Friday, November 16, 2012

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

October 5-7... yes, you read that right, October.  These photos are from October.  Oops.

Yah, I uploaded the pics and had great intentions of sharing the awesomeness of the boys' weekend at the Evergreen Flight Museum just as soon as I got the boys to come and identify the airplanes (because I am hopeless at that, especially since I wasn't there!) but here it is mid-November already, so clearly I've overestimated my ability to organize and follow through.  But as I've managed to corral Wyatt (who knows these planes like he knows the neighborhood kids) I think we can proceed.

A family from our local CAP group pulled this trip together.  Careful planning and the generosity of the CAP budget committee kept the trip fun and affordable.  So did sleeping on the floor at a boy scout facility.  (Another reason a quiet weekend at home was so appealing to me!)

The cadets travel in their BDUs but were to wear their dress blues for the activity (one cadet is so new he didn't have his blues yet, the others...??? apparently don't follow directions well.)  Gunnar, who is not old enough to be an official member, was invited along since Kerry was chaperoning, so he chose some navy pants and a blue shirt because he wanted to look like he belonged.

Outside the museum the boys were greeted by a MIG Fulcrum.  And look inside....

Do you know what this is?  The Goose... Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose.

It's so big it's hard to comprehend that it could actually fly, but it did.  Once.  Briefly.

The cadet who organized the trip planned a scavenger hunt (for information) to keep the cadets focused and learning, but first, a tour...

The tour guide was very enthusiastic and fun.  He's dressing Gunnar up as a a World War One Flying Ace, and behind them is the world famous Sopwith Camel.

Inside the Goose, looking back toward the tail.  Notice the beach balls?  They were found inside the wings' pontoons and were used to keep the plane afloat in an emergency.  At least that was the theory.  Apparently the museum staff tried to replace the beach balls with modern ones, but the new ones wouldn't stay inflated for more than a month, so what you see are the old ones.  With the same, original air in them.  Yah.

Suspended from the ceiling, you see the Russian Yak, and on the ground is the ME262, a WWII jet-powered fighter.

The Goose from the back... unbelievably enormous.

Oooo!  Shiny!  This is a B-17 Flying Fortress, one of the most famous bombers of WWII.

And the P-38 Lightning, the first WWII fighter plane to use a twin-engine design and tricycle landing gear.  It also has a unique twin boom, famous to us because of local hero Joe Moser, who flew the P-38 in WWII.  (You should read his book, A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald.)

Heh heh heh... someone parked a 747 on top of the museum!  Who would do such a crazy thing?  Someone who wanted to have fun.... that's the waterslide park!  More later...

Back inside, we have the P-40 Warhawk.  Love the paint job ;D

Wyatt is on the left, in the one plane he doesn't remember what it is.

And, the B-17 again.

Tate, my Civil War buff, was thrilled to find a Gatling Gun.

And a collection of various firearms, including a Desert Eagle 50 caliber handgun (lower right.)

Ah yes, Tate with the Gatling Gun.

Gunnar with heavy artillery.

The museum also had a whole building devoted to space, but the kids were getting antsy to head to the slides, so they only saw this briefly.  We'll have to go back someday :D

The Lunar Lander and the Lunar Rover.

I love the big, BIG flag.

Okay, here we have a Global Hawk - one of the Air Force's drones (a UAV - an unmanned aerial vehicle).

Here we go... tons of fun for everyone :D

From down below, you could watch the action in the jet on the roof where all the waterslides start.

Without a waterproof camera, Kerry didn't take many pics in the waterpark.  So here are the cadets on Sunday morning, having a brief chapel service before heading home.


Choate Family said...

My husband and son would love to visit with you guys the next time you go back!

dlefler said...

What a cool air and space museum! The fact that the "old" beach balls hold air for so long really points to the drop in quality. Beach balls now are almost considered "disposable" - you can get them at the dollar store, but they don't last longer than a few weeks!