CONVAIR arrival x_095503.jpg

The Convair 880 comes to rest in the Tillamook Air Museum Friday morning after a long trip from a storage facility at Mojave Airport in California. (2018)

Changes are afoot at the Tillamook Air Museum as we embark on an era of exciting new exhibits. These exhibits are quite different in style and substance than you’ve seen from us in the past, as our focus has changed. Prepare to enter a world of hands-on and immersive exhibits. Displays that take the visitor into a world not quite our own. We like to call it “Education Through Interaction.”

One exhibit opening soon that exemplifies our new participatory philosophy is our 1960 TWA (Trans-World Airlines) Convair 880 forward fuselage. This iconic aircraft was developed in part by businessman Howard Hughes, who wanted a jet that would be faster than any of its competition (still one of the fastest commercial jets that flew to this day!) Once open, visitors will be able to board, walk through the lounge, galley and view the cockpit to experience the glamor and style of commercial jet aviation at the dawn of the jet age!

Another exhibit actively being built that allows visitors to take a step back in time, is a recreation of life at the former Mt. Hebo Air Force Station, once located south of Tillamook. A radar facility that would detect enemy craft, Mt. Hebo Air Force Station was active in our community for over 20 years, from 1957 to 1979. This exhibit will feature a near exact replica of one of the many corrugated “tunnels” that connected buildings at the station and protected personnel from severe inclement weather. This “tunnel” can be walked through and will lead visitors into a beautifully crafted circular display; telling the story of Mt. Hebo Air Force Station.

Along with new and unique interactive displays being introduced at the Tillamook Air Museum, we are also working on exhibits that move our visitors. In partnership with the World Holocaust Remembrance Center (Vad Yashem), we are introducing an exhibit titled “Stars Without a Heaven.” This exhibit will tell the heartbreaking story of children involved in the Holocaust, how their lives were so dramatically upended, their innocence lost. Despite this loss, we also tell the story of the amazing resilience of these children, how their imagination endured and shined for all to see.

As we discuss the museum, let’s not forget upgrades! This past summer we worked with the Tillamook PUD and their rebate program to upgrade our antiquated lighting. We installed brighter, more energy efficient, LED lighting. Helping to preserve and protect museum objects entrusted to us, and to improve the experience of our visitors.

If you haven’t been to the museum in some time, you may also notice some significant changes in pricing and additions to the museum’s access passes. First off, we have lowered the cost of our “Annual Pass” by nearly half! This pass when purchased allows the purchaser and a guest into the museum for an entire year from date of purchase. At just $35.00, this is a bargain! Second, the museum for the first time has introduced an “Annual Family Pass” that allows two named adults and four kids into the museum for a year from date of purchase, all for just $65.00!

And of course, there are aircraft! We are currently working through the certification process with the United States Air Force to acquire help us additional airplanes to add to the museum’s growing collection of military craft. Keep a lookout for new aircraft coming down the pike!

With all of this going on, we are always looking for help from you! We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available here at the museum, and would love it if you worked with us! Contact us for more information! info@tillamookair.com

These are but just a few of the exciting changes that are happening here at the Tillamook Air Museum. As we grow, expand, and change, be on the lookout for even more dynamic exhibits from us as we work to serve you, our visitor. We look forward to seeing you at the Museum soon!

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