Effective November 10, 2020 the Museum’s Resident Free Tuesday will switch to the 2nd Tuesday of each month. October Free Tuesday will remain the 4thTuesday, October 27.
When Charles A. Lindbergh and his Ryan monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, touched down at Le Bourget Field at 10 p.m. on May 21, 1927, both man and machine made history. This first non-stop New York-to-Paris flight was completed in 33 hours, 30 minutes in a plane designed, built and tested in San Diego. The flight was inspired by the $25,000 Orteig Prize for the first non-stop flight between New York and Paris. Lindbergh received the prize and the acclamation of nations around the world.
Introduced in 1938, the Piper J-3 Cub, with its characteristic black lightning bolt, became an immediate success with the flying public. By 1947, when the last J-3 model was produced, a total of 14,125 had been built.
The history of the famous Pitts Special began in 1942 when Curtiss Pitts, a crop duster and manager of a small airport in Florida, became captivated with aerobatics. Lacking the funds to purchase a plane, Curtiss Pitts built his own aerobatic aircraft in 1944, the Pitts Special. It is widely accepted that the Pitts Special is the standard by which all other aerobatic planes are judged.
The R44 is a single-engine helicopter equipped with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor, a two-bladed tail rotor and a skid landing gear. It was designed by the Robinson Helicopter Company as a replacement for the lightweight R22 Series helicopters in the late 1980s. It has an enclosed cabin with two rows of side-by-side seating for a pilot and three passengers.
After the Ryan M-1 became obsolete, the company concentrated on the manufacture of the Ryan Brougham, a commercial version of the Spirit of St. Louis. The Ryan Brougham model B-5 was a high wing cabin monoplane with ample room and comfort for six, and was powered with the 300 hp wright J6 series engine.