Pan American Airways was once the largest airline in the world and during its heyday in the 1930s, offered the most luxurious and comfortable air passenger service on their famous “Clipper” flying boats. Named for the square-rigged, clipper sailing ships of the 1800s, the Pan American Clippers were the first to carry air passengers around the globe. The earliest Pan Am Clipper was the Sikorsky S-40, followed by the larger and longer ranged Sikorsky S-42, then came the giant Martin 130 and finally the famous Boeing 314.
Although a classically trained pianist and big-band conductor, Norman Howard Casson enjoyed a highly successful six-decade career in aerospace engineering. Casson has often been recognized for his service as a Launch Test Conductor for the Titan I Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and later, the Titan II, but he is best known for his significant contributions to the success of the nation’s lunar landing program, the Apollo Project. The Apollo Spacecraft Checkout Group, headed by Casson, did their part to not only meet but beat the goals put forth by President John F. Kennedy, when he challenged our country to commit itself to the goal, before the end of the decade of the 1960s… to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. Norman Casson played a significant role in meeting that goal.
World-renowned San Diego artist Charles Rolfe “Chuck” Faust was architectural design director for the Zoological Society of San Diego for more than 30 years. When not developing zoo-related projects, Faust created bas-relief sculptures, sand castings, watercolors, and a wide variety of drawings and paintings for both private and commercial clients. Faust also illustrated several books, and created a large variety of other aviation related drawings and paintings during his long career, primarily depicting old warplanes.
The North American F-100 Super Sabre was the supersonic successor to the F-86 Sabre and flown by the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1971, primarily during the Vietnam War. This online exhibit takes an in-depth look at this fighter with a very interesting history!
Hollywood has long had a infatuation with flight, and many movies have been produced that have aircraft in leading roles. This online exhibit will look at many of these films, using rarely seen images from our archives.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage month, this online exhibit looks at some Hispanic and Latino aviators that made significant contributions to the history of aerospace.
Flying machines were the unbelievable marvel of the early 1900s. People just could not believe it was possible for man to fly an “aeroplane,” until they saw it with their own eyes. Equally amazing were the men and women who flew them. One could not be sure if these aviators were outrageously brave or just plain crazy to fly a contraption that looked like a box kite with wheels and an engine. Nevertheless, flying quickly became the nation's most exciting attraction and deadliest pastime despite its obvious danger. This exhibit takes a look at some of these daredevils, and the risks they took!
The history of air and space is not limited to the contributions of aviators, designers, engineers and industrialists. Contributions to this history were also made by many others, including, for example, the artists, illustrators and photographers who were employed by air and space manufacturers. Throughout history, images have been used to tell stories.
Dogs are “man’s best friend,” and have been so for thousands of years. Of all the domesticated animals, dogs have served as our protectors, helpers, lifesavers, and companions, and most likely it is because of traits like these, that their breed names have been applied to plenty of aircraft – Beagle, Bulldog, Husky, Terrier. We have a symbiotic relationship with our dogs; we rely, trust, and bond with them – just as we do with our beloved planes.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum houses a rare and unique autograph collection, made up of nearly 300 photos and documents signed by some very famous aviators, such as Charles Lindbergh, John Glenn, Orville Wright, and Eddie Rickenbacker. This exhibit will feature a small sampling of autographed photographs.
We all were once young, even our heroes. This online exhibit looks at some of the most famous (and some less well known) aviators and the paths that led them to notoriety.
As the world endures the restrictions, consequences and heartbreak caused by the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, global communities are uniting in herculean efforts to control and hopefully stop, the spread of this deadly virus. This coming together of citizens to fight for a common cause is reminiscent of our nation uniting during World War II to defeat another powerful threat against our way of life. During the War, “Rosie the Riveters” produced the equipment, supplies and resources needed to combat the Axis enemies of our country. This exhibit looks at these women and the fight they waged on the Home Front.
With its low fares and friendly service, Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) was one of the most successful regional airlines in American history. Its distinctive orange, red, and white planes, complete with a beaming smile were immediately recognizable to those living on the West Coast. The airline was also known for employing beautiful and sociable flight attendants. During this time of disruption of travel, this exhibit looks back on PSA and a time when we could easily move around the country, in comfort and style.
November 11th, 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Almost 10 million people lost their lives in this global conflict that was fought on the land, in the sea and in the air. This online exhibit looks at the critical part airpower played in the war, and how it aerospace technology developed during the 4 years of the conflict.
May 15th, 2018 will mark the 100 Anniversary of regularly scheduled airmail service in the United States. This online exhibit celebrates this history of airmail in the United States. Additionally, in honor of the event, there was an Airmail Centennial Celebration Flight from San Diego to Seattle May 13th thru the 18th.
March 8th marks the 108th anniversary of Raymonde de Laroche becoming the first women to receive a pilot's license. The San Diego Air & Space Museum is celebrating this accomplishment and International Women's Day with this online exhibit that showcases some of the Museum's Archival and Curatorial material related to women in aviation.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the fire that destroyed the old San Diego Air and Space Museum. This exhibit looks at the fire, and how the Museum has been reborn and now thrives.
In honor of the Atlas Rocket Project being inducted into The International Air & Space Hall of Fame, SDASM is proud to present this comprehensive online exhibit written by Michael Gerow, a volunteer in the Library and Archives.
Wally Schirra is, perhaps, the most symbolic of America’s original astronauts. The only person to fly all three of America’s first manned space programs – Mercury, Gemini and Apollo – his place in history is unique. The San Diego Air & Space Museum owes much to Schirra. A local resident for the last decades of his life, Wally worked to make sure the museum gained priceless space artifacts and was visited by a who’s-who of aerospace legends who enjoyed his company. The museum is proud to be the recipient of many artifacts related to his career, before, during, and after his astronaut years.
San Diego played an important role during the Second World War. This exhibit examines how the War shaped the region, and the region's importance to the War.
From the beginning man has looked toward the stars and aspired to fly. This passage from earth to sky is one of his most noble achievements. From the mythical Daedalus to Neil Armstrong who first walked on the Moon, a chosen few of each generation have been inspired to expand man’s knowledge and capacity in the realm of flight in air and space.
At the outbreak of World War I in July of 1914, airplanes (or known then as "aeroplanes") were still in their infancy. Invented barely 10 years previously, they were made by hand from cloth, wire, and wood. The engines fitted to them were less powerful and less reliable than those in modern automobiles. They were painfully slow and all too prone to accidents. Yet it didn't take long for military commanders to find potential applications and discover the effectiveness of these radical new machines.
As the Balboa Park Centennial celebration is approaching, it is fascinating to see how Balboa Park has expanded and transformed since its creation in 1915.
Asian-Americans have made remarkable accomplishments in many fields, including medicine, science, visual and performing arts, literature and business. . In this exhibit we highlight some of the Asian-American men and women in aerospace who have blazed the trail for others to follow.
Naval aviation has come a long way from the A-1 Triad to the F-18 Hornet and San Diego has been the scene for the entire journey. As such, San Diego is proud to be known as the birthplace of naval aviation.
This online exhibit is dedicated to the story of those who overcame the restrictive social circumstances of the time to broaden Black participation in the growing world of aeronautics, and to those who answered the call and, even now, continue to make history.
For roughly sixty years Consolidated Aircraft Corporation (later Convair) was synonymous with San Diego and, except for the United States Navy, the largest single employer in the County. Consolidated was responsible for building some of the most important aircraft in aviation history.
We at the San Diego Air & Space Museum are saddened about the passing of our friend Colonel Jerry Coleman. From his unwavering loyalty to his nation as a Marine Corps Aviator to his dedication to his San Diego community, he was a true hero.
Welcome to Wheels to Wings: An Online Exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Wheels to Wings celebrates and presents the fascinating history of the only remaining 1930's Ford Motor Company Exposition buildings, out of the 5 originally built.