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Tillamook Air Museum

by | Feb 18, 2018 | 0 comments

Location & History

It is hard to miss the Tillamook Air Museum while driving down the 101 Hwy a few miles south of Tillamook, Oregon. The enormous WWII-era US Navy blimp hangar with a giant “AIR MUSEUM” painted on the side is visible from afar. It was built in 1943 and is the largest free-standing, clear-span wooden structure in the world. During the war two such hangars were used at Naval Air Station Tillamook to station 8 K-class blimps that were patrolling the West Coast looking for a Japanese invasion forces.

Title Address Description
Tillamook Air Museum
6030 Hangar Rd, Tillamook, OR 97141, USA

Historic hangars

After the war, the 15-story structures were abandoned by the Navy and used for various civilian purposes including storage, lumber mill operations and manufacturing. In 1989 both hangars were listed in the National Register of Historic Places but on August 22, 1992, Hangar A was destroyed by a fire together with 300 truckloads of hay stored inside of it.

Tillamook Air Museum - Inside Hangar B

Tillamook Air Museum – Inside Hangar B

Blimp museum

In 1992 the surviving Hangar B was used to establish a small blimp museum by the Port of Tillamook Bay, a public agency managing the former Navy base. A few years later the museum acquired a collection of historic planes and became the Tillamook Air Museum.

Tillamook Air Museum

Tillamook Air Museum

Aircraft on display

Today the museum features a collection of more than 25 aircraft including an Erco Ercoupe 415-C, Fairchild GK-1 (Model 24), Nieuport 11 replica, Grumman F-14A Tomcat, Learjet 24, Fouga CM.170 Magister, Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-17F, BAC Jet Provost Mk. 3A, Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair ll, PZL-Mielec Lim-5M (Mig-17), Cessna 180F Skywagon, Nord 1100 Noralpha, Bell TH-57A Sea Ranger, Kaman HTK-1 and several others. 

Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair ll at the Tillamook Air Museum

Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair ll

Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy

The largest aircraft in the museum’s collection is the Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy. This unusually looking cargo airplane was built in 1967 using an all-new fuselage, however the cockpit, wings, and tail were salvaged from a surplus Boeing 377. It was used for decades to haul large and heavy cargo including the Pioneer 10 space probe for NASA.

Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy at the Tillamook Air Museum

Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy

Erickson Aircraft Collection

Before 2013 the museum also exhibited the WWII aircraft collection owned by Jack Erickson which was later moved to the Erickson Aircraft Collection museum in Madras, Oregon. After touring the museum make sure you also stop by the nearby Tillamook Cheese Factory for some delicious ice cream! 

PZL-Mielec Lim-5M (Mig-17) at the Tillamook Air Museum

PZL-Mielec Lim-5M (Mig-17)

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For current museum information including the hours of operation, admission price and contact details visit the museum’s website at tillamookair.com.

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