Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Today, we visited the Tillamook Air Museum which is a very unique and special place. The museum is housed in a 1,100' long hanger that was built in WWII to house several large Navy blimps for coastal defense against Japanese submarines. The amazing thing about the hanger is that it is built of WOOD! In fact, this is the LARGEST wooden structure in the world and stands 192' tall in the center with no center supports. Amazing.

This picture shows the original purpose of the hanger as it houses 8 blimps. Remarkably, there were two of these hangers at this site, however, one burned down in 1982.

Inside is a great museum of aircraft and related artifacts, including this huge engine, a Pratt and Whitney 4360 3,500 hp engine as used in the B-36. Wow, this has 28 cylinders -- imagine having to change the 56 spark plugs on this! It is neat to get up close and personal to these exhibits.

Orinda is not about to let Rick take the lead in investigating the exhibits. Here, she tries on an A-4 cockpit on for size.

The museum offers classic and recent aircraft such as this F-14.

This Grumman Duck was the last biplane used in the Navy and is the last one of these that is flyable in the world, This is a common theme running through this museum is that many of their aircraft are flyable (and they fly often) and are the last flying model that is left. Very cool.

Here is a very rare Bellanca Air Cruiser, again, the last flying example there is. Dating from the early 30's, this classic craft is in great shape and still takes to the skies. Tillamook Air Museum is a great stop to make and well worth a few hours to see history IN history (the wonderful hanger).

1 comment:

FastFrank said...

After eating that Chocolate Sunday, are you going to need to get a larger tow vehicle? Looks like you are having a great time. Keep posting the photos.

Frank and Charmaine