If you’d like to see a large collection of amazing airplanes, be sure to visit the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River, Oregon. The indoor hangar space is more than 3.5 acres in size.
All of the aircraft have been restored to working condition. This process takes a long time and the Museum restores an average of two per year. Our family donated a Fly Baby homebuilt plane, but it’s not yet on display.
The planes are generally arranged by type within the buildings.
Biplanes have interesting designs and they’re a great subject for photographs. I featured one of them in a black and white photograph in a previous post.
Mike and Linda Strong, friends of the family, donated the two 1929 WACOs pictured below. Mike worked as an airline pilot for many years and liked to fly smaller planes in his spare time. He gave me a ride in one of the WACOs years ago and it was a memorable experience.
The first WACO is a taper wing. At high speeds, tapered wings decrease drag and increase lift. They also make the plane lighter and more maneuverable.
WACOs are reliable and rugged, with excellent handling. The CSO model had straight wings and a longer range than similar planes. The Brazilian military used them to deliver mail in the 1930s.
The WACO INF, pictured below, was lighter and smaller than previous models. The INF, a “sport” airplane, is fast and fun to fly.
The New Standard was a barnstorming plane. The description on the WAAAM site describes it as performing “acrobatics slowly and gracefully, ably carried wing walkers and its front cockpit accommodated four passengers for joyrides.”
High wing planes
There is one section with a lot of high wing planes on display.
You’ll find others scattered throughout the buildings. The plane pictured below has the nickname of “Skinny Bird” because of its slim design.
Piper Cubs were known for being lightweight and easy to fly. In the late 1930s, Cubs cost $1,470, much more affordable than similar aircraft.
Did you notice the model next to the airplane pictured above? Several of the planes in the collection have scale models displayed beside them.
Cars & amazing airplanes
As I showed in my Cars from the Golden Age post, this museum also contains a large collection of automobiles. You’ll find many parked in a separate part of the museum, but several are next to the aircraft.
This is the oldest flightworthy Boeing 40 in the world and the oldest Boeing plane still flying. This type of plane originally carried mail, but it was redesigned in 1927 to carry a couple passengers. This airplane was nearly destroyed in a crash but was painstakingly restored over an eight-year period.
Amazing airplanes used by the military
WAAAM also has several military aircraft on display. Bobcats like the one pictured below served as trainers and as cargo and personnel transport. The airframe is steel, but the wings are made from wood. This design gave rise to several nicknames including “Bamboo Bomber” and “Rhapsody in Glue.”
The single engine T-6G pictured below, was used to train military in the United States and the British Commonwealth during World War II. It was in use through the 1970s. Since then, its been in use in airshows and in movies.
The Taylorcraft pictured below was a three-seater glider. It was used as trainer for pilots of the WACO gliders who participated in D-Day.
This section of amazing airplanes includes a collection of gliders. Terry Brandt, the founder of the Museum, grew up in a family of airplane aficionados. His parents worked as Fixed Base Operators (FBO) at an airport in Marysville, California and ran a flight school there. His dad built 200-300 crop dusters in his lifetime. He was also especially fond of flying gliders.
A replica of the glider flown by the Wright brothers in 1902 hangs at the far end of this gallery. A wingtip is the only remaining part of the original aircraft. That small piece of history is in the Smithsonian Institution.
The Schweitzer glider pictured below is a high wing, strut-braced training glider. It carried two passengers.
You could spend a long time looking at these amazing airplanes at the Museum in Hood River. They have a well-stocked gift store near the entrance if you want to pick up a reminder of your visit.
If you plan your trip around certain times of the year, you can also take advantage of the bountiful supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale. This chart shows when various fruit and vegetables are harvested by time of year.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
20 thoughts on “Amazing airplanes in Hood River: LAPC”
What an amazing place Siobhan, and who’d have known you’re so in tune with aircraft! I loved the post and learned lots of new tidbits about these uber-interesting planes, many of which I was totally unfamiliar with. I’m guessing our host this week John, has either been to this museum already or will definitely be adding it to his “must see” list! Terrific post!
Thanks, Tina! Yes, I’m sure John will like that post. Lots to see! ✈️
This museum has a great variety of aircraft. Thanks for letting us know about it. I’ve flown a Schweitzer glider.
You’re welcome, John! That Schweitzer is a good looking plane. Lucky you for getting to fly one.
Wow. This place looks cool. We have the Museum of Flight here in Seattle, but I love the smaller planes showcased here. That WACO INF is something!
Yes, it’s a cool museum. The INF was a beautiful aircraft. I’ve been to the Museum of Fliight and it’s great!
Wow, I missed this place on our way west last year. I didn’t know about it. Thanks for the heads up. It will be on my list of places to visit next trip westward!
Thanks for joining in the challenge.
Glad I could make more people aware of this museum. Thanks for this challenge, John!
Great collections! Great photos and interesting history.
Thanks, Amy! Lots of opportunities for photos there.
Great, great, GREAT post. VERY informative too. The history of aviation is mind-boggling.
Thank you, John! Glad you liked that post.
What a treasure trove of airplanes Siohban. Our Aerospace museum is not as complete. We have a lot of WWII planes but no bi-planes, etc. Great photography.
Thanks, Anne! They’re interesting to look at, no matter what type they are. Great photo subjects from different angles.
What a fun and informative post, Siobhan! Of course, I’m biased, growing up in an aviation family. I’m jealous of your ride in a Waco! For years my father schemed to get me a ride in a Stearman so I could experience an open cockpit flight, but sadly it never happened. What a great museum. I hope someday to visit it myself, but for now, your wonderful photos will do. Thank you!
Thank you, Becky! I thought you might like that post.
Such an interesting post! Wonderful pictures of these vintage airplanes and learning a little about their history is an added bonus.
Thanks, Sylvia! Glad you learned some new facts from that post. 🙂
Wow, what amazing planes! What a place to visit! I’d love to try a glider some day.