As a public health precaution, both of our locations, along with all Smithsonian museums, are temporarily closed. See our message to visitors.
At the Controls gave visitors an opportunity to view the cockpits of a number of the aircraft and spacecraft in the National Air and Space Museum collections. Many of these historically significant craft are one of a kind, others are well known, even by non-aviation buffs, for significant events in mankind's travel through air and space history.
The wonderful cockpit images created by Smithsonian photographers Eric Long and Mark Avino gave visitors an up-close-and-personal sense of just what the cockpit looks like in each of these craft. The particular vehicles were chosen to give visitors a sense of the advances and changes in technology; from the very simple hip cradle and wing-warping control of Orville and Wilbur Wright's 1903 Flyer to the magnificently modern glass cockpit in the NASA Space Shuttle Columbia.