SDASM Speaker Series

Videos from the SDASM Speaker series, a video presentation by Museum experts discussing their favorite artifacts or historical events.

BAM 100 – The Development of 100 Octane Fuel for The Battle of Britain

SDASM Expert and Docent Maud Rao relates the little-known and fascinating story about the development and production of 100 octane aviation fuel, called British Air Ministry 100 (BAM 100), at the beginning of WWII. BAM 100 played a significant role in winning the battle of Britain, one of WWII's more critical turning points.

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Volunteering For Our Allies Part 3 by Bruce Allen

The San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Docent Bruce Allen, a former member of the Royal Air Force, describes the history and success of the RAF Eagle Squadrons formed in England before the United States entered World War II. These Squadrons were comprised of American volunteer pilots and assisted the RAF in defending Britain from Axis air power.

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Volunteering for Our Allies Part 2 by Paul Trevisan

Museum expert Docent Paul Trevisan, describes how the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) and the US Army Air Force (USAAF) partnered in their fight against the Japanese invasion of China during 1942 to 1945. Historically known as “Flying the Hump,” the air crews airlifted critically needed supplies to Chinese, British and US forces in China as pictured on the AVG mural in the museum. Paul additionally describes his family’s personal involvement with the CNAC.

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The Bell X-1 and Supersonic Flight

he Air & Space Museum’s Special Guest Speaker, Cam Martin, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the rocket-powered Bell X-1, Glamorous Glennis. Best known for making the first supersonic flight in level flight 76 years ago on October 14, 1947, piloted by Capt. Chuck Yeager. Cam’s presentation covers the origins of the Bell X-1 program and concludes with some popular and enduring myths associated with this iconic machine.

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World War II Gliders by Scott McGaugh

The Air & Space Museum’s Special Guest Speaker, Scott McGaugh, discusses the little-known WWII contributions of un-heralded heroes who, without motors or parachutes, took off on one-way flying missions where there were no second chances... the Glider Pilots. In aircraft not much sturdier than kites, the Glider Pilots supplied combat soldiers, equipment, and supplies behind enemy lines during combat operations in Sicily, Normandy, Southern France, Holland’s Market Garden, Bastogne’s Repulse, and Operation Varsity. Interlaced with details of Glider construction, flight hazards, and landing zone challenges, Scott describes the people who made it all happen.

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Volunteering for Our Allies Part 1 b y Chuck Dorigan and Ron Carrico

Volunteering for Our Allies Part 1 Museum expert Docents Chuck Dorigan and Ron Carrico talk about the American flyers who volunteered for our Allies in their fight for freedom during World War I and World War II. Chuck describes the famous Lafayette Escadrille in great detail and Ron puts you into the action of the equally famous American Volunteer Group (AVG,) commonly known as the Flying Tigers.

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Almost Famous by Maud Rao

Video from the SDASM Speaker series, a presentation by Museum experts discussing their favorite artifacts or historical events. Retired Engineer, Scientist, and SDASM docent Maud Rao talks about aviation pioneers who contributed their dreams, ideas, work, and enthusiasm but did not finish first and have been mostly forgotten by history. Trailblazers such as Jacque Charles, Arthur Latham, and the La Societe Antoinetteo challenged the first hot air balloon and first to cross the English Channel, only to come in second. Then there were the nine aviators competing with Charles Lindbergh for the Orteig Prize.

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Astrobiology by Neil Farber

Video from the SDASM Speaker series, a presentation by Museum experts discussing their favorite artifacts or historical events. Here, Dr. Neil Farber, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and SDASM Docent, shares current developments of humankind’s primary question; Are We Alone in the Universe? While no direct evidence of life elsewhere exists, finding liquid water, essential chemical ingredients, and the necessary energy for metabolism will probably result in finding living organisms somewhere in the Universe.

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Mars Myth to Magic by Neil Farber

Video from the SDASM Speaker series, a presentation by Museum experts discussing their favorite artifacts or historical events. Dr. Neil Farber, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, and SDASM Docent shares his knowledge of humankind’s fascination with and quest to understand the red planet; Mars. Initially, Mariner spacecraft flybys and the Mars Global Surveyor and Reconnaissance Orbiters provided planetary overviews. Then, Viking, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Perseverance landers/rovers transformed the myth of Mars into the Magic of today’s Martian knowledge base.

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Galileo to Hexagon Part 2

Perkin-Elmer Corporation Optics Engineer Phil Pressel discusses the Hexagon KH-9 satellite. Mr. Pressel designed the camera used in this Cold War project. In the second part of this episode, SDASM docent Chuck Dorigan talks about his experiences with the Star Catcher Squadron, and mid-air recovery of film from spy satellites.

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Galileo to Hexagon Part 1

Ron Carrico and Rick Deutsch discuss the history of surveillance satellites, including the Aurora, Gambit and Hexagon programs

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San Diego Aviation History

SDASM Digital Archivist Alan Renga, talks about the History of Aviation in San Diego, from John Montgomery to the present day. Topics also include, Women in Aviation, Consolidated Aircraft, Ryan Aircraft, Pacific Southwest Airlines and the Atlas Missile.

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Airships Over San Diego

Gordon Permann, a long time San Diego resident and SDASM volunteer discusses the history of Airships in the area. Topics include Toliver's Folly, North Island Navy Airship B-3, ZRS-1 USS Shenandoah and the USS Los Angeles.

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NASA Launch Vehicles

Retired NASA employee and SDASM docent Mike Benik discusses launch vehicles. He covers the history launch vehicles, including Explorer 1, Vanguard 1, the Pioneer Program and GPS satellites. Launch vehicles discussed include the Atlas, Atlas Agena, Titan II, Delta II, among others. He also discusses the Shuttle/Centaur program.

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The USS Langley

SDASM Aircraft Restoration Volunteer Bob Bernier discusses the USS Langley, the United State's first Aircraft Carrier.

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How We Got to the Moon

SDASM docent Neil Farber discusses the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.

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The Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter in Vietnam

Retired Army Master Aviator and SDASM docent Dudley Oatman shares his knowledge of the Museum's Bell AH-1 Cobra and Army Aviation. Mr. Oatman spent two tours of duty in Vietnam flying the Cobra, so he is an expert on the subject, and this presentation includes very personal stories on the Cobra.

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