By Philip Jaeger, Director of Operations
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum recently welcomed a new arrival, the Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw helicopter. As always, the helicopter seemed to grow once it got inside the building. It always seems that once I have a spot picked out for an aircraft, it is never the right size.
The aircraft, as you can see in the pictures below, started out in bad shape. The Museum restoration crew in Marana, Arizona refurbished the helicopter to how you see it now. As they were cleaning the paint of off the helicopter, they noticed it had the markings of the South Vietnamese Army, which meant that the aircraft had seen combat at one point in its life. So, our curator decided to repaint the aircraft with those markings.
From the research we have done, this is only one of 20 that were given to the South Vietnamese from the Marines in 1969. Later, some of these were reclaimed by the U.S. Army. In its standard configuration, the helicopter can hold up to 16 troops. Sikorsky built 1,000 of these helicopters in total. To the best of my knowledge we are only one of five museums to have an H-34 Choctaw on display.
We hope you can come out and see this large helicopter inside the Aviation Museum. We have more aircraft coming this year so stayed tuned to the blog and facebook for more updates.
By Philip Stuva, Director of Development
On Saturday October 10, 2009, with family and friends from six different countries in attendance, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum unveiled a monument in remembrance of John R. Jankowski.
Jankowski was born to a family of foresters in Poland in 1913. John became an officer in the Polish Army and was captured by the Russians and made a prisoner of war in 1939 and miraculously managed to avoid the fate of those in Katyn. He was handed over to the Germans in a prisoner exchange and was interned at stalags in Austria, Germany and Northern Italy. In 1944 John was liberated by the United States Army and rejoined the Polish “Free” Army in Southern Italy and remained there until 1947. Fearing for his safety, John’s parents requested that he not return to Poland after the war. John immigrated to England and then to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and would spend a total of 26 years away from his beloved family in Poland. In 1960, John moved to McMinnville, Oregon and in 1961 opened the Safari Motor Inn. Mr. Jankowski became a highly respected businessman and member of the McMinnville community for the next 49 years. During those early years in McMinnville, John met a man named Delford Smith who was starting his own fledgling aviation business called Evergreen. The Safari became the meeting center for the Evergreen Family of Companies and John became a trusted friend to Mr. Smith. John would even pick up the Smith boys from school and give them a warm meal if Del was delayed on a business trip. After a successful career in the motel and restaurant business, John retired at the age of 90 in 2004. John passed away in his place of residence in McMinnville, Oregon, on Friday, March 20, 2009.
As part of the ceremony, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum renamed their oak grove as the John R. Jankowski Memorial Oak Grove and planted an Oregon White Oak in his honor. John’s granite memorial reads:
Memorial Oak Grove Dedicated to John Rabiez Jankowski
On the 10th of October, 2009 an oak was planted at the Memorial Oak Grove dedicated to John (Janek) Jankowski in remembrance of his life. We do not count the years John was with us, neither do aged oaks, and both firmly hold their proud heads high.
The most respected in the whole clan, John spent his life way from his homeland, Poland, in the United States. John made history by escaping death and miraculously managed to avoid the fate of those in Katyn. He was thankful to God for the fact that He did not let him die at the mercy of Stalin’s executioners.
Along with the forests and angel choirs, an oak will keep springing upwards for many ages. Every day, beginning early in the morning, it will praise John and the other survivors of the atrocities of World War II.
-Written by Kazik Rykowski, Wykno, Poland 2008.
Delford Smith wrote that “This Oak Grove stands as a testament to the long-lasting legacy of John Rabiez Jankowski. We are grateful for his outstanding leadership and commitment to free enterprise. His patriotic spirit and benevolent nature is an inspiration to us all.”
by Stewart Bailey, Curator
For thousands of years, people have made scale models of objects from the world around them. From models of royal barges found in the tombs of Egypt’s Pharaohs, to complex three dimensional architectural renderings, models have been used to bring the real world “down to size.”
On Saturday, September 19, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum hosted the largest display of modeler’s art in Oregon, as the Oregon Historical Model Society put on their annual model show and contest. Several hundred modelers from around the region, including many from Oregon, Washington and California, came to display their work in 65 different categories, covering not just aircraft, but just about anything that can be modeled, including ships, cars, trucks, military vehicles and spacecraft. There were even seven categories for Junior Modelers (under the age of 18), to showcase their work.
Before registration ended at noon, over 440 models had been entered in the contest, representing the pinnacle of the modeler’s art. While it was sponsored by a chapter of the International Plastic Modelers Society, the models did not necessarily need to be made of plastic to compete in the contest. A good number of them featured other materials including wood, metal and polyvinyl resin.
Typically, the models begin life as a plastic kit that one would find at their local hobby shop, but the end result is anything typical. Often the modelers modify the kit to present a particular variant or version that appeared at a particular historic period. Along the way they will probably spend hours and hours in research to get the historical details and markings right, and even more time in dealing with the tiny aesthetic details that make the models a true work of art.
Amongst the top winners in the contest was a highly modified model of a Piper Cub that was re-worked to represent a U.S. Navy HE-1 air ambulance, which took home the People’s Choice Best of Show Award. Other magnificent models included a 1/350th scale model of the first U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, and a diorama of a combat bulldozer cleaning up the debris of World War II.
Along with the models on display, there were 22 tables of kits, supplies and reference material for sale, and an hourly raffle that was stocked with hobby material. Also, young modeling newcomers could try a free Make-and-Take activity where they could build their own model, with the help of experienced hands.
All in all, it was a full day of activities and wonderful arrays of jewel-like miniatures; each a part of the real world, brought down to table-top size! Check the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum web site for the date of next year’s event.
by Philip Jaeger, Director of Operations
Many of you have probably turned your head to stare at the back wall of the IMAX and looked up at the windows impatiently waiting for your movie to start. So in this blog, I thought it might be a good idea to tell you what happens on the other side of those windows.
Starting off, the IMAX Theater at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is one of the best in the world in terms of sound, quality of image and multi-use capability. The sound comes from six speaker systems arranged throughout the theater. Each individual speaker cone is laser aligned into the theater for an optimum large sweet spot of sound. It took one week to set the sound levels so that all the speakers sound exactly the same on every frequency the human ear can detect. The IMAX SR projection system is a film-based system.
You have probably noticed the large movie screen (the largest one in Oregon) in front of you, but did you realize it was painted silver and covered with holes? The holes allow all the sound energy to bounce freely throughout the theater and not move the screen like a giant bed sheet in the wind. The silver paint is part of the 3D process.
Inside the projection booth, there are two giant projectors, one for the left eye of film and one for the right eye of film. If we are running a normal 2D movie, we can use either projector by itself. But to make a 3D movie, we need a film for each eye. The films are run through the projectors at the same time, and then the image is projected through a polarized piece of glass. To keep the image polarized (especially the colored light that is actually the image), the screen is painted silver to reflect the light like a giant mirror. Then with your 3D glasses on, your left eye only sees the left image and your right eye only sees the right image, and then your brain fuses the two together.
You might notice in the pictures some really large black metal circles. These are the platters that hold the film while it is playing. For a normal 45 minute IMAX movie, there are two and half miles of film per eye. The total weight is more than 200 lbs. For a two and a half hour movie, that jumps up to a six foot diameter platter that holds eight miles of film, which weighs over 700 lbs. One other fun fact about the film is that each individual IMAX frame holds 50 MB of data, if digitized, and is the equivalent size to 10 regular motion picture frames.
I hope you enjoyed your tour behind the scenes, and make sure to stop by and see our new IMAX 3D movie Wild Ocean.
By Philip Jaeger, Director of Operations
I’m excited to report that we welcomed 202 new members to the Museum during the month of August. That is a record for us! To continue our hot streak, the Membership Department has announced a new add-on option to our membership packages.
As many of you may know, we are the only Smithsonian Affiliate Museum in Oregon. Thus, we are giving our members a chance to enjoy the benefits of a Smithsonian membership as well as an EASM membership.
From Beth Wilson, Museum Membership Director:
“In early 2009, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum became an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. This prestigious affiliation allows us to offer our members the opportunity to become members of two museums at once. Beginning September 1, 2009, for an additional $20 per year, Museum Members can choose to enjoy the benefits of a Smithsonian membership as well as the many wonderful benefits they receive from their Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum membership.”
So, current EASM members are eligible to sign up for the Smithsonian Affiliate membership for the $20 fee. The additional Smithsonian membership is annual, and you get to choose between the Air & Space magazine (6 issues) and the Smithsonian magazine (12 issues) – normal newsstand price is $48 per year.
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum dues are not increasing to include the Smithsonian membership—it is an add-on option available for Museum members only. Associate and Corporate Members must have an active membership to purchase the additional Smithsonian membership.
The full list of benefits included in the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership will be available at the Visitor Information Desk in the Aviation Museum and the Welcome Desk in the Space Museum, as well as on our Web site, www.EvergreenMuseum.org.
If you would like to purchase this membership add-on, forms are available at the locations listed above, and can be submitted at any of the membership sales locations. Contact Beth Wilson in the Membership Department at 503.434.4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.