Artifact Collection

The Paul Mantz Bendix Trophy

Inside the Museum, near the back door to the café, is a glass case with about a dozen aviation-related trophies. Most of them represent some of the most important air races flown: the Harmon Trophy, the Gordon Bennet International Race Trophy, and the Bendix Trophy. This small display is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of trophies that the Museum has in its collection. Three of these are the Bendix Trophies that belonged to aviation super-precision pilot, Paul Mantz.


The Standard J-1

anging from the rafters of the Museum, in the Barnstorming exhibit, is a Standard J-1 airplane that has a famous background. This particular plane, serial #1598, was built in 1917 and purchased as Army surplus in 1920 by B.A. Bower of Knoxville, Tennessee. Our Standard is a movie star, appearing in two films, "It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "The Spirit of St. Louis" (1957).


Rare Material Spotlight: Arthur Dunning Spearman J.J. Montgomery Manuscript

Arthur Dunning Spearman, Archivist at Santa Clara University, authored many publications of California history throughout his career. Of particular interest to him was the life and work of John Joseph Montgomery, International Air & Space Hall of Fame inductee. n early pioneer of flight, Montgomery is credited with piloting his first glider in 1884 in Otay Mesa. Montgomery later became a professor of physics at Santa Clara University, where many of his personal papers are housed in the Archives. It is at Santa Clara University that Spearman’s work with Montgomery’s primary resource material led to the first comprehensive history of Montgomery’s life published in 1967.


103rd Pursuit Squadron Logbook Collection

Logbooks of the 103rd Pursuit Squadron from World War I, recording day-to-day lives and combat details of the Squadron members. One from early March, 1918 to December 15, 1918, the other dated from February 19, 1918 to March 19, 1919.


Beechcraft Bonanza Model

Hanging from the ceiling inside the Museum’s Library is a beautiful model of a Beechcraft A-36TC Bonanza turboprop plane, built by volunteers in the Museum’s Model Shop who often produce models for display in the museum. This particular model is of special endearment. Constructed by Ron Peterka, Bill Simmons, and Gayle Boddy, it commemorates an around-the-world flight undertaken by a very special Library volunteer, Dennis Stewart.


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San Diego Air & Space Museum

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