As a public health precaution, both of our locations, along with all Smithsonian museums, are temporarily closed. See our message to visitors.
Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery has closed as part of the Museum’s renovation. Learn more about the project to transform the National Air and Space Museum.
Details about the closed exhibition, as well as the original exhibition description, can be found below.
The people who pushed the technological or social limits of flight during the 1920s and 30s.
This gallery contains an impressive, eclectic assortment of aircraft and exhibits. A common theme unites them: all have to do with people who pushed the existing technological—or social—limits of flight. Each aircraft or exhibit represents an unprecedented feat, a barrier overcome, a pioneering step.
Things to see here include the Fokker T-2, the airplane that made the first nonstop, coast-to-coast flight across the United States; the Douglas World Cruiser Chicago, which completed the first round-the-world flight; a Lockheed Sirius flown by Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh and a Lockheed Vega flown by Amelia Earhart; the Explorer II high-altitude balloon gondola; and "Black Wings," an exhibit on African Americans and aviation.