I often drive down Miramar Road past the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. When I do, I usually turn my head to see if any people are outside investigating the dozens of unique military aircraft that are on display. Few people seem to visit.
The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, located at MCAS Miramar, is open free to the general public. It features all sorts of airplanes and helicopters that have been used by the United State Marine Corps over the decades.
When I first visited the museum last year, I was floored by the extent of its collection. While many of the aircraft might not be restored to pristine condition, they each represent a fascinating era in U. S. military history. Visitors to the museum can also see other equipment that has been used by the Marines, including tanks and artillery pieces.
Most impressively, the museum owns the actual helicopter that was last to leave Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. That Sea Knight helicopter’s call sign was Lady Ace 09. If you’d like to see photographs of Lady Ace 09, and learn a bit more about that moment in history, click here.
The following photos depict just a fraction of what you’ll discover at the museum.
The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum seems to be a little known gem in San Diego. Those who are interested in 20th century history, aviation or the United States Marine Corps should definitely swing on by!
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I remember first seeing this impressive model of the USS Midway aircraft carrier many, many years ago. It was located inside the enormous passenger waiting room of the Santa Fe Depot, which is downtown San Diego’s historic train station. I’m not sure exactly when the model was moved into Petco Park’s Power Alley. It has been many years.
I like to check out this cool sight whenever I’m at a Padres baseball game or some other event at Petco Park. (It reminds me of when I was a kid, assembling a variety of small airplane models, gluing together the plastic pieces, carefully applying daubs of paint.) Young people today who wander through the stadium’s Power Alley can test their arm at a fast pitch game, enjoy a hot dog, then perhaps peer through the glass at the many aircraft arranged on the Midway’s flight deck.
In case you don’t have a chance to see this fantastic USS Midway model for yourself, here are a few photos.
Along the wall behind the large model you’ll find a moving tribute to our country’s military heroes, including the many professional baseball players who have served. I’ll blog about that one day, too!
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While drones might not be delivering pizzas anytime soon, they do make for an interesting hobby. I could clearly see that when I wandered into a cool event by sheer chance. International Drone Day was celebrated today at the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego field near Mission Bay.
I was walking along the San Diego River Trail when I glimpsed something strange flying about behind a line of trees. Whatever it was didn’t behave like a bird. I had to go investigate!
What I discovered was a large gathering of electric drone hobbyists. They were flying their unique propeller aircraft, checking out different equipment, and enjoying hot dogs out in the San Diego sunshine!
In the event you pass by one day, the small field is located on the north side of Sea World Drive, just east of SeaWorld. I had visited once before, the day I blogged about birdwatching along the river estuary. On that day RC model aircraft were circling in the sky. I’ve added one pic from that visit, as you’ll see.
At noon, all the drones took to the air at once! Unfortunately, my pics of the spectacle came out pretty lousy. So use your mind’s eye! According to the announcer, 32 drones hovered above the field at one time. The San Diego team’s High Noon “All Up” took place simultaneously with 150 other teams celebrating International Drone Day around the world.
What will I discover next? It seems that anything is possible!
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I had a busy weekend! On Sunday I took the ferry from downtown San Diego across the bay to Coronado. You’ll soon see some photos I took from the ferry.
In the middle of my island adventure, while walking down Orange Avenue, I met a friendly man in front of the VFW. He was selling a bunch of amazing airplanes that he’d created using soda and beer cans.
Before he retired, he explained, he’d worked on actual aircraft, so he transfered his knowledge to this very unique hobby. The models he makes all have propellers that whirl in the wind. Each design is aerodynamic, and every plane takes several hours to produce. Only a couple other people in San Diego produce similar work.
He went on to say that over the years, he’s sold thousands of these cool planes! He also displays them in Balboa Park and other locations. I almost bought one!