Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum

March 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Located in a picturesque setting alongside the Hood River at the Oregon airport, the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM) is home to an impressive collection, including more than 80 aircraft and over 130 automobiles, motorcycles, tractors and military jeeps, the majority of which are still in good working order. With over two acres of indoor hangar displays, a visit to the WAAAM is not dependent on the weather and is a great venue for a family outing. Moreover, on the second Saturday of every month the displays get mobile, with planes taking off and landing, and antique vehicles cranking up to go.

The restoration and upkeep of the Museum’s airplanes and vehicles is carried out by gifted and dedicated volunteers who make sure that not only are the engines in working order but they are kept in peak condition. Instead of gathering dust in a showroom, the majority of the aircraft, whether purpose built for recreation, work or military use, are regularly taken out and put through their paces in the sky.

The Museum’s ‘Crown Jewel’ is the Curtiss JN-4D. Commonly referred to as ‘Jenny’, the Curtiss JN-4D was the military training aircraft of choice during WWI and was used by both England and the United States. Following the war, the Curtiss Airplane Company refurbished the military airplanes for civilian use, where they became popular as barnstorming airplanes – travelling from town to town to entertain the locals with acrobatics and wing-walking. Other antique airplanes at the museum include a 1928 Boeing 40C, a 1929 Curtiss Robin, and a replica of a 1912 Curtiss Pusher.

The antique military vehicles at the WAAAM are often used in parades, while the military aircraft perform ceremonial flybys on special occasions. Visitors to the center on the second Saturday of the month may get the opportunity to take a drive in one of the military vehicles, with the driver ready to share a war story or two with his passengers. Among the antique military vehicles are the standard all-purpose Willys Jeep and Ford GPW, along with the two-wheeled Bantam trailer.

The pride of the antique civilian automobiles is undoubtedly the 1927 Ford Model T which was one of the last Model T’s to be built before production of this distinctive little car came to an end in May 1927. Other vehicles on display include a 1933 Harley Davidson and a 1925 Ford Model T 1-Ton Truck, which has quite a story attached to its discovery and subsequent restoration.

So pick a date, plan an outing and visit the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM) Website for more information.

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