Aviation history at Waldo Dean Waterman Park.

A small public park, recently created in Bankers Hill, is named for San Diego aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman.
A small public park, recently created in Bankers Hill, is named for San Diego aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman.

Last month a small public park opened in Bankers Hill at the edge of narrow Maple Canyon. The park is named after Waldo Dean Waterman, an inventor and early aviation pioneer who was the first in San Diego to fly a heavier-than-air machine. He made that flight into Maple Canyon in 1909, at the age of fifteen!

Waterman experimented with unique aeronautical designs for most of his life. He invented the first tail-less monoplane in the United States, called the Whatsit, which was the very first aircraft in history to use now standard tricycle landing gear. He then designed the Arrowbile, which was the first successful flying car!

Waldo Dean Waterman Park is a beautiful and inspiring addition to our city. For generations to come, the park will remain a living monument to a visionary man who made several important contributions to aviation history!

A resident of Bankers Hill walks his dog through the beautiful park. Local aviation history was made here in 1909.
A resident of Bankers Hill walks his dog through the beautiful park. Local aviation history was made here in 1909.
Beautiful blooms at Waldo Dean Waterman Park in Bankers Hill.
Beautiful blooms at Waldo Dean Waterman Park in Bankers Hill.
Sign summarizes the life and accomplishments of Early Bird aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman, a resident of San Diego. He flew a glider at the age of 15 from this site into Maple Canyon below.
Sign summarizes the life and accomplishments of Early Bird aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman, a resident of San Diego. He flew a glider at the age of 15 from this site into Maple Canyon below. (Click image to enlarge.)
Plaque dated July 1, 1959 commemorates Waldo D. Waterman for his many contributions to the science of flight.
Plaque dated July 1, 1959 commemorates Waldo D. Waterman for his many contributions to the science of flight.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Photos of how to get Wrecked at Comic-Con!

A desert island can be found directly behind the convention center, floating on San Diego Bay. There you'll find the Wrecked Pop-Up Island Tour during Comic-Con!
A desert island can be found directly behind the convention center, floating on San Diego Bay. There you’ll find the Wrecked Pop-Up Island Tour during 2017 Comic-Con!

Perhaps you’ve considered getting Wrecked while walking about during 2017 Comic-Con. Well, here’s what you need to do. Head directly behind the San Diego Convention Center and look for the small, flat, strangely rectangular desert island floating on the bay. You might note some palm trees on this island, and a conveniently wrecked aircraft. And a rather large hashtag. That’s where you need to go.

I’ll share some photos of my fun visit this afternoon. Then perhaps you might check out the second season of Wrecked on TBS which just started in June…

I feared this guy might film me riding the wild boar, so I avoided making too big a fool of myself.
I feared this guy might film me riding the wild boar, so I avoided making too big a fool of myself.
At first I thought this flight attendant was seating passengers on the wrecked aircraft. Looks to me like a nice shady spot--just avoid the sharp edges!
At first I thought this flight attendant was seating passengers on the wrecked aircraft. Looks to me like a nice shady spot–just avoid the sharp edges!
Instead, she introduced me to a hut full of friends. You know--the type Tom Hanks had in the movie Castaway.
Instead, she introduced me to a primitive hut full of friends. You know–the type Tom Hanks had in the movie Castaway.
Someone might have finally captured that wild boar running about the island.
Someone might have finally captured that wild boar running about the island.
Does this explain the name Wrecked?
Does this explain the name Wrecked?
I wonder if they use the dials on that ruined aircraft instrument panel to keep score while playing miniature golf?
I wonder if they use the dials on that ruined aircraft instrument panel to keep score while playing miniature golf?
Fortunately, the Watering Hole isn't very far from the Lotus Air Lavatories!
Fortunately, the Watering Hole isn’t very far from the Lotus Air Lavatories!
Thank you for a fun tour of the island! Maybe getting Wrecked ain't so bad after all!
Thank you for a fun tour of the island! Maybe getting Wrecked during Comic-Con ain’t so bad after all!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Fun photos at the Red Bull Air Race!

Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.
Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course about an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.

Have fun checking out these photos! I took them during a long walk up and down the Embarcadero, before and during today’s Red Bull Air Race.

What did I see? Read the captions!

And if you happen to be in San Diego, the event continues tomorrow! There’s lots of cool sights to see!

Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell's spot--he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream looks pretty good.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell’s spot–he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream passing by looks pretty good.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign showed the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull planes and pilots.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign shows the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull race planes and pilots.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center...
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center…
...where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out in San Diego Bay!
…where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out on beautiful San Diego Bay!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!  I see the Coronado Ferry Landing across the water.
Lots of people were finding spots to watch the action.
Lots of people were finding spots along the water to watch the action.
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn't find a better workplace!
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn’t find a better workplace!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the sky high above marina masts!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the blue sky high above marina masts!
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you'll see.
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you’ll see.
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
Here's that sign again. I've been walking my way back north.
Here’s that sign again. I’ve been walking my way back north.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! You need to be on edge!
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! Because you need to be on edge!
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Just cleared that pylon!
Just cleared that pylon!
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them. Anyway, now it's being refilled with air.
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them and lose points. Anyway, now it’s being refilled with air.
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
Look at them go.
Look at them go.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
Made it!
Made it!
Young aircraft enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
Young flying enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
These kids simply like ice cream.
These kids simply like ice cream.
Now I'm out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
Now I’m out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
Here he goes!
Here he goes!
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons...
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons…
That's pretty darn fast!
That’s pretty darn fast!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Red Bull Air Race plane flies above San Diego!

Look! Up in the sky! A Red Bull Air Race plane is about to buzz the San Diego Convention Center!
Look! Up in the sky! A Red Bull Air Race plane is about to buzz the San Diego Convention Center!

Check out this cool sight that just went up in San Diego’s Gaslamp, right next to the trolley station and Tin Fish restaurant! A Red Bull Air Race plane appears to be flying low over downtown! I think it might buzz the nearby convention center!

This morning, when I took these photos, I spoke to friendly guys putting up some promotional banners and learned the cool “plane on a post” had just been installed. A couple cranes were nearby. It appears to be an actual plane that is flown during the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

The next big race comes to San Diego Bay in two weeks. The best pilots in the world will fly a few feet above the water through an insane aerial obstacle course. Some years back a Red Bull Air Race was held in San Diego, and I caught some of the incredible action from a distance. All I can say is those pilots must have amazing reflexes and nerves of steel!

This unique motorsport was devised by the people at Red Bull. The planes move at high speed and are extremely maneuverable. This year the Master Class category features fourteen of the world’s top pilots.

There are eight races around the globe, mostly in cities by water, and San Diego will be the second race. I hope to catch it! If I do, I’ll post photos!

A cool airplane of the type San Diego will see in two weeks at the Red Bull Air Race above San Diego Bay.
The type of cool airplane flown at a Red Bull Air Race.  The upcoming aerial race will be through a unique obstacle course above San Diego Bay.
San Diego Trolley leaves the Gaslamp Station and passes a new banner advertising the Red Bull Air Race in mid-April.
San Diego Trolley leaves the Gaslamp Station and passes a new banner advertising the Red Bull Air Race in mid-April.
Poster promotes the upcoming Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay, on April 15 and 16.
Poster promotes the upcoming Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay, on April 15 and 16.
It might be small, but it's highly maneuverable and super fast!
It might be small, but it can turn on a dime and is super fast!
One can see some of the airplane's inner workings. There doesn't appear to be much room in the cockpit!
One can see some of the airplane’s inner workings. There doesn’t appear to be much room in the cockpit!
Now the Red Bull Air Race plane seems to be banking toward the Gaslamp! Perhaps it will fly up Fifth Avenue!
Now the Red Bull Air Race plane seems to be banking toward the Gaslamp! Perhaps it will fly up Fifth Avenue!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego Air and Space Museum’s PT-22 hits the road!

A shiny PT-22 military trainer aircraft from the World War II era is about to be towed from the San Diego Air and Space Museum to their annex at Gillespie Field.
A shiny PT-22 military trainer aircraft from the World War II era is about to be towed from the San Diego Air and Space Museum to their annex at Gillespie Field!

Another unexpected cool sight! I was walking around the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park this morning when I spied a mysterious airplane wing being carried into the rear of the museum’s historic Ford Building! What was it?

I spoke to a nice guy overseeing the movement of two museum aircraft and found out!

The museum’s Boeing P-26 “Peashooter” had just returned from a year-long stint in Seattle, where it was featured in the Boeing Centennial. And to make room, a vintage PT-22 military trainer was being sent to Gillespie Field. The San Diego Air and Space Museum has an annex at Gillespie Field, which I suppose I’ll have to visit someday. (Yes, it was a PT-22 that Harrison Ford was flying when he crashed a couple years ago at a golf course!)

As I walked through Balboa Park, I spied a wing vanishing into the San Diego Air and Space Museum. It belongs to a Boeing P-26 Peashooter, which was on loan for a year in Seattle for the Boeing Centennial.
As I walked through Balboa Park, I spied a wing vanishing into the San Diego Air and Space Museum. It belongs to a Boeing P-26 “Peashooter”, which was on loan for a year in Seattle for the Boeing Centennial.
These yellow wings in the San Diego Air and Space Museum truck are heading to Gillespie Field in East County. They are part of a PT-22 airplane.
These yellow wings in the San Diego Air and Space Museum truck are heading to Gillespie Field in East County. In preparation for land transport, they have been detached from a PT-22 airplane.
The PT-22 was gleaming in the sunlight and I had to take a closer look.
The PT-22 is almost ready to be towed.  The plane was gleaming in the sunlight and I had to take a closer look.
Photo of the cockpit of the Air and Space Museum's PT-22.
Photo of the cockpit of the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s PT-22.
A cool, unexpected sight in the parking lot behind the San Diego Air and Space Museum!
A cool, unexpected sight in the parking lot behind the San Diego Air and Space Museum!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Photos of aircraft restoration aboard USS Midway.

A tour of the USS Midway Museum often includes aircraft that are undergoing maintenance or restoration. Three helicopter rotors are being reconstructed here.
A self-guided tour of the USS Midway Museum often includes aircraft that are undergoing maintenance or restoration. Three helicopter rotors are being reconstructed here.

I love visiting the USS Midway Museum because there’s always something new to see. During my visit today I was intrigued by some of the aircraft restoration work that I observed.

The many different airplane and helicopter exhibits, representing different eras of naval aviation history, are already in pretty good condition when they are lifted aboard the aircraft carrier museum, but there’s always work to do. Time and the elements take their toll.

The USS Midway Museum is fortunate to have a small army (or should I say fleet) of skilled and knowledgeable volunteers. Many are retired Navy, with first-hand experience of the history and technical aspects of these aircraft. All are very friendly and welcome questions from museum visitors!

Sign on hangar deck of USS Midway describes the HO3S-1 Dragonfly's original rotor blade restoration, which is in progress.
Sign on hangar deck of USS Midway describes the HO3S-1 Dragonfly’s original rotor blade restoration, which is in progress.
A closer look at the spruce plywood ribs, which are spaced on the tubular steel spar.
A closer look at the spruce plywood ribs, which are spaced on the tubular steel spar.
This rotor is a bit further along. It appears part of the rotor's new surface is being cemented in place.
This rotor is a bit further along. It appears part of the rotor’s new surface is being cemented in place.
Here's the HO3S-1 Dragonfly helicopter up on the flight deck of USS Midway. Notice three of four rotors are missing.
Here’s the HO3S-1 Dragonfly helicopter up on the flight deck of USS Midway. Notice three of four rotors are missing.
The aptly named Dragonfly began service in 1946. You might recognize the design if you've seen the film The Bridges at Toko-Ri.
The aptly named Dragonfly began service in 1946. You might recognize the design if you’ve seen the film The Bridges at Toko-Ri.
Part of the Dragonfly's engine is exposed beneath the rotors.
Part of the Dragonfly’s engine is exposed beneath the rotors.
This USS Midway volunteer is grinding away rust from the museum's A-6 Intruder bomber. He said it's the type of work that is done between larger projects.
This USS Midway volunteer is grinding away rust from the museum’s A-6 Intruder bomber. He said it’s the type of work that is done between larger projects.
The tail of the A-6 Intruder is being refurbished and repainted, too.
The tail of the A-6 Intruder is being restored to look like new, too.
Many skilled volunteers at the USS Midway Museum work continuously to keep the many aircraft exhibits in great condition!
Many skilled volunteers at the USS Midway Museum work continuously to keep the many aircraft exhibits in great condition!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of interesting photos for you to enjoy!

A view of the bay from the horns of USS Midway.

A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier's projecting horns.
A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the dizzying view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s projecting horns.

This morning I paid a visit to San Diego’s amazing USS Midway Museum.

During my short visit I ascended to the flight deck and walked around a bit. I couldn’t resist walking out to the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s bridle-arrest horns. The two downward sloping projections at the bow of the USS Midway allow visitors to stand high over San Diego Bay, with wide views across the water.

I took some photos!

Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980's. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980’s. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I'm standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I’m standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
A helicopter passes overhead. A frequent sight near three large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Base Point Loma.
A helicopter passes overhead. Active aircraft are a frequent sight near the four large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and Naval Base Point Loma.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation, which originated at North Island across the bay.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation–a history that originated at North Island across San Diego Bay.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water below.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water far below.
After drinking in the views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
After drinking in the incredible views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the carrier's Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the aircraft carrier’s Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. At North Island across the water I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. Across the water at North Island I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!