Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Mission Highlights

The Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery Opens

The Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery opened on November 19, 2010. This permanent exhibition is an updated and expanded version of an earlier Pioneers gallery. It highlights the formative decades in aviation—the 1920s and 1930s—with an eclectic collection of aircraft and other flight-related objects. All are connected with individuals who pushed the existing technological or social limits of flight. Each aircraft or display represents an unprecedented feat, a barrier overcome, or a pioneering step.

For children, one of the highlights of the exhibition is “Don’s Air Service,” a display with touchable airplane parts and tools, plus a work bench where future airplane designers can have a hands-on learning experience. Educational programs with a special emphasis on early childhood are offered in this space, including stories and live demonstrations. A puppet theater also stimulates children’s imaginations.

For older children, the exhibition offers digital interactive components that enable them to perform tasks such as fly a mission with the Tuskegee Airmen and design a racer to enter in air races.

Visit the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery on the web.

The Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery is made possible by the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Photo: Two children enjoy making paper binoculars at the 2010 Pioneers of Flight Family Day.