With a name like “The Flying Leathernecks,” who wouldn’t want to visit?
The Marine Aviation Museum looks a little like a futuristic junkyard.
Located off the bland Miramar road, a bevy of old airplanes scatter at an outside park. You can wander next to famed aircraft of yesterday and read about science fiction-turned-reality, including:
- The Skyburner that broke a speed record in 1961 by flying at 1606.3 miles per hour.
- The Skyhawks, including A-4 Skyhawk (aka Heinemann’s Hotrod) that could roll at a rate of 720 degrees per second.
- The Phantoms, including the Phantom II flight in 1961 from Los Angeles that broke a speed record by flying across the country in 2 hours, 48 minutes at an average speed of over 869 mph.
- The Panther, including the Grumman F9F-2 Panther that flew more than 78,000 sorties with a propulsion Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet;
- The Bronco, including the North American Rockwell OV-10D Bronco that had a fuselage compartment with a capacity of 3,200 pounds; and
- “Willy the Whale,” aka the Douglas F3D-2 Skyknight, restricted to night operations.
There’s also a great tribute to Landing Signal Officers. Here, you learn about the WAVE OFF and the other twelve signals to communicate with aircraft:
[box]The Flying Leathernecks have their own Historical Association and you don’t need a military ID to get in because it’s off the Miramar Base grounds. Admission is free! You can even go on a 20 minute Flight Simulator for $10.
Address: T-4203 Anderson Avenue
San Diego, CA 92145-0316
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.[/box]