When you first enter the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, you're greeted by the wing and pontoon of one of the largest aircraft ever made, the Hughes H-4 Hercules, aka the Spruce Goose. I just love how it seems like it's about to step on this little Curtiss Robin C-1.
Each of its eight Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engines had 28 cylinders, and developed 3,000 horsepower. So those 224 cylinders and 24,000 hp would have been able to get the H-4 to an estimated top speed of around 200 mph.
Despite the size and complexity of the aircraft, it doesn't look overly complicated for the pilot. Though it's hard to make out, the throttles are labeled "E" and "H." Engines 1, 3, and 7 had generators to run the electrical systems. Engines 2, 4, 5, and 6, powered the hydraulics. The joystick is for adjusting trim.
The seats here are from the one and only flight, when Hughes invited journalists and aircraft industry VIPs to help corroborate that the H-4 was in fact a real aircraft and not some ploy to secure war funds.
The Grumman G-21 Goose is a seaplane designed before WWII and made mostly of metal, with some fabric covering some parts of the wings and tail. This Goose was built in 1945 and spent most of its life in Alaska.
Speaking of interesting tail designs, this is a Cessna O-2 Skymaster. What really makes this aircraft interesting, though is its duel-engine design: one pulling from the front, and one pushing from the back.
It's always fascinating to see one up close. I also toured the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona, where you can see another Titan in its original underground silo and launch complex. Read more here: Inside the chilling Titan Missile Museum.
Seems my weather wariness was wise. A deluge of some peculiar blend of snow and hail quickly covered the property. You can't go in any of those aircraft, so it's fine to view them from the warm, dry museum interior. This is an Air Force VC-9 Nightingale transport.
On the right is the Sikorsky H-34, which was developed from the H-19, in the middle. With its engine cover open you can see the unique front (but "backwards" mounted) engine layout of these helicopters. The H-19 was the Army's first transport helicopter.
On the left is the antisubmarine Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, which entered service only a few years after the Sikorskys.
Every museum is limited by space, money or both. While there are many aircraft sitting outside, this one seems to need the most work. And that's too bad, as it's a very rare and exceptionally gorgeous Beechcraft Starship. Hopefully they'll restore it and give it a good place inside.