Honoring the patriotic service of the men and women who serve our country is an important part of our mission at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, and we take great pride in our extensive collection of military aircraft, artifacts, and exhibits. Whether participating in battle or providing support, these military aircraft and helicopters served an important role in U.S. military history.
Immerse yourself in wartime aviation with our exciting array of fighters and bombers, while also learning more about the personal histories of the great veterans and pilots who worked on these outstanding machines.
Whether transporting troops, evacuating injured soldiers, or executing strategic reconnaissance missions, helicopters have changed the landscape of modern warfare. Explore our exhibits to learn more about this versatile military craft.
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Bell AH-1F Cobra While the helicopter had proven to be an indispensable mode of transport during the Korean War, it was in Vietnam that the helicopter became master of the battlefield. Much of this was because of the Bell AH-1 Cobra, the first helicopter designed from the start as a flying gun platform. First flown in 1965, the Cobra was designed to provide fast, mobile, close air support for troops in combat and to provide an escort for troop carrying helicopters.
Bell HTL-3 Between 1947 and 1958, the U.S. Navy procured a number of Bell helicopters for use as trainers and utility duties, recognizing that the helicopter could be a valuable tool aboard ships at sea or on shore. In 1947, the Navy borrowed 10 Bell Model 47As from the U.S. Air Force for testing and evaluation, which were designated HTLs. Pleased with the results, they ordered the HTL-3 as an advanced version with a more powerful engine and an enclosed fuselage.
Bell OH-13E Sioux When most people think of small helicopters, they think of a Bell Model 47. The military version of the Model 47, the OH-13 was a rugged, general purpose observation and utility helicopter that was also quickly pressed into service as a flying ambulance.
Bell UH-1H Iroquois Perhaps no other aircraft is as closely associated with the Vietnam War as the Bell UH-1 Iroquois. Popularly called the Huey, its wide-spread use made it a symbol of the war in the minds of the public. Created as utility helicopters, they were tasked with troop and supply transport, medical evacuation, convoy escort, waterway patrol and even as gunships. In their role as flying ambulances, these Hueys could hold up to six stretchers, as well as three medical personnel.
Hiller UH-12E Raven Helicopters have big advantages over traditional aircrafts. They need no runways for takeoffs and landings, can lift and place heavy items, and fit in tight spaces. They are industrial workhorses. They are superior vehicles for work in agriculture, construction, forestry and petroleum exploration. They cost-effectively distribute seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, and building materials. These helicopters are also used for fire fighting, law enforcement, and as “Angels of Mercy” in disaster relief and search and rescue missions. This Hiller UH-12E is one of two Hillers with which Delford Smith started Evergreen Helicopters, Inc. in the early 1960s.
Kaman SH-2F Seasprite Designed for use on the confined decks of U.S. Navy destroyers, the Seasprite is a compact helicopter which features folding rotor blades to reduce its length. Originally assigned search and rescue and utility missions, the Seasprite was later adapted for anti-submarine warfare. As an integral part of every naval task force, the Seasprites provided a ring of submarine protection around the ships with a variety of sensors and weapons including homing torpedoes.
Sikorsky H-19D Chickasaw During the Korean War, the U.S. Army lacked helicopters with large payload capacity, and the Sikorsky H-19 helped to solve this problem. Designed throughout a span of seven months, it was a departure from earlier helicopters, with the engine located in the nose and the pilots up high to make room for more passengers or cargo.
Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King Developed for the U.S. Navy, the Sikorsky H-3 Sea King family of helicopters was designed around its ability to track and destroy submarines. Featuring a folding tail and rotor blades, the Sea King could operate from destroyers, as well as aircraft carriers, to provide protection to the fleet. It carried “dipping” sonar to listen for submerged subs and homing torpedoes to make the kill if necessary.
Sikorsky UH-34 Sea Horse The UH-34 began life as an enlarged version of Sikorsky’s H-19 and incorporated many of its features, such as a nose mounted engine and an elevated cockpit to provide more space for cargo. The big, capable helicopter served with all US services, and many foreign countries as a troop carrier, medevac and anti-sub platform. This particular UH-34D served in combat with the South Vietnamese Air Force, in the Vietnam War.
Sikorsky HO3S-1 (S-51) Dragonfly Best known for its appearance with Mickey Rooney and Will Holden in the movie Bridges of Toko-Ri the Sikorsky HO3S is an iconic and versatile helicopter. Its career spanned many roles from search and rescue to anti-submarine warfare. It was the first helicopter that Sikorsky offered for civilian use. In December 1946, an agreement was signed by Westland Aircraft in Britain and Sikorsky to produce the S-51 under license
Piasecki H-21 Shawnee The H-21 features the tandem rotor layout favored by Piasecki Helicopter for cancelling the torque caused by spinning rotors. Nicknamed the “flying banana,” it was originally designed as an arctic rescue helicopter to operate and be maintained in temperatures down to -65 degrees Fahrenheit. With help of in-flight refueling the H-21 became the first helicopter to fly nonstop across the country, and Shawnees saw heavy action in the Vietnam War.
Designed for accurate and effective attacks on land and sea targets, bombers have played a pivotal role in U.S. history. As a highlight of our bomber exhibit, you can step inside a fully restored B-17 Bomber, best known for its surprisingly successful daylight raids on Germany during World War II. You won’t want to miss this unique exhibit.
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Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress The B-17 Flying Fortress was the United States’ workhorse heavy bomber during World War II. Most famous for their Eighth Air Force daylight strategic bombing raids on Germany, some B-17s continued their military careers with the United States Air Force as weather ships, target drones and rescue planes. In civilian life these big bombers hauled cargo, starred in movies, sprayed crops and fought forest fires. Today, only a handful survive.
Douglas A-26C Invader The most versatile combat aircraft ever built, serving in three major wars and a number of minor conflicts in a career that spanned almost three decades. Designed by legendary engineer Ed Heinemann, the A-26 was capable of fast low-level attack, as well as precision bombing for close support of troops on the ground.
General Motors TBM-3E Avenger The Avenger was the first new aircraft to enter Navy service after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and its name proved fitting. By the end of World War II, Avengers had sunk more than 60 Japanese ships including the world’s largest battleship, the Yamato. Flying from aircraft carriers in all theaters of war, it excelled as a torpedo bomber but was also used as a dive bomber and for anti-submarine patrol.
Douglas AD-5N Skyraider Designed as a high-performance dive/torpedo bomber, the Douglas AD Skyraider series of aircraft was too late to see service in World War II, but served with distinction in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Able to carry a bomb load equal to that of a four-engined B-17 Flying Fortress, the AD (re-designated A-1 in the 1960s) specialized in close-in support of troops on the ground. Despite being a bit of an anachronism in the jet age, the Skyraider proved invaluable during search and rescue operations, as its lower speed and longer endurance meant it could circle over a downed airman or escort helicopters where a jet could not.
Douglas A4-E Skyhawk Early in the Korean War, designer Ed Heinemann became concerned with the growing weight and cost of fighters and set out to design one to reverse the trend. The result was the A-4 Skyhawk; one of the lightest attack aircraft ever built. The smallest aircraft ever capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, it won fame hauling conventional bombs in Vietnam, bearing the brunt of the Navy’s missions in the first years of the war.
Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune Early in World War II, German U-boats claimed a heavy toll on Allied ships, which was stemmed by the presence of patrolling aircraft. Lockheed developed its P2V Neptune to combat this menace, but due to priority delays, it did not fly until after the war. The Neptune was the last radial-engine bomber to serve in the U.S., and one of the first to fly with both piston and jet engines. A P2V nicknamed “the Truculent Turtle” set a record in 1946 for the longest un-refueled flight—a record unbroken until 1962.
Unlike bombers, fighter aircraft are created for air-to-air combat and designed to be fast, maneuverable, small, and light. Take a closer look at the streamlined fighters that changed the landscape of war from World War II to modern-day conflicts. From the famous British Spitfire that intercepted marauding German bombers during World War II to the powerful F-15A Eagle that proved a pivotal fighter in the first Gulf War, you’ll lose yourself in this massive array of exciting aircraft.
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Fokker Dr.1 Triplane Replica Designed to counter the Sopwiths that were dominating the Western front in early 1917, prototypes of the Dr.1 were given to Manfred von Richtofen. He was so elated with its speed and maneuverability; he quickly downed two Allied aircraft in two days and urged that fighter squadrons be equipped with the Triplane as soon as possible. He eventually scored 20 of his 80 aerial victories in a blood red DR.1, earning von Richtofen a legendary nickname; the “Red Baron.”
Sopwith Camel F1 Replica In the deadly spiral of advancing technology that ruled World War I aviation, the Sopwith Company endeavored to create a bigger, faster and more heavily armed version of its Pup fighter to counter the German Albatros fighters. The result was regarded as the finest British fighter of World War I, the Sopwith Camel. It shot down more enemy aircraft than any other WWI fighter model.
Nieuport 11 ‘Bebe’ Replica The Nieuport was a single seat fighter designed by Gustave Delage. Originally created for the Gordon Bennett Cup Air Race, it would become famous in the skies over France in World War I. Affectionately known as Bébé (Baby), the Nieuport 11 featured ailerons for lateral control instead of wing warping which was used on its chief adversary; the Fokker Eindecker. It mounted a single machine gun on firing over the propeller.
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk At the outbreak of World War II, Curtiss P-40s formed the backbone of the United States Army’s fighter corps. It was the P-40 that struggled into the air to counter Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor when the U.S. entered World War II. The P-40 fought in almost every theater of war. This P-40 wears the Flying Tigers’ paint scheme of Hell’s Angels Squadron aircraft number 88, in honor of Oregon native Ken Jernstedt, a Marine ace who joined Claire Chennault’s Flying Tigers in China and destroyed a total of 12.5 enemy aircraft with five aerial victories.
Goodyear FG-1D Corsair America’s fighters were badly outmatched by the nimble Japanese Zero at the beginning of World War II, and U.S. pilots paid the price. An aircraft that reversed the trend was the F4U Corsair. Fast and heavily armed, it was more than a match for Japanese fighters. Because it was difficult to land on aircraft carriers, it was initially given to the U.S. Marine Corps for land-based operation, although later modifications made it a potent carrier fighter. It was produced in many variants by both Vought and Goodyear, and served in World War II and Korea.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning With four .50 caliber machine guns and a 20-mm cannon nestled in its nose, the P-38 had enough firepower to sink a ship, and it sometimes did. A radical design, it was twice the size and had twice the power of any U.S. fighter when it first flew in 1939. In the Pacific, P-38 Lightnings ambushed Japanese Admiral Yamamoto’s plane, killing the architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Gustav When Hitler’s Blitzkrieg swept across Europe, the Messerschmitt Bf-109 was the spearhead of the German fighter force; unchallenged until it faced the Spitfire. Like Britain’s Spitfire, the Bf-109 became the symbol of its nation, flying from the war’s opening moments to Germany’s surrender. It is estimated that nearly 35,000 Bf-109s were produced. While the Bf-109 was deadly in the hands of an expert pilot, it was difficult to fly, and nearly one third of Bf-109s were lost in accidents.
Messerschmitt Me-262 Schwalbe Reproduction The Me-262 was the first jet in mass production and the first to fight in the air. A radical design, it utilized two turbine engines and first flew on jet power in July, 1942. Pilots were ecstatic with its performance and commanding general of fighters, Adolf Galland, said “it flew as if being pushed by angels.” It could have been a war-winner for Germany. This Me-262 is a modern reproduction.
North American P-51D Mustang Historians will debate which fighter was the best of World War II, but one of the finalists will always be the Mustang. With the ability to fly long distances and escort heavy bombers at high altitudes, the P-51D was equal to or better than almost every enemy fighter it encountered along the way. With speed, power and maneuverability, the Mustang was one of the greatest piston engine fighters ever created. Built in Inglewood, California, and delivered to the United States Army Air Force, this Mustang flew with the 3rd Air Force in training units. Learn More about this aircraft.
Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI Few aircraft are considered legends, but the Spitfire is truly one of them. Its streamlined form and distinctive elliptical wing reveal a resemblance to the Supermarine racing planes of the 1920s and ‘30s. Entering service in 1939, the Spitfire became a symbol of England’s finest hour when the Royal Air Force, equipped with “the Spit” and the Hawker Hurricane, defeated Hitler’s bombers in the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire evolved throughout World War II, with each successive model bettering the breed.
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Designed when supersonic flight was relatively new, the delta-wing F-102 was beset with troubles from the start. Built as an interceptor, the aircraft could not be coaxed over the sound barrier. A radical redesign included a more powerful engine, a streamlined nose and an “area rule” where the fuselage becomes thinner in the middle, like the shape of a soda bottle. By reducing the cross section where the wings joined, drag was greatly reduced to produce a winning design. This concept is still used on high-performance aircraft today.
Convair F-106 Delta Dart During the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force was on guard against any threat and employed high-performance, missile-armed interceptors around U.S. borders. While the F-102 Delta Dagger had served admirably in this role, the late 1950s saw an effort by Convair to squeeze more performance out of the design. The result was a whole new aircraft; the F-106 Delta Dart. The F-106 featured more powerful radar, a higher performance engine and new air intakes to deal with the Mach 2+ speeds that it would fly.
de Havilland DH-100 Vampire The second British single-engine jet fighter in service with the Royal Air Force, the Vampire was designed and built during World War II, flying only weeks before the war in Europe ended. Designed in the early days of jets, the short, stubby center fuselage minimized the complicated ductwork for the engine’s air intake and exhaust. This led to an aircraft with twin tail booms, and the engine directly behind the pilot. With no propeller, the Vampire has shorter landing gear and sits low to the ground.
Grumman TF-9J Cougar During the Korean War, the Grumman F9F Panther was the Navy’s workhorse fighter, but it was out-classed by the Soviet MiG-15. In response, Grumman created the F9F-6 Cougar. Since the Panther was such a robust aircraft, Grumman retained the basic layout, sweeping the wings, adding an “all flying” stabilizer and upgrading the engine for higher performance. Because aircraft carrier flying is a demanding task, the Navy needed a high performance trainer to introduce student pilots to carrier operations. With the addition of a second seat, the Cougar proved to be ideal.
McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is one of the most successful fighters to enter service since World War II; an aircraft that could seemingly do everything well. Phantoms have equipped the air forces of 12 countries, with the final one being built in 1981. Due to its flexibility and versatility, a number of F-4 Phantoms are still flying with foreign air forces today, 50+ years after the first flight.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 UTI Midget (Shenyang JJ-2) Becoming one of the most feared aircraft ever is not an easy task, but the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan MiG-15 did just that. Its arrival over Korea in 1950 was a surprise to Allied pilots who learned to fear this agile fighter with a powerful punch. Designed around a British engine and captured German engineering data, the Soviets made great leaps forward in technology with the MiG-15. More than 12,000 were made for the Soviet Union and its allies.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17A Fresco An outgrowth of the innovative MiG-15, the nimble, lightweight MiG-17 was a worthy adversary to heavier American aircraft in the skies over Vietnam. When Western observers first saw the MiG-17, they assumed it was simply a lengthened MiG-15; but it was in fact a very different airplane. Because of aerodynamic improvements, the MiG-17 flew higher, farther, faster and was much more stable. Its heavy cannon armament made it a formidable fighter and more than 30 countries utilized the MiG-17.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 MF Fishbed-J During the Cold War, as the U.S. and U.S.S.R. built bombers to strike each other’s cities, they also developed interceptors to protect those cities. The U.S. developed aircraft like the F-104 or F-106, while the Soviets relied on the MiG-21. Created by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau, the MiG-21 would be in production longer than any other combat aircraft (26 years) and would see more built (11,496) than any other jet in history.
North American F-100F Super Sabre Debuting in 1954, the F-100 Super Sabre was the first production jet fighter to maintain level supersonic flight. A replacement for the successful F-86 Sabre, the F-100 came to fame as an attack bomber in the skies over Vietnam during the early part of the war.
North American FJ-3 Fury First flown in 1946 with a straight wing, the original FJ-1 Fury saw little success due to its inadequate, low-powered jet engine. While North American was developing the Fury for the U.S. Navy, the Air Force asked them to modify it to a swept-winged version, resulting in the hugely successful F-86 Sabre. The FJ-3 Fury, which was in development at the time, also received a swept-wing like the F-86 and a far more powerful engine that transformed it into viable fighter.
Northrop F-5E Tiger II The F-5 started life as a variant of the T-38A Talon supersonic jet trainer, which was built in quantity for the U.S. Air Force. Utilizing profits from that program, Northrop took the daring step of creating a lightweight fighter based on the Talon as a private venture. Quickly seeing the value of it, the Defense Department acquired hundreds of these aircraft, dubbed the F-5A Freedom Fighter, to supply to anticommunist allies
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak During the Korean War, both the U.S. and Soviet Union put into practice the research done by German scientists in World War II regarding swept-wings and high performance flight. After seeing the tremendous performance advances of the swept-wing jets, Republic Aviation began work on converting their straight-wing F-84 Thunderjet into a high speed fighter. Started in 1949, the project ran into many difficulties and the Thunderstreak was not ready until after the Korean War ended.
Republic F-105G Thunderchief Designed to fly at supersonic speeds at a low altitude, the Republic F-105G Thunderchief was the largest single engine fighter ever used by the U.S. Air Force. Although its original mission was to carry a nuclear weapon, the Thunderchief carried the brunt of the tactical bombing campaign in the Vietnam War until losses became too high.
Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat For more than three decades, the F-14 Tomcat served as the long-ranged defender of the U.S. Navy’s fleets around the world. As an interceptor armed with the Phoenix missile, the F-14 was able to shoot down enemy aircraft at distances of more than 100 miles. Tomcats went into combat in 1981 and 1989 with Libyan fighters over the Gulf of Sidra, where they scored four victories with no losses, and saw combat with the Iranian Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum A Developed in the midst of the Cold War, the MiG-29 was a response to advanced U.S. fighters such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. Its design began in the 1970s when the Soviets analyzed captured Western aircraft and used agents to buy or steal high technology systems. To make it more utilitarian, the MiG-29 was equipped with durable landing gear and intake grates, allowing it to operate from primitive airfields.
McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle Designed from lessons learned in Vietnam, the F-15 Eagle is a true versatile modern fighter still in service today. Created in the early 1970s, the F-15 was heavy on thrust and light on weight. At its introduction, the F-15 could out climb, out turn, and out accelerate any fighter in the sky. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri, manufactured the Museum’s Eagle. Wearing the squadron insignia of the Oregon Air National Guard, she stands today as a memorial to F-15 pilots Captain Michael King Smith and Major Rhory Roger Draeger.
Building a successful military means developing support systems for transporting soldiers, weapons, and supplies; executing effective reconnaissance; and training soldiers to the top of their ability. Learn more about the important roles that aircraft played as part of our expansive military exhibit.
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Knowing what you face ahead is half the battle. From reconnaissance balloons deployed in the Napoleonic era to the SR-17 Blackbird, reconnaissance aircraft have played a pivotal role in military history. Learn more about these important aeronautic breakthroughs, and see some of the actual aircraft that served this important role.
Piper L4H Grasshopper Although the Piper J-3 Cub was originally designed as a civilian aircraft, it was drafted into military service during World War II for battlefield reconnaissance, liaison duties and casualty evacuation. Renamed the Piper L-4H Grasshopper, military leaders like General Eisenhower and General Patton also used the L-4s to fly around the battlefields and maintain contact with their commanders.
Ryan PT-22 Recruit As World War II approached, the U.S. Army Air Corps realized it would eventually be drawn into the conflict and need more pilots. It also needed more advanced training aircraft to prepare those pilots to fly. Prior to 1940, the Army only purchased biplanes for training, but because of advances in combat aircraft, they now needed higher performance monoplanes. A variant of the Ryan ST series sport planes, the PT-22 and its predecessor, the PT-16, were the first monoplane trainers to be acquired.
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird In the world of aviation, there is no production aircraft that flies higher or faster than the SR-71 Blackbird. Born out of a Cold War need to keep tabs on America’s adversaries, this unarmed reconnaissance aircraft was unequaled in performance, setting an altitude record at 85,069 feet and a speed record at 2,193 mph; both on the same day!
Grumman OV-1D Mohawk In its role as an observation and electronic reconnaissance airplane, the OV-1 Mohawk excelled at supplying Army field commanders with information about enemy forces in daylight, darkness or bad weather. Loaded with electronics and cameras, Mohawks saw extensive service during the Vietnam War.
Lockheed GTD-21B Drone Following the shoot-down of Francis Gary Powers and his U-2 in May 1960, it became clear to the intelligence community that there were some places too dangerous to send a manned aircraft. Thus, Lockheed chose to design an unmanned reconnaissance drone. The drone utilized a ram jet engine and carried cameras in a module which was ejected at the end of the mission. The D-21 itself would self-destruct. The project was cancelled in 1971.
Insitu A-20 ScanEagle The Insitu A-20 ScanEagle is a new breed of unmanned aircraft that fly under the guidance of an operator. One of the advantages is that it does not need a runway; launching from a catapult on a truck or small ship. At the end of its flight, it catches an arresting wire held aloft by poles. Highly versatile, the ScanEagle is used in both civilian and military fields, including reconnaissance, oil platform patrol and anti-piracy operations, as well as wildlife and fire and ice flow tracking.
Israeli Aircraft Industries Mazlat Mastiff IIIProduced by Tadiran in Israel, the Mastiff was part of the first generation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which used a television camera to provide real-time battlefield data. It was used by the Israeli military for locating missile sites in the Bekka Valley during the 1983 intervention in Lebanon. Able to loiter over the battlefield for long periods, Mastiffs assisted in the destruction of 28 Surface-to-Air (SAM) missile sites.
From the “Gooney Bird” to the “Spruce Goose,” military cargo planes have played a pivotal role in military history. Whether transporting supplies, troops, or weapons, these planes are key to military success. Learn more about these workhorse aircraft and even step inside the original Spruce Goose to explore its vast cargo bay.
Douglas C-47 Sky Train Called the Dakotas in England the Skytrains in the United states, soldiers usually referred to C-47’s as “Gooney Birds.” The C-47 is a military version of the successful DC-3 airliner with improved engines, cargo doors and a beefed up floor. During the Berlin Airlift in 1946 “Goonies” helped supply a city from the air with everything from coal to candy. The C-47 took part in the D-Day Invasion, dropping paratroopers from the 101st Airborne over Normandy, France.operator.
Hughes Flying Boat, H-4, HK-1 Spruce Goose The Hughes Flying Boat represents one of man’s greatest attempts to conquer the skies as the largest airplane ever constructed. It flew only one time on November 2, 1947. Conceived as a personnel and materiel carrier, the single hull prototype was designed to fly Trans-Atlantic to avoid World War II German submarines that were sinking Allied ships in large numbers. Completed in 1947 after the end of the War, the wooden winged giant is nearly six times bigger than any aircraft of its time. Take a closer look.
Even the greatest Ace needs to start with the basics. Flying purpose built single seat fighters would overwhelm even the most promising prospective pilot, and hugely expensive bombers and transports need to be reserved for active service. So training aircraft are vital to giving future pilots the first step into a life in the cockpit.
Boeing Stearman E-75B Kaydet Many World War II aces and flying heroes began their career in a Stearman Kaydet. Universally called Stearmans, they were actually built by the Boeing Aircraft Company, which purchased the Stearman Company in 1934. An outdated design in the 1940s, the little biplanes were rugged, maneuverable and ideal for military flight training. This Stearman was formerly owned by astronaut Frank Borman, the commander of the Gemini 7 and Apollo 8 space missions.
Fairchild PT-19A In a “fly-off ” between 17 companies, the Fairchild Model M-62 was chosen as the new machine to train cadet pilots. Its fabric-covered steel-tube frame construction with plywood covered wings made the PT-19 rugged, reliable and easy to maintain. It was closer to the types of planes that students would fly in combat, yet it had wide landing gear for easy landings and performance that was almost vice-less in flight, earning it the nickname “Cradle of Heroes.” During the war, a shortage of the Ranger engines that powered the PT-19 forced Fairchild to build a radial engine version dubbed the PT-23.
Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3 Canary The N3N was the only aircraft designed and built by a factory wholly owned by the U.S. Navy. During the 1930s, the Navy needed a more sophisticated trainer. At the same time, it needed to dispose of aluminum angle left over from building the USS Akron and Macon. The Navy decided to design its own aircraft utilizing the aluminum, solving both problems at once. The N3N first flew in 1935, and the last one retired in 1961.
North American SNJ-4 Texan Called “the most universally used airplane in history,” the Texan trainer rivals the famed DC-3 in longevity and variety of uses. Originating from the 1935 open-cockpit, fixed-gear NA-16, the Texan was employed as an advanced trainer, designated as the U.S. Army’s AT-6 and the U.S. Navy’s SNJ. After the war, the planes continued in U.S. military service and flew with at least 55 nations in the role of trainer, fighter, bomber, attack, transport and observation aircraft.
North American T-28 Trojan Designed as a replacement for the T-6 Texan, the Trojan was used primarily as a military trainer even though it was also used as a combat aircraft. After becoming the primary trainer by the USAF in the 1950’s, the US Navy and Marine Corps started flying it. Despite being phased out by the 1960’s by the USAF, the Navy used it up until the early 80’s.
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star The U.S. Air Force joined the Jet Age in 1944 with the P-80 Shooting Star, its first operational fighter jet. Shortly thereafter, the need arose for a trainer to acquaint pilots with the performance of jets. Lockheed modified the P-80 to add a second seat to produce a trainer. Dubbed the T-Bird, the T-33A proved to be a graceful and reliable flyer that made the transition to jets easy.
North American T-2C Buckeye With more and more jet aircraft coming into the inventory, the U.S. Navy issued a requirement in 1956 for a jet trainer that could be used to instruct student pilots from basic training through their carrier qualifications. North American Aviation won the contract based on a simple design utilizing elements of the FJ-1 Fury jet fighter and T-28 Trojan trainer. The Buckeye featured excellent visibility for both instructor and student, and a tail hook for carrier landings.
Northrop T-38 Talon By the end of the 1950s, the U.S. Air Force still did not possess a trainer capable of Mach 1. At the same time, Northrop had developed the N-156 lightweight fighter design on its own, but it was slow to find customers. With some modification to the N-156, Northrop offered the Air Force a new trainer, which they eagerly accepted as the T-38. The T-38A was the first supersonic trainer, and to date, the most produced.
Beechcraft T-34B Mentor Walter Beech set out to create a cheap alternative to replace the North American T-6 Texan. Beechcraft based his design off the Bonanza sport aircraft but abandoned the bonanza’s signature v-tail in order to create this military training aircraft. He adopted a more conservative look and a bubble canopy to allow for maximum visibility. Introduced in 1953, the versions still serve with the US Navy almost six decades later.
McDonnell KDD-1 Katydid Drone To make gunnery training realistic during World War II, the U.S. Navy selected McDonnell Aircraft to design and build a high speed, unmanned target drone to simulate fast moving aircraft. Powered by a pulse jet similar to the German V-1 Buzz Bomb, the KDD-1 could be launched from a ground based catapult or from the wing of a PB4Y Privateer bomber. It was steered by commands of a radio
Each of our exhibits celebrates the lives of innovators, pilots, and veterans who courageously pioneered flight in these remarkable machines
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Each of our exhibits celebrates the lives of innovators, pilots, and veterans who courageously pioneered flight in these remarkable machines.
As part of our mission to honor the patriotic service of our veterans, we created the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor to celebrate our local heroes and additionally offer veteran tours to help our visitors gain a unique insight into each exhibit
Veteran Tours Take a tour from a veteran and meet one of the brave men and women who worked on our historic aircraft. Because many of our volunteer docents are veteran pilots, with prior notification, you can take a tour from someone with first-hand experience to gain a unique insight into our captivating exhibits.
Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor The Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor celebrates the lives of our local heroes with an exhibit highlighting the special veterans that called Oregon home.