E is for...Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

The first week of the A-Z Blogging Challenge is almost at an end and I feel good about it.  We're going a little more scientific for today's Oregon stop.  So, without further ado, the next time you're around the Central Willamette Valley, take a quick jaunt over to the...

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Located in McMinnville, Oregon, the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is a one-stop learning, exploration, and fun area.  First opened in 1991 as the Evergreen Museum, the museum is the brainchild of Captain Michael King Smith who wished to honor veterans and keep the interest alive for air-crafts and space exploration.  Since that day, the collection has been growing and the exhibits have been expanding to include a variety of space and aviation related artifacts.

Perhaps the most famous aircraft, and biggest draw for the museum, is the Hughes H-4 Hercules, or the Spruce Goose, which was purchased by the museum in 1992 after a fierce bidding war and arrived in McMinnville in 1993.  Built entirely out of wood due to the shortage of aluminum during the Second World War, the Spruce Goose is an aviation marvel.  Some quick logistics:  length 218 ft 8 in; wingspan 320 ft 11 in; height 79 ft 4 in; four propellers, each measuring 17 ft 2 in; loaded weight 400,000 lbs; cruising speed 250 mph.  In addition to the Spruce Goose, the other exhibits include:  General Aviation, Military Aircraft, Spaceflight, Helicopters, and a Firearms Collection.  

But that's not all.  In June of 2011, the museum 
added yet another feature:  the Wings and Waves Waterpark.  This isn't any ordinary waterpark though.  It includes ten slides that will entice small children and daredevils, a wave pool, leisure pool, spa, and a children's museum designed to teach about the power of water.  What makes this waterpark truly unique, though, is the B747-100 that sits on the roof.  Several of the largest waterslides begin inside the the plane and descend into the building.  It's family fun for everyone!
The museum also has a seven screen IMAX theater that shows educational films related to discovery, air and space exploration, and expeditions.  There really is something for everyone.

Happy Friday, fellow A-Zers!


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