The Museum will be switching to the 2nd Tuesday of the month for our Resident Free Day. Our next one will be Tuesday October 12th. Thank you!

Artifact Collection

SRU-2/P Survival Vest

Ever since military pilots began flying, they needed to carry supplies in case they crash landed or bailed out.  During WWI, pilots carried a pistol and a knife; by the start of WWII, aircraft began carrying more sophisticated survival kits.  The military quickly learned that when pilots and crew bailed-out, or crawled out of a crashed aircraft, the only supplies they usually carried out was what they had strapped, tied, or worn on their person. The solution, in mid-1943, was the C-1 Survival Vest, designed to carry the supplies needed for individual survival.  The C-1 vest continued as the standard survival vest until 1963, when a new 2nd generation Survival Vest, the SRU-21/P, replaced it for all military services.


The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America’s Race in Space

The Library & Archives has a signed copy of astronaut Euguene (Gene) Cernan’s book, The Last Man on the Moon.   The Library’s book is hardcover with a protected dustjacket. Although the book itself is not necessarily remarkable in its rarity or accessibility, our copy is a rare signed edition. It is a First St. Martin’s Griffin Edition, published July 2000. The cover design features a composite image of Gene on the lunar roving vehicle with the waning Earth in the background, and a close up of Gene in his space suit.  


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 San Diego Air & Space Museum is famously known for its unique full-size airplane collection. In order to give representation to so many aircraft produced since the early 1900s, the Museum also houses a tremendous collection of scale-model aircraft – some built onsite, and some donated. One of the most interesting models in the Museum's collection is a 1/48 scale model of


Aeronautica 1838

One of the oldest items in our book collection is an 1838 publication of Aeronautica, or, sketches illustrative of the theory and practice of Aerostation: Comprising an enlarged account of the late aerial expedition to Germany by Monck Mason. In this book, Mason recounts a record setting ballooning journey in which he partook with prominent aeronauts Charles Green and Thomas Hollond. The trio flew from London to Weilburg, Germany in approximately eighteen hours.


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San Diego Air & Space Museum

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