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USA: Oregon – Erikson Aircraft Collection

Located in the small town of Madras in Central Oregon, the Erickson Aircraft Museum holds a private collection of World War II military aircraft. The collection is very impressive and even more so when you realise that most of these aircraft are still airworthy.

The Erickson Aircraft Collection is a vintage aircraft collection started by Jack Erickson in 1983. The collection features over twenty rare aircraft, most of which are still in flying condition. The newly named Collection will feature rare aircraft that are still in flying condition such as the P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, Ki43 Hayabusa, F4U Corsair, SBD Dauntless, Grumman Duck and B-17 Flying Fortress.

The aircraft are housed in a single hanger and are really stacked in. It is amazing how they have squeezed so many into a relatively small space, but it does make it feel very compact and homely. This is a no frills experience, there is no attempt to provide much history through multimedia or display panels it all about the aircraft.

Almost all the aircraft here are airworthy and flown regularly, sd consequently are in beautiful condition and obviously much loved.

For the true vintage aircraft enthusiast you could spend hours here or for the amateur history buff you can easily get a great experience in an hour or so.

Douglas A-26 Raider at Erickson Collection in Madras, Oregon
Douglas A-26 Raider
Lockheed P-38 Lightning at the Erickson Collection in Madras, Oregon
Lockheed P-38 Lightning
The Douglas Skyraider at the Erickson Collection in Madras, Oregon
The Douglas Skyraider
Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk at the Erickson Collection, Madras, Oregon
Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk
Vought F4U Corsair at the Erickson Collection in Madras, Oregon
Vought F4U Corsair
Messerschmitt Me-109
Messerschmitt Me-109

In summary … 

  • Madras is a way out there – but it is in a beautiful part of Oregon. It is close to the resort city of Bend which offers skiing, fishing, hiking, climbing and a host of other outdoor activities.
  • The museum is compact and depending on your level of interest you could spend hours here or cover it all in an hour or less.
  • There isn’t much in the way of places to eat in Madras, so either bring your favourite nibbles with you or head to Bend.

Planning your visit

The Erickson Collection is located in the small central Oregon town of Madras, which is 120 miles (193km) east of Portland, Oregon and will take about 2 hours to get there, depending on the weather. In the winter you’ll have to travel over mountain passes which can be snowy and hard to pass. 43 miles (70km) south of Madras is the beautiful city of Bend, Oregon which is a four season resort town wtih stacks to do. So, it might be an idea if you are interested in visiting the Erickson collection to combine this with a trip to Bend. Also, on the way to Bend you will likely pass Mount Hood, its 11,000 foot peak is spectacular on a clear day. If you have time when passing Mount Hood take a detour to the historic Timberline Lodge – it is a very interesting building.

The museum is located near to the Madras airport, which is a commercial airport so not much air traffic here, north of the city on the road towards Portland. So, it is dead easy to find and parking will be no problem whatsoever.

Location:2408 NW Berg Dr, Madras, OR
Telephone:T: +1 541-460-5065
Hours:Daily from 10am to 5pm, except Monday.
Admission Fees:GENERAL: $9.00
SENIOR: $8.00
VETERAN: $7.00
YOUTH (6-17): $5.00
CHILD (5 and under): FREE

Best time to visit Madras, Oregon

The weather in Central Oregon is primarily what you would expect in America’s inner continental high desert, largely dry, with cold winters and hot summers. In the winter the snow is mainlg going to be in the Cascade mountain range to the west of Madras. There are mainly two seasons; summer and winter. Summer arrives late, usually June and the warm weather will often extend into October. With the low humidity you get chilly mornings and the temperature drops off sharply when the sun goes down, even in the summer months.

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