San Diego Air & Space Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

An impressive collection housed in an impressive building. Started in 1963, the collection grew rapidly, but suffered a terrible setback in 1977 when most of the aircraft were destroyed in an arsonist's fire. The museum then moved to its current building in the California Pacific International Exposition area of Balboa Park, and many of the lost aircraft have been replaced by replicas. It has a strong theme of aircraft with San Diego connections.

Apart from the very pleasant central central courtyard, the museum is now pretty crowded, and benefits from dramatic spotlighting, to the detriment of photographers.

They have a restoration centre which also serves as an overflow collection at Gillespie Field, which we visited later. We visited the museum itself on 30th April.

Aircraft Reg'n Thumbs Notes
Aeronca C-3 Collegian N13094 (NC13094)  
Albatros DVa replica N3767A  
Beachey-Eaton Biplane 'Little Looper' flying replica N5599N This replica of the 1914 original was built in 1948.
Bee Aviation (Beecraft) Wee Bee replica 'NX90840' 'World's lightest plane' 1948 - did demo tour of the US and UK in 1949.
Bell AH-1E Cobra 77-22778 USAF
Bell X-1 replica '46-0062'  
Boeing P-26A Peashooter replica '37'  
Boeing Stearman N2S-3 Kaydet 05414 USN as '398', ex N1301M
Bowlus BA-100 Baby Albatross Unknown 1951 kit-built glider.
Bowlus SP-1 Albatross replica '493' Original was built in 1929.
Consolidated PT-1 Trusty 27-150 N1926M 1928 original.
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina 48406 USN ex N5590V
Convair YF2Y-1 Sea Dart 135763 USN
Curtiss A-1 Triad flying replica Unknown Replica built in 1983
Curtiss JN-4D Jenny N5391 (NX5391) 1918 original marked as '38262'
Deperdussin 1911 Type C Militaire Unknown Original - monocoque design based on a racer.
Douglas A-4B Skyhawk 142905 NP-302 USN ex N905MD
Fokker Dr-1 replica '477-18' Cerfified to fly, but no known registration.
Fokker E-III replica '246' Replica completed in 1997
Ford 5-AT-B Trimotor N9637 Ex NM22 (N22), XA-BCC, AN-AAJ, H-I3, NX1629M (N1629M), XB-KUI, XA-HIL, N76GC. Pan American Airlines (PAA) livery, with whom it first served in 1928.
General Atomics RQ-1K Predator 95200 USAF
Granville Brothers Gee Bee R-1 Super Sportster replica 'NR2100 (N2100)'  
Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat 42874 21 USN ex NACA 158
Horten 229 V3 replica None Built by Northrop Grumman to replicate the Horten Ho229 for radar testing.
Lockheed A-12 Blackbird 60-6933 USAF
Lockheed Vega 5B replica None Built for the 2009 film Amelia.
McDonnell F-4J(S) 157267 NG-112 USN
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet 161963 USN Blue Angels 1 - did actually fly with them.
Messerschmitt Bf-109G-14 replica None Luftwaffe. Built in 1978.
MiG-17F Fresco-C 3020 North Vietnamese AF markings. May have served in East Germany and Egypt.
Mitsubishi A6M7 Zero Sen Model 63 E-143 Japanese AF original
Montgomery Evergreen 1911 glider None John Joseph Montgomery made his first glider flight in 1883.
Nieuport 11 replica N1486 Nieuport 11 replica marked as French AF 'N1256'
Nieuport 28C-1 6169 6 Original, origins murky, ex Mantz-Tallman, N28GH, USAF markings
North American P-51D Mustang composite '46-17569' 'Bunnie'
Northrop Grumman BQM-74E Chukar III   Subsonic target drone
Northrop Grumman RQ-8A Fire Scout FS-001 The first prototype. I first saw this at the Farnborough Air Show in 2002.
Piper J-3C Cub NC333ED (N333ED)  
Pitts S-1S Special N4HS Same colour scheme as Betty Skelton's Little Stinker.
Robinson R44 Raven 1 N544LB Marked 'NR44LB'
Ryan M-1 replica None Successful commercial deign, the basis for the NYP.
Ryan NYP flying replica N211SD Marked as 'Spirit of St Louis N-X-211'
Ryan B-5 Brougham N9236 (NC9236) 1931 original marked as 'NC731M'
Ryan BQM-34F Firebee II 70-01418 USAF supersonic target drone
Ryan STA NC17361 (N17361) Donated by T. Claude Ryan himself after the fire.
SPAD VII B9916 Built in Norwich by Mann Egerton and Co in 1917, and in use at San Diego North Island later that year.
Standard J-1 N2826D (NX2826D) 1917 original
Supermarine Spitfire LFXVIe SL574 T-MD Used in films Reach for the Sky and Battle of Britain.
Vought F4U-7 Corsair 133704 USN, ex French AF 704, later damaged by storm Katrina at USS Alabama museum, restored here as 'USMC 129359 WS-8'

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