Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Evergreen does it again

Evergreen Air and Space Museum is a pretty innovative place, thanks to the vision of Del Smith (however controversial he is). Various acquisitions have made news in its short history, including Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose," a "Blackbird" (SR-71A), an IMAX theater, and a Titan missile set up in a simulated launching silo. The latest part of that vision to make news is the water park now under construction. I can just imagine the brainstorming that went into that project. Once the idea of a water park had been floated, how to tie it into an air and space museum complex must have been broached. "How about putting an airplane in it? We could suspend one or more from the ceiling." "Hey, what about putting an airplane ON it?!?" What about making the water slides come OUT of it somehow?!? Wouldn't that be COOL?!?"

Architectural rendering of water park.

Apparently, several architectural firms passed on the opportunity to tackle such a challenge, but eventually a partner with vision was secured. Evergreen Aviation had a 747 in its freight fleet that was ready to be retired, so that was chosen as the centerpiece. It was flown into the little McMinnville airport last summer (in a highly irregular way), and has been sitting in front of the museum ever since - until last week. Then it was moved into position beside the growing water park structure, ready to be lifted to the roof. We heard there are only a couple mobile cranes in the country capable of lifting, "walking" and placing a load that big; one of them came in on 11 flatbed trailers and took two weeks to assemble. The lift date was not broadcast, but we heard from a friend that it was going to happen at 5:30 Sunday morning. Call us crazy, but we rolled out of bed in the dark to go watch. There was actually a good-sized crowd of crazy people huddled in the early morning chill to watch the big event!

It was a slow and careful process, documented by a videographer from the construction company on a raised platform to the left of the action. After two cold and hungry hours, the deed was done, the sun was up, and we headed home to make German pancakes for breakfast.


That's it for "off-campus event" #2 from . . .


Mama Mess said...

That will be one wild waterslide!

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Holy Smoke that is going to be so cool in the summer Brian can't wait until it opens!!

Molly Bee said...

How COOL is that!!!!!!

Joan said...

That is amazing and crazy! What a thought! Cool that you got to see it for sure. :)

Funny you mentioned the Spruce Goose, we visited that many times when it was in Long Beach, CA. We were sad when it left.

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Just an update - Blanche is still holding out. Also, for Brava, check your pastures for bracken. I heard from someone in Victoria area that bracken is coming up now and is poisonous to goats - and sheep. Just a thought, go look for those ferns.