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, 2019.


Abrams Aircraft Corp




Barbara Brown, Gift, 2018, NASM.2018.0079.


1.28 Cubic feet (1 container)


This collection consists of over 260 blueprints of the Abrams Explorer.


No restrictions on access


Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Technical drawings

Arrangement note

No arrangement.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of over 260 blueprints of the Abrams Explorer.


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


Abrams Explorer Drawings, NASM.2018.0079, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid