America by Air has closed as part of the Museum’s renovation. Learn more about the project to transform the National Air and Space Museum.
The history of commercial aviation in the United States from airmail to airlines.
Flying was new and daring in the early years of the 20th century. Traveling by airplane was rare. Airlines, airliners, airports, air routes—none of these existed. But by century's end, you could travel to almost anywhere in America by air in a matter of hours. How did this revolutionary change happen?
America by Air explores the history of air transportation in the United States and shows how the federal government has shaped the airline industry, how improvements in technology have revolutionized air travel, and how the flying experience has changed. Highlights included a Ford 5-AT Tri-Motor, Boeing 247, and DC-3 airliners; a cockpit simulation of an Airbus A320; and a nose from a Boeing 747 jumbo jet that you can enter.