Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

The Abrams Explorer, built in 1937, was the only one ever created and was uniquely designed for aerial survey and mapping functions. By featuring obstruction-free camera platforms, Abrams Aircraft CEO Dr. Talbert Abrams planned to market the plane to the United States armed forces for surveys, mapmaking, and aerial photography. The aircraft was successfully tested and used for government contract survey work until the beginning of the war when the military opted for more survivable, converted high-speed fighter aircraft for photo reconnaissance. Dr. Abrams lent the Abrams Explorer to the National Air Museum in 1948, and it was officially donated in 1973.



Processing Information

Arranged, described, and encoded by Patti Williams, 2020.


Abrams Aircraft Corp




Mr. and Mrs. P. R. Cleary, Gift, 2007, NASM.2018.0080


0.31 Cubic feet (Two oversized folders)


This collection consists of copies of six Abrams Explorer drawings, 1938-1940.


No restrictions on access


Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Technical drawings

Arrangement note

No arrangement.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of copies of the following six Abrams Explorer drawings: two 3 views— the one from 1938 is 36 by 40 inches and the one from 1940 is 36 by 44 inches; Balance Table - Table 4, is 23 by 17 inches; Balance Diagram is 17 by 36 inches; Side Elevation of Fuselage is 36 by 59 inches; and Side Elevation of Fuselage Covering is 36 by 59 inches.


Technical drawings


Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.

Topics Aeronautics
Abrams Explorer
Aerial photography -- Equipment and supplies


Abrams Explorer Drawings [Cleary], NASM.2018.0080, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid