Tillamook Air Museum - 2008 . . .
during our travels in the Pacific Northwest

Updated: 11/30/08



a f0920or till_444 am1_1.JPG (33558 bytes)a f0920or till_446 am87_1.JPG (25547 bytes)The Tillamook Air Museum occupies Hanger "B" located two miles south of Tillamook, OR on Hwy 101 and adjacent to the Tillamook airport.

We read that it was a worthwhile attraction in the area. It was.







a f0920or till_321 am54_1.JPG (43738 bytes)To us, the main point-of-interest was not the contents of the buildings. It was the story about huge World War II blimp hanger and blimp fleet. One of two built at Tillamook. It was the first of 17 wooden blimp hangars built along the U.S. coastlines.  Hanger "B" was completed in 1943, hanger "A" was completed just 30 days later.  The fleet of blimps was our coastal patrol to protect our coasts from attack by German submarines and provide convoy escort service. Naval Air Station Tillamook was decommissioned in 1948. 




The floor area of the hanger is equal to six football fields.  It is 1,072 feet in length, 192 feet (over 15 stories) high and 296 feet wide. The doors are 120 feet high, 6 sections each weighing 30 tons and 220 feet wide. They roll on railroad tracks. In the following photographs the cars and motorhomes are good size comparisons.





The frame above a short concrete wall is all wood. The rear end of the hanger appeared to be blocked in. The inside of the blimp hanger housed up to nine gigantic "K" class Navy Blimps.

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a a f0921or road_114 air museum burned_1_1.jpg (31129 bytes)The hangers were used for various purposes after being decommissioned by the Navy. Hanger "A" burned in 1992.  When it burned, it was full of stored bales of hay.


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a f0920or till_110 am4_1.JPG (56065 bytes)Stepping into the hanger, it was interesting that the planes on exhibit still fly.

        As you look around, they all had pans/trays under them catching dripping oil.

        All propellers had sign on them, "Do not rotate propeller. It causes oil leaks".




One room displayed a lot of photographs of the hangers and related events documenting their importance to the WWII war effort.


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Stationed at NAS Tillamook was Squadron ZP-33 with a complement of eight K-ships. The K-ships were 251 feet long and filled with 425,000 cu. ft. of helium. With a range of 2,000 miles and an ability to stay aloft for three days, they were well suited for coast patrol and convoy escort.


No, it's not a rowing team . . . 


. . . it's a blimp being carried by a bunch of people.                                                          And, inflated.                     




   a f0920or till_138 am14_1.JPG (28499 bytes)This model of a Navy blimp shows a  size compared to airplanes.

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As we eat in restaurants, it was evident that Pepsi is the market leader.

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a f0920or till_173 am21_1.JPG (66344 bytes)Other types of military equipment was also on display.











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Okay, the name of the attraction is 'air museum' so lets look at some aircraft.



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a f0920or till_250 am39_1.JPG (89025 bytes)A little blurry but readable.   

Click to enlarge. > > >   











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                                                                                                                                     Down the throat of a jet . . .





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a f0920or till_224 am34_1.JPG (50463 bytes)Air intake for a jet engine . . .                    




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Yes, this little plane can really fly.


This bigger plane can fly too. 



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It appears that the Goodyear blimp is really very small.












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a f0920or till_417 am79_1.JPG (58471 bytes)The Air Base Cafe hamburgers were voted "Best in Tillamook" in  2006. The cafe has a full menu of items including sandwiches, soup, cookies and ice cream.







Part of Hanger "B" is being used to store boats,  RVs and racks  of other items.







a f0920or till_420 am81_1.JPG (24231 bytes)Rides on vintage airplanes could be arranged.








a a f0920or till_327 mil crane_1.JPG (49270 bytes)On the property was a collection of old train cars and engines. Restoration of the passenger cars was in progress. They seem to be the recipient of donations of various type of items for future displays.


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We were at the Air Museum about four hours including lunch. Admission was  $11 for seniors.




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