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Americans were wild about aviation in the 1920s and '30s, the period between the two world wars that came to be known as the Golden Age of Flight. Air races and daring record-setting flights dominated the news. Airplanes evolved from wood-and-fabric biplanes to streamlined metal monoplanes. The military services embraced air power. Aviation came of age.
Aircraft displayed here include planes used for racing, record setting, business travel, and exploration. The Wittman Buster midget racer hangs near the entrance. Inside is Howard Hughes' sleek, record-setting Hughes H-1 Racer; the Curtiss J-1 Robin Ole Miss, which stayed aloft for 27 days; a Beech C17L Staggerwing, designed for business travelers; and the Northrop Gamma 2B Polar Star, which traversed Antarctica.