Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Hawaii By Air
Hawaii By Air

Hawaii by Air

You may not realize it, as you while away the time on your long flight from the mainland to Hawaii, but you are traveling to one of the most remote places on Earth.

Jetliner travel makes it easy to forget how challenging it once was to reach Hawaii by air. The Hawaiian Islands are mere specks in the vast Pacific. Flying there in the early days of flight was not for the faint of heart. Bad weather, a navigational error, or an engine failure could spell doom.

Hawaii by Air recounts how things have changed since then. How air travel to Hawaii developed and grew. How the travel experience evolved along with the airplane. And how air travel changed Hawaii itself.




This view of the Pacific hemisphere reveals how isolated–and centrally located in the Pacific–Hawaii is. It lies about 2,400 miles from San Francisco. The entire island chain extends 1,500 miles and includes over 120 islands.