San Diego Air and Space Museum Lands New Collection

Vought archive brings 50 years of history to San Diego's Air and Space Museum

Balboa Park's San Diego Air and Space Museum has landed a new collection of historic aircraft snapshots that may will one day be available for viewing online and, hopefully, at the museum.

The museum announced it has acquired the largest surviving Vought archive collection from the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation in Arlington, Texas. The collection spans 50 years of aeronautics history.

Vought was a contracted company providing airplanes to Naval forces around the world, including our very own United States Navy. The company was responsible for creating iconic planes such as the F4U Corsair and the F8U Crusader.

The newly-acquired collection includes thousands of vintage photographs and technical reference material for aircraft designed or built around the world -- from the earliest aircraft designs to gliders, helicopters, missiles, spacecraft and satellites.

The collection is currently housed in 500 storage containers, and is not yet open to the public, according to the museum's marketing and communications director, David Neville.

"Once we have categorized the collection, we will make it available to researchers, historians and students through our Library & Archives," Neville told NBC 7 on Wednesday.

Neville said the museum also plans to offer the historic images online through its Library & Archives Flickr account.

Alan Renga, digital archivist for the museum, said they hope to have the collection on display within the year.

"The plan is to digitize it and make it accessible worldwide," Renga told NBC 7.

He said the museum is always looking for people who are interested in the collection to help out with cataloging and digitizing.

This extensive collection is one of the largest-known, privately-held collections of aviation history, and helps the San Diego Air and Space Museum maintain its position as one of the nation's premier aerospace museums.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For museum details, click here.

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