San_Diego_Air_&_Space_Museum

San Diego Air & Space Museum

San Diego Air & Space Museum (SDAM, formerly the San Diego Aerospace Museum) is an aviation and space exploration museum in San Diego, California, USA.

Collection

It contains many original and reproductions of historic aircraft and spacecraft, including:

SDAM has two restoration facilities, one on site, and the other located at Gillespie Field. The Gillespie Field Annex is open to the public with numerous aircraft on display outdoors, an Atlas ICBM, and a fantastic restoration shop.

History

On February 22, 1978 the SDAM was destroyed in an arson fire along with the Balboa Park Electrical Building. Several one-of-a-kind aircraft were destroyed, including the Beecraft Wee Bee, the world's lightest aircraft and her sister craft the Queen Bee. A reproduction of the Spirit of St. Louis, that was built in 1967 by some of the same people who built the original, was also destroyed.

Before the fire, plans were already well under way to move the museum to the Ford Building elsewhere in Balboa Park. Even though several important historic aircraft were lost in the fire, much of the collection on display was dated or insignificant. The museum was already accumulating new aircraft that were in storage awaiting space in the new building and were spared from the fire. In addition, the community rallied, raising funds and donating items from private collections. The museum reopened, with a smaller but growing collection, in its current home on June 28, 1980. A new reproduction of the Spirit of St. Louis was built for the new museum. Because of its historical significance, a reproduction of the Wee Bee was also built.

Trivia

The museum is located on the landing flight path of San Diego International Airport. Passengers can clearly see the museum below them as the aircraft descends.

External links

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