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A Visit to The WAAAM Museum in Hood River Oregon

WAAAM stands for Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. This is an active museum as the planes and cars on display still operate and many do so regularly on the 2nd Saturday of the month.

Splash

Introduction

There are three aircraft museums within an hour's drive of the Portland area and a fourth a little further away to the west in Tillamook, Oregon. The museum to the north is Pearson Air Museum just across the river from Portland in Vancouver, WA. This museum features the World's first bomber and America's second oldest wooden hangar built in 1918. To the south is the famous Evergreen Aviation and Space museum in McMinnville, Oregon about an hour south of Portland. It has a number of interesting planes but is most famous for the Seaplane Hercules, AKA, The Spruce Goose. To the west at Tillamook is a large air museum with over 30 restored and preserved planes. The newest museum is to the east and is in Hood River, Oregon a nice drive of about an hour along the Columbia River Gorge. We were on a outing to see the water falls and then the "Fruit Loop" at Hood River and only learned about the car and plane museum as we drove into Hood River and saw a sign for the museum as we exited the freeway. We only had a little time to spend in the museum but for those interested in older civilian planes this museum is a real treat. They even had a number of RC planes on the floor around the museum which got special attention from me.

The museum is four years old and they believe in flying the planes and driving the cars they have so the best time to visit the museum is the second Saturday of every month when they bring out planes to fly and the cars to drive. Unfortunately, we were there on a Thursday, but we enjoyed our all to brief visit to the museum very much. Below are pictures of most of the approximately 75 antique aircraft at the museum. I hope you enjoy this picture tour of the aircraft, and a couple pictures of the cars, of the over one hundred at the museum. If you would like to see more I suggest you go to their website where they have videos and pictures at: www.waaamuseum.org

To visit it in person it is three miles south of I-84 exit 62 in Hood River. Their address is: Ken Jernstedt Airfield 4S2, 1600 Air Museum Road, Hood River, Oregon 97031. They are open from 9;00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day of the year except: New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. But as I mentioned above, the second Saturday of every month is the best day to visit. This is primarily a picture review and not a lot of written information. I have also put the pictures into slide show videos as well. So few the planes in still pictures or the video slide show. On the stills just double click to see the picture in a larger format. The quality of my pictures is not very good as the lighting in the museum didn't lend itself to picture taking. But to those interested in this era I hope to inspire you to visit this museum when you are in the Portland area. Make a week of it and see all four aircraft museums.

From Portland to Hood River: The Columbia River Gorge

The drive alone is worth the trip. There are some spectacular waterfalls and the scenery is beautiful. The Fruit Loop at Hood River supplies a look at orchards, llamas, Fresh Pies, great fruit, cookies, mountains and even a train ride is available at Hood River. Here are a few pictures and a short slide show of our outing before the museum. There was sometime for every adult on the trip.








Downloads

RC Planes at the Museum

The RC planes are spread around the museum for the most part on the floor between planes. I took pictures of most of the RC planes and they are displayed here. Now if I lived in or near Hood River and could store my RC planes in their museum ... I would take advantage of the space.























Downloads

The Curtiss Jenny

They have a fully restored Curtiss Jenny and they have a video of it flying an historical reenactment of a flight from the roof of a hotel in downtown Portland to the airfield at the Pearson airfield museum in Vancouver, Washington. It was nice to see the plane and the video.

Again we got to the museum late in the day and basically ran through it taking pictures. They had a nice staff to answer questions and who were understandably proud of their fine collection of planes. I have posted some of my best stills but there are more pictures in the slide show. I hope to go back on the second Saturday of a month and spend the day watching the planes fly. But for now here are some stills and a slide show.













































Downloads

In addition to the planes they have a large collection of motorcycles and cars. Those however are for another day and another article, but when visiting the museum you will want to save time to see them as well. Here are three of my favorites.




Conclusion

Discovering the museum was a complete surprise to us and we would have missed it completely but for the one sign we saw when exiting the freeway. Our visit was all to brief but at least I got to share a bit of what is there. A few days in Seattle at the Boeing Museum and then four days in driving distance of Portland would make a great week of aviation museums.

Last edited by Angela H; Apr 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM..

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Old May 02, 2012, 09:18 AM
Balsa&Tissue
payne9999's Avatar
United States, OR, Beaverton
Joined Jan 2011
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Nicely done. I have been watching the development of this museum for a time now. I saw the maiden flight of the museum's restored Jenny on video. I will have to plan a trip out to Hood River to get some photos for my Jenny build.

I believe there is another Jenny somewhere in Oregon or Southwest Washington because Waldo "Wally" Olson owned one as well at Evergreen in Vancouver. Between Seattle, SW Washington and Hood River I think we have 3 Jenny's and 2 of them can still fly.

Thanks for the great write up.

Dave

Curtiss Jenny Test Flight - Part-1 (8 min 5 sec)
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Old May 02, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Curtiss Jenny?

Michael,
Very nice presentation but you should correct your picture of what you call a Jenny hanging from the ceiling as isn't a Jenny but a Curtiss Pusher circa 1911. The Pusher preceded the Jenny design by several years. The Pusher on floats was called the Curtiss A-1 and one was flown on our nearby lake in 1911 to deliver mail up and down this lake in western NY state. It was claimed that this was the first official delivery of US Mail in the country by an airplane. I have some pictures of this 1911 aircraft giving rides to spectators which were copied from the original black and white photos taken by a deceased friend's father in 1911,
Bud
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Old May 03, 2012, 04:29 PM
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Shoreline, WA
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One more in Oregon

Just North of Portland (can't remember where) is a very small museum that has a couple of jets and a small display of memorabilia. If I remember correctly they are working on an F-104 trying to get it flight-worthy.

Richard S
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Old May 03, 2012, 07:22 PM
Balsa&Tissue
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United States, OR, Beaverton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSF226 View Post
Just North of Portland (can't remember where) is a very small museum that has a couple of jets and a small display of memorabilia. If I remember correctly they are working on an F-104 trying to get it flight-worthy.

Richard S
Hillsboro (HIO) (Oregon) airport now has a museum as well and they have a DC-3 and two MIG fighters, I believe they are 21's and I see them flying quite often.

Dave
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Old May 04, 2012, 10:13 AM
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fuelsguy's Avatar
Seattle
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Good article, you found a few museums I'd missed.

You did miss out on the Paine Field museums, well worth the extra few miles from Seattle. Paine Field has:
The Paul Allen collection, www.flyingheritage.com,
The Historic Flight collection http://historicflight.org/hf/,
Boeing Future of Flight / Boeing Everett factory tour and
The Museum of Flight Restoration Center.
By the way, the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field isn't "the Boeing museum". although a lot of Boeing employees and the Company have supported the MoF over the years, plus a lot of other aviation minded folks in the area.

Come back to Seattle and we can show you our RC flying fields as well. (When it stops raining, of course)

Ivor
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Old May 04, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
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Thanks for the additional aviation museum information and I stand corrected on a number of things and appreciate the clarification. On the Jenny I plug in the photos by number and I screwed up and didn't catch my mistake. But I thank you for sharing the interested info on the 1911 US mail deliveries. Please post a picture if you have one. Mike
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Old May 05, 2012, 07:41 AM
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Enjoyed seeing your post about the WAAM.

One airplane you didn't mention/feature was their Aeronca KCA NC21041, but it is a huge collection.

NC 21041 represents the transition period of when modern light aircraft became, as we now appreciate, imminently more practical. Things taken for granted today, such as carb heat, dual ignition, etc., weren't required when this aircraft came off the line in Ohio, back in 1938. BTW she was #19 of 59 KCA's built that year. At some point Aeronca started to add those very things on late KCA's. Soon all light aircraft were so equipped.

http://www.popularaviation.com/PhotoGallery/3646.JPG

Shows when I owned her. Went to Waam in 2007. AFAIK looks same today.
THE most original KCA restoration flying.
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Old May 08, 2012, 07:39 PM
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Great post!!
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Old May 23, 2012, 02:43 PM
hondaboy92hatch
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United States, WA, Vancouver
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WAAM museum

Hi fellow ezoners,
I went to this museum yesturday. I really loved it. for the space that they have there is alot of stuff. I reall enjoyed the fact that there were many planes and quite a bit of old cars. I thought it was neat to watch the old curtis pusher fly off the hotel building in Portland.

Joe
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Old May 29, 2012, 07:31 PM
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Don't forget about the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnville!

Here is a vid of some of our overnight campers flying an Ember 2 around the spruce goose tail last weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oypR...ature=youtu.be
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Old May 30, 2012, 01:45 PM
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No one is forgetting about Evergreen! Read the first paragraph in this article. Thanks for posting the video. Mike Heer
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Old May 31, 2012, 10:42 PM
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College Place, WA.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karayaone59 View Post
Don't forget about the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnville!

Here is a vid of some of our overnight campers flying an Ember 2 around the spruce goose tail last weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oypR...ature=youtu.be
Must be a phone video. Way out of focus.
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Old Jun 04, 2012, 09:34 PM
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wow,it's amazing !!
love this museum!!
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Old Jun 05, 2012, 04:35 PM
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A. J. Engel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Heer View Post
Thanks for the additional aviation museum information and I stand corrected on a number of things and appreciate the clarification. On the Jenny I plug in the photos by number and I screwed up and didn't catch my mistake. But I thank you for sharing the interested info on the 1911 US mail deliveries. Please post a picture if you have one. Mike
OK there Michael as here you go. Yes I knew your "mistake" was a photo posting manipulation
error. Pilot A. J. Engel a hundred years ago on Chautauqua Lake, NY. What brave people those early pioneers were!
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