If you love airplanes, you owe it to yourself to visit your nearest air and space museum. Although the big cities are known for their excellent aerospace museums, these great facilities are found in every state in the country. There are 8 great aviation museums in Oregon. This means you have lots of opportunities to enjoy everything they have to offer.
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Air museums are not just places to go to look at documents, photographs, and old compasses. In fact, they offer way more than that. These museums always have real aircraft on display for you to view, including some of the oldest planes made, as well as replicas of many of the most famous and well-known airplanes in the world.
The museums often specialize in certain wars or specific branches of the military, so they also make great places to visit if you’re a history or military buff.
Some of the many artifacts found in these museums include uniforms worn by real pilots, cockpits from some of the most significant airplanes in existence, and even recordings made during some very important historical flights.
If you’d like to take a look at the air museums available to visit in the state of Oregon and take advantage of some of these perks, below are the ones to look for.
1. Oregon Military Museum (Clackamas)
Although temporarily closed due to renovations, this museum is planning a lot of different high-tech exhibits in the future, both permanent and short-term.
They include tons of displays from various wars, including the Cold War, and special exhibits on doughboys, specialized weapons, and the National Guard sector. They also plan to continue housing airplanes such as the Cessna O-1A Bird Dog and the North American F-86F Sabre.
The museum is a must-see for veterans, current members of the military, and anyone interested in warfare or any of the military branches in Oregon and the rest of the country.
2. Oregon Air & Space Museum (Eugene)
Open from Wednesday through Sunday most days of the year, the museum houses a great gift shop and planes that include the Grumman A-6E Intruder, Adams Wilson 101 Hobbycopter, Taylor 2100 Bullet, and the Gyrodyne DSN-3, among many others.
In fact, there are dozens of aircraft available for you to look at when you visit them, so when you go there, it is a good idea to plan to spend several hours so that you can see everything important.
3. Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum (Hillsboro)
This museum is open from Monday to Thursday most days of the year, but you can arrange other tours and visits by contacting them directly and scheduling it with them. It is free to visit, and there are roughly 15 different types of planes on exhibit there, including the Hawker Hunter F.51, Canadair CL-13 Mk.6 Sabre, Douglas A-26C Invader, and the Northrop F-5E Tiger II.
As far as their displays go, they offer areas such as ground equipment and different engine types, and everything they do comes from an emphasis on “living history,” making this the perfect museum for both history and military enthusiasts alike.
4. Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) (Hood River)
Open daily most days of the year, this museum has a gift shop and does charge an admission fee, but the many planes to see while you’re there include the Aeronca KCA, Beech GB-2, Curtiss Wright CW-12W Travel Air, and the Fairchild 22 C7B, among others.
There are roughly 100 planes on exhibit there, so you can spend the entire day there and likely not see everything you’re interested in seeing.
In addition to all of this, the museum offers special collections of airplanes, gliders, motorcycles, and military vehicles, as well as events such as classes and programs of interest to anyone who has a love of planes or automobiles.
5. Erickson Aircraft Collection (Madras)
This museum is open Tuesday through Sunday most days of the year and houses exhibits of more than 25 different planes, including the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, Lockheed P-38L Lightning, Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, and the Douglas AEW.1 Skyraider, among others.
Many of the air shows that take place across the nation include planes and artifacts from this museum, and you can get details on any of these events by visiting their website.
6. Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum (McMinnville)
Open daily most days of the year, this museum has a great gift shop and houses dozens of aircraft, including the Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, Convair F-106A Delta Dart, Grumman JRF-5 Goose, and the Learjet Lj-23, among others.
They offer a variety of activities that includes movies, educational opportunities, and events such as celebrations of Women’s History Month, airplane forensics, international air shows, and various galas and other special gatherings.
In addition, the museum teams up with teachers and schools to provide the resources and assistance they need to teach children of all ages all about the air and space field.
7. Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (Portland)
Open every day except Monday and national holidays, the museum is home to the Rutan 61 Long EZ, and they offer much more than just a few airplane exhibits. The museum houses a movie theater, planetarium, and a submarine tour, as well as exhibits on topics such as the human body, over 100 specimens of organs and bodily systems, and many others.
In addition, the museum offers summer camps for kids of all ages and provides numerous resources to teachers and school groups to help both kids and adults learn more about all aspects of science and industry.
8. Tillamook Air Museum (Tillamook)
Open daily most days of the year and home to a great gift shop, this museum houses dozens of airplanes, including the Vanek Gyrocopter, Supermarine Spitfire T.8, Cessna 180F Skywagon, and the Alien Blimp, among others.
They recently added a huge Convair 880 exhibition, and their exhibits include the crash of the SB2C Helldiver, the Anderson Air Raid shelter, the World War II Diorama exhibit, and a World War II Army Tent exhibit.
They even have a special Kids’ Korner exhibit that is specially made for children and teaches them all about aviation in a fun way.