Great read and a very informative article from the Air and Space Museum. The author uses the Red Baron's name as an exciting representation of an entire breed of pilots that flew, fought and died during the Great War. They were the pioneers of early fighter aircraft and dogfight tactics. This article describes how aviators and engineers misunderstood some basic aerodynamics and engineering that are taken for granted today. Air Combat San Diego uses refined Great Lakes Biplane with the modern engineering methods and designs to produce a superior yet similiar biplane aircraft that the Red Baron and Eddie Rickenbacker would enjoy.
The answer is 'yes' and it is one of the most exciting and unusual tours in the world. San Diego Sky Tours are the only tour company in the world that fly formation tours in separate biplanes in formation. With the combination of great views, 300 absolutely perfect days a year, and chocked full of retired military pilots, the recipe is complete for a perfect aviation adventure.
Most couples adventures are a surprise for one person but it doesn't have to be organized that way. You would go to the Gibbs Flight Service and lounge, wait for your pilot and be escorted through security to the Sky Tours biplane hangar. We put you in a military flight suit, add a few patches and get you looking and feeling like a military pilot. One of our ex-military fighter pilots gives the two of you a military style briefing, which is flight, safety and tour information in a format worthy of a Blue Angel pilot.
After all the aviation briefings and some training (usually 1 hour) we strap you both in a biplane with your own fighter pilot and you go flying. Military pilots fly in formation, so will you. We take off in formation, fly together within 20 feet or so, and work as a team during the tour. One aircraft may lead the other for awhile, then switch back. With GoPro camera's documenting the action, you will have a tour to brag about. We don't want to give away all the details, but people are super excited during and after the flight. Visit our video section and see what it is all about.
Erich Moulder, Chief Pilot
After the unusual set of rain storms in San Diego this winter, some spectacular views have been brought out. Either by mountain hikes or our comfortable aerial tours, you can enjoy what unique views the rains bring to San Diego.
Waterfalls - East of San Diego has many beautiful waterfalls in the Cleveland National Forest and Julian areas. They are absolutely stunning after the rain fills the mountain streams and provides snow for the mountain tops. Waterfalls like the Reyes and Cedar Creek falls and the Three Sisters Falls look simply amazing from the air.
The Coronado Islands and our Mountains - With days of rain ending, the skies over San Diego have the utmost clarity. Usually a slight cloudy haze, golden glows of pollution, or humidity cause restrictions in views, after some solid rains all these impurities are cleared out for some of the best 'fly days' of the year. Areas like the Mexican Coronado Islands, Catalina Island and the snow topped peaks of the mountains around San Diego are beautifully visible.
GREEN Lush San Diego - Our cities typical sandy brown colors are bursting with unusual green colors of brilliant grasses and lush landscapes. This vibrant change makes the views perfect from above and during hikes in places such as Torrey Pines and Black Mountain.
San Diego Sky Tours has some of the best pilot and aircraft for aerial tours in the industry. We can fit up to 5 passengers in our Cessna Tour plane. Easy access to the airport, private access for customers and VIP customer service allows this option to be the simplest and most enjoyable way to see our beautiful city and countryside. Feel free to make it romantic and order Champagne or call us to make it special for birthdays or family events.
Valentines Day is a special day for the loved ones in our lives. For me, I find it very stressful finding the right set of gifts to show my loved ones that I put some effort and thought into the gift. Flowers, Candy, a card, YES, we need to do that anyway.
If you need to find a Valentines Adventure for that truly active individual and the timing is right, our Air Combat Couples Tour is the ultimate afternoon fun, you both will have beautiful flying dreams for days.
I know what you may be thinking, oh, the biplane is a little 'too edgy' or maybe I will get my stomach upset. No, everyone lands after these tours and says how surprised they are at the comfort, smoothness and surreal experience they just received. Our pilots are well trained to determine what level of snappiness, aerobatics or smoothness that the customer prefers. As a tour pilot myself, I would be embarrassed if I ever had someone get sick on my tour. When the customer compliments me on my smooth landing I relish the moment with pride, nothing better! On the other hand, if the passenger wants to go a little crazy we can definitely help them with that request too.
Our office and hangar is easy for anyone to access, comfortable and no lines or tight security. You simply walk in the Gibbs Flying Service Lounge, have a seat and wait for our pilots to meet you. Bring a sweatshirt if you want, but you won't need it. Camera phone or your own GoPro is perfect too. We walk you out to the hangar, show you around the vintage lounge, and offer you refreshments. With our premium Air Combat Tour, we go the extra mile to put you in the scenario of a WWI fighter pilot. We find a flight suit for you, introduce you to the team and begin our military style combat brief. Hold on to your hats, you will be learning about WWI history, pilots and flight maneuvers from a former Marine Fighter Wing leader. Colonel 'Pearl' usually has everyone stand up and practice maneuvers in the hangar with airplane model briefing sticks. Fun Stuff!
I won't tell you about all the fun your are going to have flying, but after you don the flight suit, helmet and goggles, you will get carefully secured in your seat for the formation ride of your life.
The rest of the story is our little secret, but usually our customers hang out awhile after the flight comparing war stories and looking at their go pro videos and drinking some beer or wine.
Please call us with any questions, we would love to hear from you.
Many current residents or visitors to San Diego don’t realize that it is where naval aviation began. Navy Lieutenant Theodore Ellyson arrived to deserted sand flats known as the North Island area of San Diego in 1911. While part of modern day Coronado, this land mass was actually separated during the high tide portion of the day. Glenn Curtiss, a competitor to the Wright Brothers leased the property and set up shop teaching flying to Army and Navy pilots. This lasted until 1917, the beginning of the American entry into World War I, when the military assumed the area.
While the Navy initially set up a camp in the same area in 1912, the Army later took control in 1913 until the area was split into camps for both the Navy and Army. Initially known as “Camp Trouble” for the Navy, North Island was finally commissioned a Naval Air Station in 1917, and called Naval Air Station San Diego until 1955. On August 15, 1963, the station was granted official recognition as the "Birthplace of Naval Aviation" by resolution of the House Armed Services Committee.
Today, you can experience flight over and around the Birthplace of Aviation similar to planes that flew during World War I. Join us at www.sandiegoskytours.com and learn more.