Museum in the News

Space Shuttle to San Diego? We Are Working On It

Recently the news has reported on the Museum’s intent to bring on of the soon-to-be retired space shuttles (Atlantis or Endeavour) to San Diego. In a recent interview with Voice of San Diego, the Museum’s President, James Kidrick, provided some reasons on why San Diego is a great place for a shuttle:

Kidrick said San Diego has plenty of advantages, including a prime location with more than 30 million people within 150-200 miles and a role as a major player in the history of aviation. Among other things, the Spirit of St. Louis — which Charles Lindbergh flew non-stop across the Atlantic — was built here, and San Diego has been home to a number of aerospace firms. He said the museum’s attendance in the last fiscal year was about 270,000, ranking it among the top five aviation museums in the country.

In an interview with the San Diego Union Tribune, Kidrick explained the benefits of fundraising the required $29 million here in San Diego:

Funding would have to come from people willing to bring something this special to San Diego, [Kidrick] said. A shuttle represents the best of humanity’s technology, he noted, and there are local residents who have amassed great fortunes thanks to their technological innovation. There also are aerospace companies with ties to San Diego that may be interested in helping.

Though there are many hurdles ahead, the Museum looks forward to the challenge of bringing a space shuttle here. With a space shuttle the Museum can not only bring more aerospace history to the region, but can also use it as a tool to excite people about space and teach students with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

To read the Voice of San Diego article, click here.

To read the San Diego Union Tribune Article, click here.

Helldiver Raised from the Depths

Helldiver from the Museum's Library & Archives' Collection on Flickr.

On Monday, May 28, 1945, a Navy Curtiss Helldiver, a carrier-based dive bomber, crashed into Lower Otay Reservoir. Sixty-five years later, a fisherman discovered the wreckage still lying on the lake floor. A few weeks ago, the Helldiver was salvaged. The Union Tribune wrote a great piece on the recovery, which you can read by clicking here.

Currently, the airplane’s fuselage is on its way to Pensacola via flat-bed truck where it will be restored by the staff at the Naval Aviation Museum. The complete wing assembly will be temporarily stored at the Museum’s facility at Gillespie Field in El Cajon. The Museum’s volunteers will probably clean the mud off the wing but we do not intend to do any restoration work at this time. We expect the Navy museum to pick it up and take it to Pensacola where the necessary restoration will be completed.

The wing assembly is viewable at the Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex. The Annex is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00am to 3:00pm.

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