Topic

Records & Firsts

Showing 21 - 27 of 27
Tue, January 18 2011

Eugene Ely and the Birth of Naval Aviation—January 18, 1911

In 1909, military aviation began with the purchase of the Wright Military Flyer by the U.S. Army.   The Navy sprouted wings two years later in 1911 with a number of significant firsts.  The first U.S Navy officers were trained to fly, the Navy purchased its first airplanes from Glenn Curtiss and the Wrights, and sites for naval aircraft operations were established at Annapolis, Md., and at North Island, San Diego, Ca.  But the most dramatic demonstration that the skies and the seas were now joined occurred on January 18, 1911, when Eugene Burton Ely made the first successful landing and take-off from a naval vessel.

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Thu, October 14 2010

Chuck Yeager

On October 14, 1947, Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound in his Bell X-1, which he named Glamorous Glennis, in tribute to his wife. He reached a speed of 1,127 kilometers (700 miles) per hour, or Mach 1.06, at an altitude of 13,000 meters (43,000 feet).  

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Tue, October 12 2010

Eugene J. Bullard

Eugene Jacques Bullard is considered to be the first African-American military pilot to fly in combat, and the only African-American pilot in World War I.

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Sun, September 12 2010

She Had a Dream: Mae C. Jemison, First African American Woman in Space

Have you ever had a dream of what you wanted to do in life? How about a wish that you hoped every day would come true?  Were you ever truly inspired by something or someone at an early age that shaped the course of your life? Living a lifelong dream does not come to many, but for Dr. Mae Jemison, space travel was always an area of fascination.

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Thu, May 20 2010

Amelia Earhart: Viva la Vega

On May 20, 1932, that Amelia Earhart set out in her Lockheed 5B Vega to become the first woman to fly nonstop and alone over the Atlantic Ocean.  Departing from  Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and landing in Londonderry, Northern Ireland about 15 hours later, she also became only the second person to solo the Atlantic, the first being Charles Lindbergh in 1927. It was also her second trip across the Atlantic.  Earhart first came to the public’s attention four years earlier, in June 1928, when she made headlines for doing nothing more than riding as a passenger--but she was the first female to do so.  And although it didn’t matter to the public that she never touched the controls of the aircraft during the transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales, it mattered to Earhart. 

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Mon, March 29 2010

A Lindbergh Treasure Trove

National Air and Space Museum staff are hard at work renovating the Pioneers of Flight gallery, scheduled to open later this year.  It will be filled with the fascinating stories of the colorful personalities of early aviation, including Jimmy Doolittle, Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, and Charles and Anne Lindbergh, plus Robert Goddard and other rocket pioneers.  One of the featured artifacts is the newly cleaned Lockheed Sirius Tingmissartoq, the dual cockpit plane that carried Charles and Anne Lindbergh on their exploratory trips across several continents in 1931 and 1933.  The trips made headlines and were the basis for two popular books written by Anne, North to the Orient and Listen, the Wind! Cognizant of their place in history, the Lindberghs carefully saved the majority of items they packed for the trips. Now after several decades in storage, many will be on display for the first time. 

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Tue, November 3 2009

Another First for The Museum – Virtual Conferences

The National Air and Space Museum is holding its first ever virtual conference for educators on Tuesday, November 10 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST.   Since we’re in the middle of the 40th anniversary commemorations of the Apollo missions, we decided to focus on this important period in American history.  Staff from our Division of Space History will discuss some fascinating topics such as the real story behind President Kennedy’s famous speech challenging Congress to send Americans to the Moon;  the role of computers—a new technology in the 1960s; the myth of presidential leadership during this time period; the intersections of Ralph Abernathy, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Moon landing; the rise of six iconic Apollo images and how they have been used over time; and the denials of the Moon landings by a small segment of the population and their evolution since the 1960s. 

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