Artifact Pick of the Week: Oldfield Baby Great Lakes

baby great lakes

Written by Hanna Brandt/Museum Intern

Though some have said that flying in an Oldfield Baby Great Lakes makes a pilot look like a “giraffe in a roller-skate,” the capabilities of this tiny plane are undeniable. Designed in the mid-1950s after the larger Great Lakes 2T-1, this aircraft is a homebuilt; meaning that pilots and air enthusiasts purchase plans and kits from which to construct the plane. While the Baby Great Lakes is used for aerobatics and recreational flying, its speed is unmatched by most World War II fighters! Airborne after 5 seconds, the plane climbs at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute, making it a speedy aircraft, despite its small, awkward appearance.

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum’s Oldfield Baby Great Lakes was donated by Earl Thorp in 1999. He describes the airplane as “good but a little quick.”


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Artifact Pick of the Week: Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King


Artifact Pick of the Week: Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King

Hanna Brandt

The Sikorsky Sea King was developed for the U.S. Navy and was utilized for its ability to track and destroy submarines. With a folding tail and rotor blades, the Sea King could operate from destroyers and aircraft carriers to protect a fleet. It also featured a “dipping” sonar to listen for submarines or torpedoes. The helicopter’s hull was akin to that of a boat, meaning that it could float on water. This function proved helpful for search and rescue work. Sea Kings also transported astronauts after spaceflights in the 1960s and 70s and served the President of the United States as Marine One.

The Sea King located in the Evergreen Space Museum served the U.S. Navy. It is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

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Artifact Pick of the Week: Learjet 24

Artifact Pick of the Week: Learjet 24

Written By: Hanna Brandt / Museum Intern

Ever dream of flying in luxury? Perhaps in a jet? If you have, the image that probably comes to mind is that of the ubiquitous Learjet. Created by entrepreneur Bill Lear, the Learjet 23 premiered in 1963, thus ushering in a new age of civil aviation. Private jets were expensive, exclusive, and moreover became a lasting symbol of affluence and taste. When designing the aircraft, Bill Lear based much of its design on that of a Swiss fighter jet. Lear attached the fighter’s wing to a sleeker fuselage, creating a plane that could transport business executives with unmatched speed. In 1966, the Learjet 24 premiered. Featuring a cabin pressurization system and more powerful engines, this jet could fly higher and faster than its predecessor.

The Learjet 24 featured at the Evergreen Aviation Museum was donated by Bruce Leven in 2007.



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New Artifact: McDonnell F-101A Voodoo


Written By: Stewart Bailey / Museum Curator

McDonnell F-101A Voodoo – A supersonic fighter originally designed to escort bombers.  The first Voodoo, the XF-88, was McDonnell’s first attempt at a supersonic aircraft.  The Air Force felt that it was underpowered and lacked in performance and asked McDonnell to “go back to the drawing board” and re-work the design with more powerful engines.  The result was the F-101A.  Because of the work done with the XF-88, there was never a prototype for the F-101; they just started rolling off the assembly line.

Our aircraft was the first F-101 built and went straight from the factory to the Air Force test facility at Edwards Air Force Base, California.  It first flew on September 29, 1954. After several years of testing, it was loaned to General Electric to use as a test bed for the J-79 engine.  It was later returned to the Air Force and spent the rest of its operational life at Edwards.  When the Air Force was done with it, it was transferred to Shepard AFB, Texas where it was used for the training of Air Force mechanics.  Finally, after being declared obsolete, it passed on to a civilian aviation mechanics school.  That school went out of business and the airplane was purchased as scrap by Dennis Kelsey of Lind, Washington.  Mr. Kelsey set out to restore the plane and placed it with the Pueblo-WeisbrodAirMuseum in Pueblo, Colorado.  In 2009, Mr. Kelsey’s widow Janice, decided to move the aircraft to Evergreen in order to bring it back “closer to home” and to see that it got the proper attention, as it had begun to deteriorate badly during its outdoor display in Colorado.

The F-101A was restored by the restoration team of Dave and Richard Martinez at the EvergreenMuseum restoration facility in Marana, AZ, before moving the aircraft to McMinnville this past summer.  It was reassembled and painted here.  As per Mrs. Kelsey’s request, it is being restored to the markings it wore when it was on loan to General Electric for the J-79 test project.

The restoration of the aircraft is not complete, as Mrs. Kelsey has more parts of it in her barn in Lind.  The Evergreen restoration folks will be going up there in the near future to pick up the parts and put them on the aircraft.  The hope is to eventually restore the cockpit, which is currently a gutted shell.  In addition, there are a number of markings for the aircraft which are not finished either. We will continue to work on the aircraft until completion, and are excited for our guests to learn about this new artifact!



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Summer Essay Contest Winner – Riley

This summer Wings & Waves Waterpark held an Essay Contest for all ages to write about their experience at the Waterpark. The essay could include your favorite slide, pool, exhibit in the H2O Science Center and more! Riley was the select by the Museum & Waterpark Campus staff as the winner! She won 4 tickets to Wings & Waves Waterpark, and her article was printed in the Museum Campus Magazine, Wingspan. Below is her stellar article – Congrats, Riley!

My Experience at Wings & Waves Waterpark

Written By: Riley / Summer Essay Contest Winner

My name is Riley. I have been to the Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark three times and every time I Riley_indoorshave been there, I have had a blast! First, I would like to tell you about my favorite slide, the Nose Dive. The Nose Dive is one of four main slides. It is a two-person slide that you go down on an inner tube.  It’s also a dark ride and a funnel combined in one.  Now the funnel is awesome, but what’s more awesome is that Nose Dive and the other three slides (which are Sonic Boom, Tail Spin, and Mach 1) are all connected to a plane! On the roof of the waterpark! Sonic Boom is the mildest of all the slides. It is a great slide for a beginner. Tail Spin is the darkest and it has a lot of lights flashing inside. Mach 1 is a one-person slide. You are lying on your back with your hands at your sides when you slide down. When you are in the leisure pool, you can see the sliders passing over you on Mach 1. While you are waiting to get to the plane on the top of the waterpark, you can watch a film about how the plane got there. Even though it’s a chilly walk to the top, it is so worth it! 

       I also really enjoy the vortex pool because it is fun being swirled around so you almost cannot get out.  I love the wave pool and watching people go through the Nose Dive funnel on the screen they have by the wave pool. Riley_OutdoorsActually, my whole family likes watching the screen. Oh, and there is also a giant bucket of water that dumps its contents all over the playground beneath.  Upstairs there is The Milky Way Café and the Hands-on H2O center. In the Hands-on H2O center, you learn about rockets, space and how to sail a ship down a river. It’s a whole center on why life needs water.

       There are many ways to learn about why life needs water.  One of the strangest ways is when you are in the locker room. There have a prototype about a toilet works.  Also in the wave pool, there is a gigantic screen where you can answer trivia questions about water and space while you are riding the waves.  As I mentioned before, the H2O center is a great place to learn about space, water, erosion, rivers and lots more.  My brother and I spent hours in there and some examples of learning about space include a space ship, a remote controlled rover and ways you can learn about gravity in space and on earth.  Outside the H2O center, there are mind puzzles that try to trick you.  Another neat display demonstrates the use of pulleys and levers. 

       Even though the Nose Dive is my favorite, I love everything about the water park especially relaxing in the hot tub at the end of a fun day of learning and swimming. I can’t wait to go back!



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