Aviation-themed waterpark lands in Oregon

Aviation themed water park

The country’s newest water park opened Monday, June 6, 2011 in an unlikely spot: the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

The museum is well-known for being the current home of Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, the largest airplane ever built, but it’s claim to fame may change a bit now that the Wings & Waves Waterpark is sending squealing visitors down four giant slides that start inside a Boeing 747 mounted on the roof of a 60-foot-tall building.

“To get kids’ attention these days you need to more interactive. It’s all ‘Been there; done that; got the T-shirt.’ So we built an aviation and water museum with slides it in,” explained Evergreen Aviation museum’s executive director Larry Wood.

Exhibits and artifacts explain concepts such as Bernoulli’s principle, the water cycle and jet propulsion. Rides include the Nose Dive inner tube ride, the Mach One slide that descends 60 vertical feet and a ride that Dave Garske of Hoffman Construction, the park’s builder, calls “a man-screamer. It’s fast and you’re screaming and you’re readjusting your suit when you get to the bottom.”

For more fresh waterpark attractions to seek out this summer, see my story Get wet and wild at these new waterparks on msnbc.com.