Oregon Says

McMinnville, OR, once known simply as The Walnut City, has opened the Captain Michael King Smith Aviation Educational Institute, featuring the fabled "Spruce Goose" flying boat once belonging to billionaire Howard Hughes.

The museum's official grand opening won't be for several months, but museum directors didn't want to miss out on the start of the summer season.

The Spruce Goose's 320-foot wingspan remains the broadest built on a flyable aircraft. The tail, which rises eight stories, is the tallest ever constructed for an airplane. Once housed at Long Beach, CA, alongside the Queen Mary, the plane made its way north in the early 90s, and hasn't been available to the public during a five year restoration.

McMinnville itself has had a checkered past with aviation attractions. Gone is a restaurant called Flight 97, where diners once could eat inside a bomber.

24 other aircraft are viewable in the 121,000 square foot museum, including a replica of the Wright Brothers plane, and a F-15A "Eagle" fighter.

[06/10/2001]

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Address:
500 NE Capt. Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville, OR
Directions:
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Two miles east of town on Hwy 18/Dayton Bypass. On the north side, across the road from McMinnville Municipal Airport.
Hours:
Daily 9-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
503-434-4185
Admission:
Museum $27. Extra $ to tour the Spruce Goose flight deck.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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