The San Diego Air and Space Museum collection contains an instrument that was a key to the success of the Allies in World War Two: The Norden Bombsight. Key to the operation of the Norden were two features; an analog computer that constantly calculated the bomb's trajectory based on current flight conditions, and a linkage to the bomber's autopilot that let it react quickly and accurately to changes in the wind or other effects.
At the top end of the list of ground-based aircraft trainers are the Full Flight Simulators; a combination of both the motions enhanced generic flight trainers and the non-motion, but aircraft specific, cockpit trainers. The San Diego Air and Space Museum collection includes a Full Flight Simulator built specifically for an iconic airliner, the Boeing 727. Introduced in 1964, over 1800 of the model were built and some are still in use today. The 727 was a mainstay for several airliners around the world, including TWA, whose livery SDASM's simulator is painted with.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Library has an extensive collection of aerospace related periodicals, dating from the dawn of flight through World War II. Take a look at a spotlight on one of our local Southern California publications, Aero Album! Although short-lived, Aero Album drew on the expertise of editors and contributors from around the world to deliver rich aviation history content in a high quality magazine format.
In World War Two, some German aces carried special walking sticks to show off their aviation prowess. This sticks had markings denoting their combat "kills" and were called “Victory Sticks." These sticks were common in the First World War and any self-respecting German ace had one at his side whenever a camera was pointed in his direction. A few German pilot's carried this tradition into the Second World War, and the San Diego Air and Space Museum has one of these very rare Victory Sticks on display in our World War Two Eagle Squadron exhibit. The story behind this artifact is very compelling!
Hanging on display in the World War I gallery is a very detailed model of the Curtiss Model F flying boat. It is a two-place, single engine pusher biplane flying boat developed from Curtiss’ first successful flying boat, the Model E. The Museum's Curtiss flying boat is a 1/4 scale, scratch built model.