The San Diego Air & Space Museum is receiving a rare S-3B Viking aircraft at its Gillespie Field Annex between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13, the Museum announced today.
The progress of NASA Flight 601 can be tracked in real time on FlightAware at https://flightaware.com/live/. The Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex is located at 335 Kenney Street, El Cajon, CA 92020.
Weather permitting, the Viking is scheduled to depart Cleveland, Ohio at 6 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, July 13. The plane will stop in El Paso, Texas, where it will remain for an hour before departing for San Diego. After a scheduled flyover of North Island Naval Air Station, the aircraft will fly to Gillespie Field in El Cajon, where it will land and taxi to its new home at the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Annex at 335 Kenney Street, El Cajon, CA 92020.
“The San Diego Air & Space Museum is honored to be the final home of the last flying S-3B Viking aircraft, one of the most iconic the annals of Naval aviation history,” said Jim Kidrick, President & CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. “We are thrilled to display and share it with future generations of visitors to our Gillespie Field Annex in El Cajon. It is a truly worthy and welcome addition to our already impressive collection.”
NASA’s rare S-3B is the last flight-worthy Viking in the world. Originally designed by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, the Viking was put out of active service by the U.S. Navy in 2009. NASA’s S-3B Viking was completely reconfigured in 2006 for flight research purposes. All weapons systems were removed and replaced with civilian avionics, GPS, and satellite communications systems to conduct flight communications research.
One of its major contributions was helping NASA’s aeronautical innovators define communications standards that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can apply to the unmanned aircraft systems for safe operation in U.S. airspace.
To learn more about NASA’s Viking, visit https://www.nasa.gov/feature/glenn/2021/NASA-retires-S-3B-Viking-research-aircraft-from-its-fleet