Dr. Roger Connor

Curator, Vertical Flight, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Instruments & Avionics

  • Aeronautics Department

Portrait of Roger Connor

Dr. Roger Connor curates the museum’s vertical flight collection (helicopters, gyroplanes, and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft), Army ground force aircraft, remotely piloted and autonomous aircraft systems, ground effect vehicles, along with aircraft instruments and avionics, bombsights and gun sights, air navigation, air traffic control, as well as infrastructure, airports, and ground support equipment. Roger curated the aviation and modern military components of the exhibit, Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There. He is currently helping develop multiple new exhibits.

Roger received his BA from Virginia Tech and holds an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University, an MA in American History from George Mason University, and a PhD in American History from George Mason University.

Roger is an experienced fixed wing commercial pilot with over 4,000 hours of flight time, including over 3,000 hours in dual instruction given. He has held flight instructor certificates in the United States and United Kingdom and served as a designated private pilot examiner for the UK CAA. He also holds a seaplane rating and has nearly completed the requirements for a private pilot's helicopter rating.

He was awarded Associate Fellow status by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his work in support of the American Helicopter Society's history endeavors. He co-authored In the Cockpit II: Inside History-Making Aircraft of World War II and a book on Virginia Aviation. His doctoral dissertation, “Rooftops to Rice Paddies: Aerial Utopianism, Helicopters, and the Creation of the National Security State” addressed the U.S. government’s technological stewardship in the development of rotary wing flight and its social implications. His other research projects include a history of aerial smuggling before World War II.

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