Tuesday, May 19, 2015

THE Spruce Goose :: THE Trip, THE Encore'

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

June 24, 2013, two years ago, give or take a day or two, well, maybe a month.  We are NOT in Oregon today.

The Spruce Goose now resides at the Evergreen Aviation Museum, McMinnville Oregon. Their web site has a brief history of the Spruce Goose.   There is, of course, a Wikipedia page.  That page tells us:   "On November 2, 1947, the taxi tests began with Hughes at the controls. His crew included Dave Grant as copilot, two flight engineers, Don Smith and Joe Petrali, 16 mechanics, and two other flight crew. In addition, the H-4 carried seven invited guests from the press corps and an additional seven industry representatives. Thirty-six were on board."

The common story on how long the flight was, is: Hercules remained airborne at 70 ft off the water at a speed of 135 miles per hour for around a mile.  I found this at the museum, inside the plane, on display:

Date:  November 2, 1947
Nature of Flight:  First Tax Runs
Time in Air: Approx. 30 sec.
Repairs-Adjustments-Remarks:  After several taxi runs ship lifted about 25 ft in the air.
Signature D. Smith
License Number 6803641  (or 6803684 - - hard to read)

How interesting that Don Smith recorded the flight log data and recorded the length of the flight (time) to be about half of what all other sources state.

Now, let's have a look at this baby:

Seemed that no matter how far away I stood, I could not get the entire plane in one shot.  No zooming today.

Other guest waiting to tour the inside.

A helicopter suspended from the ceiling and other planes parked all around, the Spruce Goose makes them all look small, doesn't it?

Not all of the wing - - 

A docent giving a lesson on the Spruce Goose, what it was built of, birch, how it was moved to McMinnville, you know facts.

Inside, I thought this was interesting, seems Howard Hughes was fearful that the Spruce Goose would sink, so, one of the "improvements" he had made was to fill the lower hull and wing areas with inflated rubber bladders and beach balls.  They actually recovered one of the original beach balls in 2001 when the Spruce Goose was reassembled after the move to McMinnville.

Really is hard to believe just how large this plane is, ohhh, I already said that, didn't I?

One last attempt at capturing the entire plane in one photo, courtesy of the panoramic on Sony Too. Another fail. It is just too large and I could not move back any more. 

Just amazing, oh, and HUGE!

Yes, I enjoyed this museum very much.  The complex also includes a space museum.


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