We headed north from McMinnville to our trip destination – the Seattle/Tacoma area – to spend time with extended family. I took a half day to check out the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, just south of the city of Seattle.
The Museum is located right on the flight line, next to the Boeing Military Delivery Center. There were a line of KC-46 tankers and this Australian Air Force P-8 parked on the other side of the fence:
From Grass Valley we worked our way up I-5 into Oregon. We spent two days at the Evergreen Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. Of course Evergreen is the home of the Spruce Goose, with one of the buildings built specifically to house her.
There is no way to get a picture inside the building that does justice to the scale of the Hughes H-4 Flying Boat, but here is one showing three of the four R-4360 radial engines on the port side wing:
We took 40 west, wound our way through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada before arriving in Reno.
In Reno, we had the opportunity to meet with Mike, the owner of N45265, Bureau # 2685. His aircraft was down for it’s annual, but it was great to meet up and put a face with a name. Here is a “library” photo of his aircraft:
The next day we had got up to Reno Stead and met up with the group from the High Sierra Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force. Their bird was, you guessed it, undergoing an annual. The pictures do show how the N3N was designed for ease of maintenance, the entire port side of the aircraft has panels that come off with the turn of a few dzus fasteners:
From there we went “over the pass” on I-80 and down the hill to Grass Valley California where we met up with Mike Ponte. The aircraft that he was working on when we first talked in 2015 is completed and has a new home in Idaho. Mike has an extensive inventory of components and he would be glad to build a Lycoming powered “N” if someone is interested.
We had the opportunity this summer to make an extended road trip from the midwest to the west coast. Along the way we had the chance to see a lot of America, visit some aviation sights and meet a few N3N folks.
After being earth-bound for 60 years and after more than 15 years of restoration work, “Doc” flew again on July 17th. What a triumph!
First flight video here: http://www.b-29doc.com/2016/07/18/video-first-flight-success/
It is rumored that she will be at Oshkosh this year.
UPDATE: FOUR EMPTY SPOTS ON THE N3N FLIGHT-LINE!
Jim’s aircraft (1926) looks mighty lonely out here…
I talked to Flightline Lead today. They are expecting 5-6 aircraft for the N3N row.
They also would like to feature an ‘N’ one day at training command. I nominate #2896.
The organization that owns F-AZNF has been in contact. F-ANZF is BuNo 2909, the former F-WNZF, OO-JUS(Belgian registration) and N45172.
We provided some information on more authentic paint schemes for them to consider. The most recent color scheme shown here:
You can follow their restoration effort on their website: http://www.ajbs.fr/le-n3n-se-refait-une-beaute-a-darois/ (the website is written in French, but the photos are multi-lingual).