Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Puts Readers "IN THE COCKPIT" of 50 Remarkable Flying Machines

Press Release

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 (All day)

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The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum holds the country's premier collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft and until now visitors could only view those impressive vehicles from a distance. "In the Cockpit," a new book published by Collins Design/Smithsonian (May 2007), offers readers the thrilling experience of sitting at the controls.

 "IN THE COCKPIT" captures the feeling of guiding 50 historic and technologically important machines with large, vibrant four-color photographs that give flight enthusiasts a true pilot's-eye view. The book covers the sweep of powered flight's chronology, from the world’s first airplane to the first privately built and piloted vehicle to reach space. Each entry includes a compelling photograph from inside the cockpit plus archival images and authoritative text that places each craft in the context of the development of technology and world history.

The forward is written by actor and renowned pilot John Travolta. The book's images were created by Mark A. Avino and Eric F. Long, staff photographers at the Air and Space Museum. The text was written by historian Dana Bell, a retired Air and Space Museum archivist. The attractive antique-style design of the book suggests an aged historic volume.
Featured cockpits include the following:

  • 1903 Wright Flyer
  • Ecker Flying Boat
  • Amelia Earhart's Lockheed 5B Vega
  • Boeing S-307 Stratoliner "Clipper Flying Cloud"
  • McDonnell F4H-1 (F-4A) Phantom II  "Sageburner"
  • Mikoyan-Guryevich MiG-21 F-13
  • SpaceShipOne

"IN THE COCKPIT" is a must for armchair flyers and history buffs alike.