEdit
Wings & Waves Waterpark opened June 6, 2011. The 71,350-square-foot (6,629 m2) waterpark, Oregon's largest, features 10 slides and a 91,703-gallon wave pool with the intent of tying into the educational focus of the Evergreen Museum Campus with its "Life Needs Water" interactive display in the H2O Children's Science Center. The four big slides begin inside a retired Boeing 747-100 that sits atop the roof, 62 feet (19 m) above the splash landing.
The Waterpark was bought by The Falls Event Center in 2017, and is now run as a separate organization.
The Museum sued the waterpark for failing to make monthly payments in April 2018.
- 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
- This is the famous Spruce Goose, a flying boat with the largest wingspan of any aircraft ever flown (until 2019).
- North American T-39 Sabreliner
- Rockwell Collins’ 1964 Sabreliner Model 50 (tail number N50CR) was acquired by Evergreen in 1976 and used for flight-test projects that helped shape modern commercial and military avionics. The aircraft was flown about 8,000 hours with more than 5,000 landings. It was donated to the museum in January 2013.
- Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird
- This Blackbird was one of three that were reactivated and used by NASA and the USAF in 1995. Its last flight was February 1, 1996.
- Martin Titan II SLV Space Launch Vehicle
- This missile, Serial Number 66-4319 or B-108, is the last of the 108 Titan-II ICBMs to be fabricated. One of 14 Titan-IIs converted for science, weather, and military satellite launches, it is only one in the group not to be launched. The exhibit includes the Titan II launch control center equipment used in California for launching the Titan 23G.
- Titan IV
- One of only two remaining Titan IV launch vehicles. On outdoor display. The exhibit includes the core stages for Titan IVB #K-40 and some parts for the solid rocket motors.
- McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle
- This aircraft is displayed on a pedestal at the Evergreen headquarters in memory of Michael King Smith.
- McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
- Mercury Space Capsule
- Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10/U-4 610937
- 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
Also on display are many aircraft engines and helicopters, reflecting Evergreen Aviation's original helicopter fleet.
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