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
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.
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).
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.