Tillamook Air Museum – Engines

I’m a big engine guy, I could have spent days in this place looking through everything.  I had to go out through the rail yard to get a closer look at this thing.  A working one of these was going up and down a tourist railway along the coast, since it took us all day to ride 50 miles it passed us a bunch of times.  I’ve never seen a steam engine in this configuration, it looks like a huge Moto Guzzi.

Its a giant V Twin under the boiler with an open crank like the old hit and miss engines were.  The hit and miss ones were like this for easier access for maintenance and lubrication, but got more dirt contamination and faster wear so they needed more maintenance…

Open drive, yikes!  This obviously is from the time when railway safety was self policed 😉

Rolls Royce Merlin

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Tillamook Air Museum

After the cheese factory we tried to haul butt down the road to finally get some miles under our belt today. Doing under 100 in a day just isnt going to work. Well a bit south out of town on the 101 when we were just getting into a groove we spotted the Tillamook Air Museum.  Theres absolutely no missing it, its an enormous building.  I thought OK, our mileage for today is already shot anyway, lets stop to check it out.

We watched the film on the history of the place, after it was shut down by the Navy space was leased out for private industry, at one time it housed a lumber yard, a saw mill, and a paper mill all at the same time under one roof.  This is hangar B,  A was destroyed in a fire after something like a million bales of hay went up.

Pictures just dont convey how truly enormous this building is, you could fit a couple office buildings inside.

I’m not much of an expert on flying things and by now all my pictures of the plaques identifying what things were are all scrambled out of order.  If you know what these are let me know and I’ll update the post.

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Homemade Engines

At the antique engine show and motorcycle collection at Tom’s house in Las Lunas was an old guy from Wagonmound who showed up with a couple of engines he had built himself, as in made from scratch! Wow! Amazing!

I am blown away that someone could build something like this in their home shop in their spare time, incredible. Look at the craftsmanship of these pieces, you can still see all of the machining marks in the aluminum. Not all of the pieces are exactly the same I noticed. If you look at the surface above the spark plug in this picture you’ll see that its not perfectly flat and has 2 surfaces while all the others are one plane. I saw another detail elsewhere like this, as though he was making refinements along the way, not something you would see in a kit.

Classic motorcycle collection

1914 Excelsior Auto Cycle

We were invited down to another antique engines showing this weekend. This one was being held at a guys house near Las Lunas, NM and I was told that he was a director for the Albuquerque Museum and had quite a nice motorcycle collection. To go see some old bikes we decided to take the old BMW airhead for its first long distance ride to see how she does.

Wow is all I can say. He had such a wide selection of bikes going back to 1914 in various states of restoration but his garage was just amazing. I’m aspiring to have something halfway close to this by the time I retire. The garage was built into a hillside and as far as I can tell was almost the entire footprint of the house with the living quarters on top. I’m blown away by how neatly organized everything is and just how many bike parts there were laying around.

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