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Old 05-10-2004, 02:48 AM   #84
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,782
7th May

Jorge & Sheila are out early to go to work (which most people I meet seem to have to do ), so I ride over to the Evergreen Aircraft Museum, home of one of the more bizarre aircraft I’ve seen…



…the ‘Spruce Goose’…



Devised as a solution to the massive losses being suffered by shipping in the North Atlantic at the hands of Dönitz’s U boats, the Hughes Flying Boat was, and is, the largest wooden aircraft ever built. It became a huge money pit, soaking up $18m of Federal funding, as well as $7m of Howard Hughes’ own money. It flew, in 1947, just once, with Hughes at the controls. It was then, on Hughes instructions, parked in a specially constructed, climate controlled hangar, for the next 23yrs. The costs of this ran to more than $1m per year. After Hughes death, the ‘Goose’ was sold to a local entrepreneur, who displayed it, alongside the Queen Mary, in Palm Beach, California. When Disney acquired the company, they lost interest in the flying boat and it was transferred to its present, purpose built, home.



The museum is home to an eclectic collection of aircraft, from a Messerschmidt Bf109G…



…to a SR71 Blackbird…



…to a B 17 Flying Fortress…



It’s an excellent museum.

On the way back to Jorge & Sheila’s home, I stop off at what looks like an innocuous little suburban house…



…which turns out to have a garage full of BMWs.



The garage belongs to Steve Prokop, an independent servicing agent. He listens to my engine, attaches his balance gauge, tweaks the throttle bodies and, like magic, the engine smooths out and the high frequency vibration disappears…



…he then turns into the perfect mechanic by refusing any payment – what a nice bloke

That evening, sitting on Jorge’s deck, with Mount Hood looking alternately like Mount Doom, or Mount Fuji, depending on whether it’s cloudy or not, I try a Cuban drink, comprising of rum, lime juice, sugar, mint and, as I find the next morning, a headache…

We spend the evening with Jorge & Sheila’s neighbours, eating & drinking – it’s a very convivial evening, rounding off a good day…

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MikeO screwed with this post 09-15-2009 at 01:06 AM
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