Evergreen Aviation Museum

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is an aviation museum which displays a number of military and civilian aircraft and spacecraft, most notably, the Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose". The museum is located in McMinnville, Oregon, across the street from the headquarters of Evergreen International Aviation. Oregon Route 18 separates the museum from the company operations and 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.


First envisioned by Capt. Michael King Smith, son of Evergreen International Aviation founder Delford Smith, the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is the realization of his dream. The museum began with a small collection of vintage aircraft in a hangar at headquarters and was called the Evergreen Museum. In March 1990, the Disney Corporation, which owned the Spruce Goose, announced that it was closing its exhibit located in Long Beach, California. The Aeroclub of Southern California was notified and they immediately began the search for a new home for the Spruce Goose. 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 plane was disassembled and 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. For the next year, crews spent their time assembling 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 Captain Smith, who had lost his life in an automobile accident in March 1995.

The museum displays its mission statement:

Work began on the space museum building in September 2006 which is identical to the aviation museum. It was completed in May 2008 and had its grand opening on June 6, 2008, exactly seven years after the aviation museum had its grand opening. In 2009 the museum became an affiliate in the Smithsonian Affiliations program.

A key component of the museum are the many volunteers that work there. Many are 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 displayed on a pedestal in front of the EIA headquarters across the highway from the museum and a bronze statue on the pathway between the aviation and space museum are in memory of Captain Michael K. Smith.

As of June 2008, two exhibit centers were open to the public: The primary structure is the aviation center with the Spruce Goose as centerpiece. The space flight center holds a Titan II missile as its centerpiece, along with the 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. 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 are visitor interactive. Attempts to obtain a retired Space Shuttle were unsuccessful.

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 Russian built armored vehicles, including two T-34/85s, a T-55 and two armored personnel carriers.

Wings and Waves Waterpark

Evergreen 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, and ties in to the educational focus of the Evergreen Museum Campus with its H2O Children's Science Center.

The waterpark's learning activities place an emphasis on fun. The second-floor children's science center has exhibits about the importance of water in everyday life. One feature shows how water falls from the sky as snow on Mount Hood, melts and flows to the ocean, then returns to the mountain, demonstrating the three phases of water's physical state as found here on earth. Other features include Smokey Bear overseeing a helicopter fighting a wildfire, a wave tank that can be used to demonstrate tides and tsunamis, and a lunar capsule play structure with an astronaut training display. Replicas of fighter jets and the space shuttle are also part of the water play features.

The main attractions are the water slides and wave pool. Four big slides begin inside a retired Boeing 747-100 that sits atop the roof, 62 feet (19 m) above the splash landing. The slides vary in pitch and rate of descent, with the most liesurely being the 550-foot (170 m) long translucent yellow slide, and the fastest being the 350-foot (110 m) long green slide, nicknamed "the nosedive" due to its steep descent. The wave pool water is heated to 84 degrees. Massive compressors can generate either a large wave or random smaller waves. The waterpark also has a leisure pool and spa. Non-water features include a concession area, family-style locker rooms, rooms for private parties and a Starcade gaming center. The water park's admission desk resembles a biplane with wing walkers. Most of the features are handicap accessible.

The waterpark operates daily, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., through summer. Hours during the school year are yet to be determined. All waterpark attractions are indoors. The building has a capacity of 1,500 and is located on the west side of the complex, just west of the building that houses the Spruce Goose. The building is similar in exterior design to the air and space museums, with its outside walls made of the same stone-lined, green-tinted glass as the other buildings, though it does have a 747 parked on its roof.

Future plans for Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum include an upscale 84-room hotel with fine-dining restaurant, with plans to break ground next year.

Nose Dive

Nose Dive is a green high-energy two-person inner tube ride that combines a fast initial drop into a high rate bank turn. It leads the riders into a dark oscillation section before ‘breaking out of the clouds’ through a hologram image and into the circular bowl below. The ride culminates with a smooth transition and dropout for a spectacular splash and water landing.

Mach 1

Mach 1 is a orange high-speed enclosed body slide with tight wrapping turns, switchbacks and drop sections that leave the stomach in the air. Riders slide on their backs with arms crossed over their chests and legs crossed as they shoot down this slide at daring speeds. This test of mettle ride will provide hours for enjoyment for the young and the young at heart.

Tail Spin

Tail Spin is a blue slide which has full blue transparent sections between drops to add light into the slide. This is a high-energy single/double inner tube ride that features fast acceleration off the start and transitions into a series of tight, high banking, figure-eight curves. The ride is fully enclosed and provides a smooth yet thrilling level of energy.

Sonic Boom

Sonic Boom is a yellow slide that offers an “outdoor water park” feel with a view of most of the park. Above the roof, the top section of the slide is transparent to allow glimpses of the shape of the plane and building. Inside the park the top section of the slide is removed and there is an open top. Better suited for first time or novice riders, this is a superb lead up ride to the higher energy rides.

Key holdings
  • Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 44-83785
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
  • de Havilland D.H.-100 Vampire Mk.52
  • Douglas A-1 Skyraider
  • Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
  • Douglas C-47
  • Douglas DC-3A
  • Ford 5-AT-B Tri-Motor Tin Goose
    • This is a flying Ford Tri-motor.
  • Foton-6 Space Capsule
    • Unmanned version of the Vostok spacecraft (Russian space capsule)
  • Grumman F6F Hellcat
  • 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 built.
  • 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 particular missile is the last of 13 Titan IIs that were selected to be converted and used as weather platform launch vehicles. This was the only one out of the 13 not to be launched.
  • 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
    • This is one of a very few Bf-109s that is capable of flying in its current condition.
  • Messerschmitt 262 (Reproduction by Legend Flyers)
  • Mikoyan i Guryevich MiG-17A "Fresco" (true Russian version)
  • MiG-21 Mikoyan i Guryevich MiG-21MF "Fishbed-J"
  • Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-29 "Fulcrum"
  • NASA X-38 V-131R
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVI

Also on display are many different aircraft engines.

The exhibit also includes many helicopters, reflecting Evergreen Aviation's original helicopter fleet.


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