The middle of wine country may seem an odd landing place for Howard Hughes's famous "Spruce Goose" flying boat, but that's exactly what you'll find in this massive, barnlike museum. Although designed during World War II as a flying troop transport that wouldn't have to worry about attacks from German U-boats, the "Spruce Goose" wasn't completed until 1947, at which point it was no longer needed. The plane flew only one time, with Howard Hughes at the controls. The massive wooden plane rests in the company of many smaller planes. Among these are an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, a Ford Trimotor, a P-51D Mustang, a Spitfire, and a replica of the Wright Brothers' 1903 plane. By the way, the term "Spruce Goose" is actually a misnomer; most of the plane is made of birch. The museum also has an IMAX theater.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Highly Recommended 2010