Since its inception in 1963, the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum has honored over 200 of our world’s most significant aviation pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, designers, spokesmen and space pioneers. They have been celebrated for their significant contribution to the advancement of humankind in the field of air and space. They highlight the importance of technology and innovation.
The San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Library & Archives is home to the historical and corporate records of Ryan Aeronautical, one of the most influential aerospace companies in America’s air and space history. Ryan Aeronautical was established by T. Claude Ryan, who had served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and who had offered popular sightseeing flights and flight instruction in San Diego in the early 1920s.
Part of the welcoming committee to the San Diego Air & Space Museum is San Diego’s own Convair YF2Y-1 Sea Dart. In the 1950s, the United States Navy was exploring the idea of a supersonic water-based fighter that could operate in sheltered water areas. Five Sea Darts were built by Convair in San Diego
Today the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Library & Archives is one of the largest of its type in the nation with what is believed to be the largest online aerospace collection in the world. But this wasn’t always the case. What started with rather humble beginnings in the 1960s, has grown to be one of the most respected and sought after aviation collections in the world. When the first few items were gathered, no one could have imagined that they would be instantly viewable to millions across the globe.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum currently has more return moon rocks than any other museum on the west coast, with four on display. Moon rocks were first brought back to Earth on Apollo 11, and because no one knew what the makeup was, they were carried back in an airtight metal suitcase, which is also on display in the rotunda.
Leonardo da Vinci remains one of the most fascinating people history has ever known. Remembered by most people as an artist, Da Vinci sketched and drew countless inventions, machines, robotics and technological wonders we take for granted today – all centuries before their time. Today, visitors to the Da Vinci: The Ultimate Innovator special exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum can experience da Vinci’s true genius.