Hall of Fame Legends of Flight--Tickets on sale now!

Hall of Fame Induction Celebration - Saturday November 5th

Hall of Fame Induction Celebration - Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Join us on Saturday, November 5th, as we honor the accomplishments of famed air and space pioneers. They are the innovators, the scientists, the aviators, the engineers, and the explorers who positively influenced the technologies we now take for granted. They made a difference in the lives of others and are the examples for our future generations to emulate. Don't miss this evening of a lifetime!

Class of 2011:

Jerry Coleman - San Diego legend and one of only a few major league baseball stars to serve in both World War II and the Korean War. Marine Corps combat pilot and awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses for his extraordinary airmanship. Second baseman and six-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees. Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster for the San Diego Padres. He is known and loved in the San Diego community. 

Walter CunninghamMarine Corps pilot and Astronaut. Crewmember of the first manned Apollo mission- Apollo 7. He served as chief of the NASA Skylab Astronaut Office, overseeing 56 major scientific experiments. He is the author of the book The All American Boys, which chronicles the human side of the American space program.  

Bill Gibbs - He is a living legend of aviation. He established what is now known as Montgomery Field and the Gibbs Aircraft Service Center. His aviation career began in 1931 and has continued ever since. He worked for the famous Ryan Aviation School training Army pilots during WWII. His philanthropy through the Bill Gibbs Scholarship Endowment Fund has helped numerous students attend universities and pursue careers in aviation and science. 

Dr. Irwin Jacobs - San Diego businessman, innovative computer engineer, entrepreneur, educator, and a noted local and international philanthropist. Dr. Jacobs and his team at Linkabit developed a coding scheme used by NASA for deep space probes, which is still in use today, and developed variable-aperture satellites (VSAT). Dr. Jacobs is one of San Diego’s leading statesmen and his company, Qualcomm, changed the way people communicate. 

James Raisbeck - Entrepreneur, businessman, and aviation innovator. He served as a research aerodynamicist at the Boeing Airplane Company and President and Chief Engineer of Robertson Aircraft Corporation before starting his own company, Raisbeck Engineering Inc., which after 9/11 designed hardened cockpit security doors for American commercial aircraft. 

Dick Rutan - An accomplished Air Force pilot and Vietnam Veteran with over 325 combat missions and five Distinguished Flying Crosses, world record holder. He founded Voyager Aircraft Inc. and piloted the Voyager aircraft on a non-stop flight around the world, and also set a world record in the EZ-Rocket for the longest distance in a ground-launched rocket powered aircraft. 

Tom Poberezny - He served as president of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), which was founded by his father,  Paul Poberezny. A world-class air show performer, he epitomizes the spirit of grassroots aviation in America. He was instrumental in the creation of the EAA Young Eagles program that encourages youth involvement in aviation. 

Naval Aviation - With the simple stroke of a pen on May 11, 1911, a keen-minded Navy captain named Washington Chambers launched Naval Aviation in the United States by procuring the first two Navy airplanes. San Diego’s role in his decision was pivotal. The Navy’s first aviator, Theodore G. Ellyson, had attended the Glenn Curtiss flying school on North Island. Since then, the United States Navy has evolved into the most sophisticated and modern Naval Air Force in the world, always on point defending the nation. 

TOPGUN - The United States Navy Strike Fighter Weapons Program, known as TOPGUN, is the modern day evolution of the Navy Fighter Weapons School established on March 3, 1969 at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. It has been providing advance tactical training to Navy and Marine Corps pilots for 42 years. 

Meet these legends of air and space for an evening of extraordinary recognition and fun, as you're provided a personally experiential peek into each honoree's life.

Time: 5:00 pm - VIP (meet the honorees) Reception
6:00 pm - Cocktail Reception
7:00 pm - Dinner
8:00 pm - Program

Location: San Diego Air & Space Museum Pavilion of Flight

Attire: Black tie optional

Celebration Pricing:

VIP Reception and Dinner (Per Seat) - $375
Reception and Dinner (Per Seat) - $275
VIP Reception and Dinner (Table of 10) - $3750
Reception and Dinner (Table of 10) - $2750

Partnerships & Additional Information:

For partnership and additional information please contact Becky Conrad at 619.234.8291 x102 or email her at bconrad@sdasm.org.

Event Sponsors

The Museum would like to Thank the following sponsors for making this event possible.

Culinary Concepts

Signature Flight Support


Purchase a Ticket Today!

Purchase a ticket to this event today online.

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Green Skills Competition

Green Skills for Life Competition 2011


All it takes is one small change or action to help make the Earth a better place. What is one change or action you think you and others could do in your everyday lives in order to make the world a greener place? If your student/child has a great green idea, the San Diego Air & Space Museum and Ford Motor Company Fund wants them to create either a piece of artwork or a short video about their idea, change, or action.

This year we are also introducing a new division of the competition---Military Goes Green---and a new question that your student/child can address through artwork or a short video. The United States military has been making efforts to use green technology and conserve energy, and San Diego’s armed services are recognized as leaders in renewable energy and water conservation. What is one change or action the military can make to reduce their “carbon bootprint” and make the world a better place?


$1000 scholarships will be awarded to the four winners in the ages 13-18 categories. $500 scholarships will be awarded to the winners in the ages 6-12 categories. Winners will also be invited to receive their awards at the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s International Aviation Hall of Fame Celebration on Saturday, November 5, 2011.

The number of scholarships and monetary amounts are subject to change at any time throughout the competition.


All San Diego County students are eligible to participate. Entries will be categorized by art medium and the following age groups: 6-12 and 13-18.

Printable Flyer

Click here to Download a Printable Flyer.

Art Guidelines:

All artwork must be the original creation of the student/child. For every medium except for photography, the paper size is 11x17 inches. Artwork must not be framed or outlined with borders. Any of the following media are permitted: watercolor, acrylic, oil paint, permanent markers, pen and inks, felt-tip pens, crayon, or similar permanent media.

All photography must be 8x10 inches, not including borders. Photography must not be framed.

Art submission process:

Mailed entries must be postmarked by Saturday, October 15, 2011. Entries may also be submitted at the Museum by close of business on Sunday, October 16, 2011. Make sure to fill out entry form from the flyer on our website. Please specify if submission is being entered for Green Skills for Life or Military Goes Green.

Video Guidelines:

Videos must be at least one minute and no longer than two minutes.

Submission Process:

Submissions must be received by Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST.

Reproduction Rights:

Once submitted, entries will become property of the sponsors and may be used for a variety of purposes.

Special Offers for October


October Free for Kids

For the entire month of October, kids 12 and under get into the San Diego Air & Space Museum for FREE with the easy-to-download coupon found at the San Diego Museum Council website. Reference the coupon for details of the offer. Twenty-four museums in all are offering free admission. Get up, get out, and explore San Diego's museums with your children throughout the month of October!


 Attention all SDASM Members:

Visit the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for FREE!

Reuben H Fleet Logo

Now through Oct. 16, present your SDASM membership card and receive FREE admission to the Fleet, located at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd. Enjoy free admission to all exhibitions, a member discount in the museum store and discounts on IMAX tickets!

For more information on the Fleet, please visit: rhfleet.org or call (619) 238-1233.

Membership Benefits cross promotions are one more reason that SDASM membership is a great value all year long.

Not yet a member?

1. Purchase a membership from our admissions desk

2. Call the Membership Office at (619) 234-8291, ext. 111

3. Click here


Night at the Museum Sleepover

Night at the Museum Halloween Sleepover

Night at the Museum Halloween Sleepover

Join us at the San Diego Scare and Space Museum on the night of Friday, October 21, 2011 for our Halloween sleepover, open to ghouls and goblins aged 7-12. Come dressed in your holiday attire; the best costumes will receive prizes. Explore the spookier side of air and space as you go on a scavenger hunt, make eerie and ghastly gliders, and take a flashlight tour of the galleries to visit some of our old…friends. At night, sleep next to an old war plane, but we can’t guarantee that it isn’t haunted…

When: October 21 at 7:00 pm until October 22 at 9:00 am

Where: San Diego Scare and Space Museum

Cost: $39 (member) per person, $45 (non-member) per person. There must be one adult over the age of 21 for every 1-3 children attending, and no adult can be admitted without accompanying a child.

Cost includes: Museum admission, hands-on activities, flashlight tours, movie screenings, and evening and breakfast snacks.

Please be prepared to bring: a Halloween costume, a full stomach (no dinner will be provided), sleeping bag and pillow (yoga mats and air mattresses are also permitted), flashlight, camera, toothbrush and toothpaste, warm pajamas, solid-soled shoes, and medications if needed.

Space is limited so please call (619) 234-8291 x 119 to reserve your spot, or click here to sign up online.

Museum Docent Wins Award

SDASM Docent Wins “Inspiration Award”

The Friends of Balboa Park Millennium Awards Luncheon recognized five selected volunteers to receive Inspiration Awards.   These prestigious awards recognize those who have contributed countless hours of community service to Balboa Park or to one of the organizations in the Park. 

One of this year's winners was our very own Henry "Snake" Houghton.

With a call sign like Snake, you have to be good—and Harry “Snake” Houghton is, literally, the volunteer’s volunteer. Shortly after his qualification as Docent seventeen years ago, he deepened his commitment to serve as a combination of statistician, administrative leader, and welfare coordinator for his fellow volunteers at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Snake currently shares Volunteer Coordinator duties with a designated staff member.

Snake joined the San Diego Air & Space Museum in 1994, and since then has devoted over 10,000 hours (we just gave him a cake in honor of the occasion) of “official” volunteer service. His actual time is considerably higher—Snake does a great deal of homework, compiling service hours, years of service, awards eligibility and general demographic data for the Museum’s volunteers.

Snake is also one of the Museum’s resident experts on modern fighter aircraft. As a Navy fighter pilot, Snake flew the F-4 “Phantom” jet in tours overseas, including missions over Vietnam. He was later involved in weapons development at NAS Point Mugu and obtained his Masters Degree at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. After he retired in the late 1970s, he worked for Cubic Corporation until 1994.

One of the beauties of volunteer museum staffing is the ease and economy of the associated informal administration; but soon after Snake arrived, he realized that the volunteer program was simply too informal. On his own time, he transcribed, corrected and simplified volunteer records; he then put together a master database—still used to this day—and generated reports and statistics via that database. The impact was dramatic—suddenly the Museum management could get real-time metrics about who exactly the volunteers were and what they were actually doing. For his part, Snake focused on volunteer productivity, attendance, recruitment and—ominously but importantly—the growing attrition rate.

With access to the raw data, Snake quickly became the “go-to” guy for information about the volunteers. Snake spoke with authority, communicating up and down the chain of command with Museum management and fellow volunteers. As a co-author of many of the Docent and Volunteer Policy directives, he helped create the current volunteer administrative structure at the museum. 

Snake is still very much a leader at the Museum—he still assists with the Docent Training program, and still supervises the Volunteer Awards Program (including our annual Volunteer Appreciation Night), setting a standard  since emulated by other institutions. Snake is a necessary element in any meeting dealing with volunteer retention or Docent issues, including recruitment, training and administration. According to Museum President and CEO Jim Kidrick, “It’s fair to say that Snake represents the conscience of our Museum’s superb volunteers—and he does this in a very helpful, very positive way.”



Halloween Family Day

Join the Museum’s Education Department for a Space Halloween Extravaganza! In honor of our current special exhibition, Space: A Journey to our Future, we will be making and dropping gumdrop parachutes. Be sure to stick around until 2:30 pm to see if our astronaut pumpkin can survive a drop from the Museum roof with his space capsule parachute!

Kids 12 and under are FREE with a paid adult admission (limit four kids). Does not include special exhibitions.

Building sessions will be at 11:30 am and 12:30 pm and last 45 minutes.

The Museum’s Halloween Family Day is part of a Balboa Park-wide event happening that day. For more information, please click here

Below is last year's attempt of an alien pumpkin attached to a UFO-style parachute:


Centennial of Naval Aviation Exhibit

Centennial of Naval Aviation Exhibition

The San Diego Air and Space Museum has created an outstanding tribute to 100 years of Naval Aviation with its Centennial of Naval Aviation (CONA) exhibit in downtown San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park. Encompassing many aspects of the proud and glorious history of the US Navy, it stands alone in quality and content as a true tribute to the Navy and a proud accomplishment of the museum.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is the museum’s own Curtiss A-1 Triad aircraft, an exact reproduction of the first flying machine purchased by the Navy in 1911. The Triad was placed in the exhibit after it was successfully flown off the waters of San Diego Bay adjacent to NAS North Island, highlighting the first CONA event of the year on February 12, 2011.

Visitors to the exhibit enjoy contrasting the new and old in the form of large scale models of the USS Langley (CV-1) and the USS Lincoln (CVN-72) displayed in a glass case stationed beneath the Triad. Bios of eight heroic Navy and Marine Corps pilots flank the model case and lend a personal sense of history while giving life to the model ships.

The uniform like that once worn by Naval Aviator number one, TG Ellyson, along with other period artifacts is displayed in front of a picture of Ellyson seated on a Curtiss pusher. An operating miniature Curtiss OX-5 engine shares the case with the early uniform and cap.

The large perimeter wall of the exhibit depicts a graphic historical timeline of naval air operations over the past 100 years. The decisive battles, numerical aircraft inventory, aeronautical and engineering landmarks, and carrier development are all featured along with, perhaps most importantly, the accomplishments of those iconic individuals who often devoted the better part of their lives to the success of Naval Aviation.

As a tribute to the personalities and the camaraderie of the naval air, a large display case contains examples of colorful helmets worn by our proud aviators while doing what they all cherished doing---flying for the US Navy.

A large glass display cabinet containing numerous artifacts including uniforms, paintings, an ejection seat, a WWII ready-room chair (occupied), ceremonial swords, models, posters, combat awards, a tail hook, and many additional items spanning the history of the Navy’s first 100 years of aviation, rounds out the museum’s extensive tribute to the Navy, its aviators, and its heritage.