Evergreen International Airlines is a cargo airline based in McMinnville, Oregon, USA. It operates contract freight services, offering charters and scheduled flights, as well as wet lease services. It operates services for the U.S. military and the United States Postal Service, as well as ad hoc charter flights. Its main bases are Rickenbacker International Airport, Columbus, Ohio, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York and Columbus Metropolitan Airport, with a hub at Hong Kong International Airport.
The airline was established by Delford Smith (founder and owner) and began operations in 1960 as Evergreen Helicopters. It acquired the airline certificate of Johnson Flying Service and later became Evergreen International Airlines. The holding company Evergreen International Aviation
, formed in 1979, wholly owns the airline.
It also owns and operates the not-for-profit Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, home of the Spruce Goose. One of Evergreen's Boeing 747 airplanes starred in the 1990 action film Die Hard 2.
Evergreen and Atlant-Soyuz Airlines of Moscow, are to establish a new joint venture, operating scheduled cargo services between the United States and China, via Russia and Western Europe.
Evergreen International Airlines operates the following freight services as of August 2006:
The Evergreen International Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft as of September 2008:
Evergreen operates three Boeing 747 LCF oversized freighters for Boeing, out of a planned fleet of four. The "Dreamlifter" is the logistic support aircraft for Boeing's global B787 Dreamliner production. The company is also scheduled to operate the SOFIA Boeing 747SP aircraft for NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA (on the silicon valley near San Jose).
The airline has modified a Boeing 747-200 for aerial firefighting, receiving final certification from the FAA in October 2006. Compared to existing large water bombers and airtankers, the Evergreen 'Supertanker' will offer at least seven times more fire retardant capacity.
In August 2007 Evergreen announced that it has ordered 3 Boeing 747-400 BCF to upgrade its commercial operations, with deliveries in summer 2009.
As of August 2006, Evergreen International Airlines previously operated the following aircraft:
Incidents and accidents
- March 18, 1989: Flight 17, a DC-9 was on a cargo flight from Kelly Air Force Base outside San Antonio to Tinker Air Force Base outside of Oklahoma City, with a stop at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth. As the plane was departing, the cargo door on the plane opened; the pilot immediately requested emergency return to Carswell. As the plane was approaching on base leg, the cargo door fully opened, which caused the plane to yaw to the left and right, and then roll, until crashing near Saginaw in an inverted position. Both pilots onboard were killed. The investigation found that when closing the cargo door, the copilot did not close it fully, but since the locked and latched indicators were applied incorrectly, the copilot thought the door was fully locked.
- Lee waves were believed responsible for the in-flight separation of the #2 engine on an Evergreen Boeing 747-121, registration: N473EV, near Anchorage, Alaska in 1993.