Press Release

San Diego Air & Space Museum Embraces Speed for 2018

The fastest vehicles in the world roar into San Diego all year long as SPEED: Science in Motion -- a fun, interactive special exhibition for adventurers of all ages.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is embracing speed with a focus on competition, record setting and racing throughout 2018.

San Diego, CA – The San Diego Air & Space Museum is embracing speed with a focus on competition, record setting and racing throughout 2018, with all of the Museum’s planes, jets, cars, space vehicles, motorcycles, and more – including some of the fastest vehicles known to mankind – having their top speeds posted next to them for everyone to enjoy.

The heart of the Museum’s year-long celebration of speed is a new special exhibition, SPEED: Science in Motion – a fun, interactive exploration of the technology behind everything fast.

Developed and produced by Scitech in Perth, Australia and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, SPEED: Science in Motion augments some of the world’s fastest aircraft and space vehicles already on display at the Museum, including the record-setting Mach 3 A12 Blackbird, which set numerous records for the fastest speeds achieved in an airplane while flying at more than 2,200 miles per hour. Also at the Air & Space Museum is the original Apollo 9 capsule, the predecessor of Apollo 10, which set the record for the fastest speed in space by traveling 24,791 miles per hour on May 26, 1969. The Bell X-1 replica prominently displayed in the Museum’s Rotunda ushered in the supersonic age when it broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947.

In a move never tried before, the Museum will be switching out the display vehicles in SPEED: Science in Motion every month, beginning with “Land-Speed Record-Holders” in February. On display in February are: Top 1 “Ack Attack,” the fastest motorcycle in the world at 376.4 mph; Ferguson Racing’s “Paramount Forge” SCTA record holder streamliner car with a top speed of 349.939 mph at Bonneville in 2016; National LSR holder1963 Studebaker Avanti, with Best Standing Mile of 185.4 mph; a record-setting Moto Guzzi Motorcycle, with top speed of 170.856mph; the Arfons “Green Monster” land speed record setting car; 500cc Bagnell-Chenowth Racing motorcycle land speed record holder with a top speed of 130.672 mph; Specially-designed bicycle used by Denise Mueller to set the Women’s LSR at 147.7 mph; rare Belly Tank Car; and an iconic 1920s Miller Indy Car.

“This is a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the most iconic Land-Speed Record-Holders all in the same place for the first time ever,” said Jim Kidrick, President and CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. “Throughout the entire year, SPEED: Science in Motion offers an exciting lineup of the fastest planes, jets, rockets, cars, motorcycles, boats, bicycles in the world. You won’t want to miss it.”

After “Land-Speed Record-Holders” in February, March features “Drag Racing,” with “Race Boats” roaring into the Museum in April. “Speed, Elegance and Electric” kicks off the summer in May, June is “Sports Cars,” and “Hot Rods” heat up July. “Motorcycles, Bicycles and Lowriders” rumble into the Museum in August, and “Open Wheel and Go Karts” take over in September.

A rare glimpse of famous “Hollywood and Movie Cars” debuts in October, and “Drift, Rally and Interactive Cars” are on tap for November. “Off-Road” rounds out SPEED in December. Check back to our website for monthly updates to the themes for SPEED.

SPEED: Science in Motion is for adventurers of all ages, testing minds and bodies in a unique and engaging environment. The exhibition replicates the high-octane action of the Formula 1 racetrack, complete with pit lane, workshop and physical testing environments. This immersive experience is designed to unravel the cutting edge science and technology behind professional motor sports. Visitors can challenge themselves through hands-on exhibits and displays, to see if they have the skills, fitness and reactions to race at over 125 miles per hour.

Behind the checkered flag and smell of burning rubber, science has pushed the development of auto racing into the highest echelons of sporting achievements. SPEED: Science in Motion investigates the expertise and technology behind Formula 1 racing, looking at how physics and engineering work with biology and human endurance to support this multi-million dollar industry.

Developed by Scitech’s own Technology, Design and Development Department, the exhibition includes a full-scale replica Formula 1 car, a pit-stop wheel change scenario, racecar simulator and pedal car racing.

Visitors are put through their paces to experience what it is like to operate at high speeds through hands-on simulations that test peripheral vision, reaction speed, coordination, concentration and heart rate under stress.

A workshop area shows how engines, differentials, bearings and gears operate, while down force and drag are explained to demonstrate racecar design. For example, at 125 mph an F1 car could drive on the ceiling due to the force created by its ‘wings’ and body shape.

SPEED: Science in Motion runs throughout 2018. Tickets are available at the door.


The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with admissions until 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Imagine Exhibitions is currently producing over 25 unique exhibitions in museums, science centers, aquariums, integrated resorts, and non-traditional venues worldwide. In addition to developing successful traveling exhibitions, Imagine Exhibitions designs, opens, and operates permanent installations and venues, and consults on building, expanding, and directing museums and attractions. With over 25 years of diverse experience in the museum and entertainment industries, Imagine Exhibitions consistently develops exhibitions that educate and excite while exceeding attendance goals. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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